The Cincinnati Bengals were founded in 1968 and played their first two seasons in the American Football League before being included in the merger with the National Football League where they have been an NFL team since. The Bengals have had a roller coaster existence in the NFL, but over the years they have been a part of a number of interesting games and moments in league history. The team also has a number of great players. Here’s a look at five fun facts about the Cincinnati Bengals.
1. The Cincinnati Bengals lost their first professional football game when they were beaten by the San Diego Chargers by a score of 29-13 on September 6, 1968 on the Southern California Highway.
2. The all-time leader in passing yards for the Cincinnati Bengals is Ken Anderson who served as the team’s quarterback from 1971 to 1986. Although not a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, by the time of his retirement, only five others in NFL history had thrown more yards in their careers than he has. Although he failed to secure a Super Bowl ring in 1981 when the team he lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the big game, Anderson would get a Super Bowl ring 27 years later in as a quarterback coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
3. When the Bengals made their debut in 1968, former Cleveland Browns head coach Paul Brown served as the team’s general manager and head coach, largely thanks to the fact that he was also the main owner of the team. One of Brown’s assistant coaches while with the Bengals, and a man passed for the head coach position when Brown resigned in 1976, was future San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh. Coincidentally, the Bengals lost their two Super Bowl appearances to Walsh coaching 49ers teams.
4. The Cincinnati Bengals had the AFL Rookie of the Year on their roster in their first two seasons of football. In 1968 running back Paul Robinson won the award, then the following year in 1969 the award was won by quarterback Greg Cook. The Bengals would no longer have a Rookie of the Year award recipient until 1985, when the award was won by wide receiver Eddie Brown.
5. The university where the Cincinnati Bengals have drafted the most players over the years is Ohio State University. Some of the great players who have joined the team from there include defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson, defensive back Ray Griffin, running back Archie Griffin, running back Pete Johnson and linebacker Steve Tovar.
Cincinnati Bengals fans are proud of their team, and rightly so. They have remained loyal to the team for good and bad years and will continue to do so in the future as well. They are a great team and a beloved franchise of the National Football League.