History of the Cincinnati Bengals

History Of The Cincinnati Bengals

History of the Cincinnati Bengals

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This article details the history of the Cincinnati Bengals American football club.


In 1967 a Cincinnati-based ownership group led by Paul Brown was granted a franchise in the American Football League.

As the founder and head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 1946 to 1962, Brown led his team to a .759 winning percentage and seven championships, which includes four championships earned while a member of the All-America Football Conference. The Browns were champions of that league in each of the four years it existed. When the AAFC folded after the 1949 season, the Browns, as well as the San Francisco 49ers and the first incarnation of the Baltimore Colts, were absorbed into the National Football League.

Brown became a recognized innovator for his approach to training, game planning, and the passing game. However, Brown sold majority interest in the team in 1961 to businessman Art Modell. On January 9, 1963, Modell controversially fired Brown. Many believe that Modell had tired of complaints of Brown's autocratic style; others claim it was Brown's decision to trade for Syracuse University's Heisman Trophy-winning running back Ernie Davis, who was drafted by the Washington Redskins, without Modell's knowledge. However, tragically, Davis was diagnosed with leukemia shortly afterward. Brown didn't want to play Davis; Modell insisted he could play. The relationship between Paul Brown and Art Modell, which was never warm to begin with, deteriorated further. Davis died on...
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