The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football team based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. They are memebers of the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the NFL. Their stadium is located in downtown Cincinnati and is call the Paul Brown Stadium. Their biggest rivals are the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Cleveland Browns.
The Cincinnati Bengals are a relatively new team and were founded in 1966. They were originally a member of the American Football League (AFL). They were founded by former Cleveland Browns head coach Paul Brown. Brown was the head coach til 1975.
In 1961, Art Modell had purchased majority interest in the Cleveland Browns. In January 1963, Modell dismissed Brown as the head coach. Paul Brown had interest in strating a new NFL franchise in the State of Ohio, either in Cincinnati or in Columbus. Brown was able to strike a deal with the city of Cincinnati, Hamilton County, and the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds were seeking a replacement stadium for the obsolete Crosley Field. The deal that was struck resulted in an agrement to build a multi-purpose stadium in which the Bengals and the Reds could play their games.
Paul Brown agreed to join the AFL for the tenth and final franchise. The AFL would later merge with the NFL and the Bengals were assigned to the AFC.
The Cincinnati Bengals were playoff contenders during the 1970s and 1980s. They won the AFC championships in 1981 and 1989, but they lost Super Bowls XVI and XXIII to the San Francisco 49ers.
Paul Brown passed away in 1991 and the controlling interest of the Cincinnati Bengals was inherited by his son, Mike Brown. Mike Brown would later purchase shares of the team owned by the estate of co-founder Austin Knowlton and he is now the majority owner of the Bengals franchise.
The Cincinnati Bengals began to struggle greatly in the 1990s and 2000s. The team had numerous head coaches and several of their top draft picks simply did not do well. Mike Brown was rated as among the worst team owners in all of American professional sports. Not only was the team struggling on the field, but they had several off-field problems with their players.
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