Forty-five years ago today on the banks of the mighty Ohio River, a band of orange and black, football playing tiger cats was born under the watchful eye of a fedora toting Organization Man. His name was Paul Brown and he called his new litter the Cincinnati Bengals.
May 24, 1967 was the day the Queen City was officially awarded a franchise in the American Football League. The iconic Brown led the Bengals ownership group and was the team’s head coach for its first eight seasons – a historic kittenhood that included joining the NFL in the pro football merger consummated in 1970, and, under assistant coach Bill Walsh, the development of what would later be called the West Coast Offense.
Happy birthday, Bengals! Here’s a look back at your early days, as originally presented in chapter 4 of the 2009 documentary series Full Color Football: The History of the American Football League.