The Cincinnati Bengals are not your typical NFL franchise. Paul Brown was the owner, general manager and head coach when they began play in the AFL in 1967. It seems like a recipe for disaster having one man for all three positions, but Paul Brown was a football genius. When he retired following the 1975 season the Bengal franchise was never the same. I wanted to write an article about some serious reasons why the Cincinnati Bengals franchise have struggled over the years.
(1) Greg Cook gets hurt - The Bengals drafted QB Greg Cook with their 1st round pick in 1969. Having played at the University of Cincinnati, Cook was an instant fan favorite. The 1969 team came roaring out of the gates winning their first 3 games. However, Cook sustained a shoulder injury in game 3 against the Chiefs, but finished out the season with a bumb shoulder. The team would win just one more game that year, but Cook was named Rookie of the Year. It was later discovered that Greg Cook had torn his rotator cuff in game 3. His playing career was essentially over before it began.
(2) Mike Reid chooses the piano - With their number 1 pick in 1970, the Bengals selected Penn State's defensive lineman Mike Reid. Reid played only 5 seasons, but was named NFL All-Pro in 4 of those seasons. With such a strong start to his career, it was a shock when he retired from football after the 1974 season to pursue a musical career. Reid went on to be a concert pianist and later had a successful country music career. He even won a Grammy.
(3) Brown chooses the wrong Bill - Following the 1975 season, Paul Brown retired as head coach and named Bill "Tiger" Johnson as his replacement. Ironically, he passed over a Bengals assistant coach named Bill Walsh, who coached his 49ers to 2 Super Bowl wins over the Bengals in the 1980s.
(4) Tommy Casanova says the "eyes" have it - LSU defensive back Tommy Casanova was the Bengals round 2 pick in 1972. Tommy was a 4 time Pro Bowl selection during his brief 6 year career. While playing football, he began pursuing a medical degree. Casanova retired after the 1977 season to become a full-time medical student. He later became an opthalmalogist and still practices today.
(5) Mike Brown takes over after the death of Paul Brown - 101-188, That's the Bengals record since Mike took over. I don't need to describe the horrible Bengal existance since 1991.
The Mike Brown era is where I'll stop numbering specific events that changed the Cincinnati Bengals' history because Mike and daughter Katie have ruined an NFL franchise. I will name some examples of typical Bengal luck. In no particular order, I'll just write my memories as they come to mind.
other Bad Bengal memories or events
Stanley Wilson goes on a cocaine binge the night preceding SB XXIII - CB Lewis Billups drops a game clinching interception in SB XXIII - let Boomer Esiason go - ruined a great defensive coordinator's (Dick LeBeau) reputation by making him head coach and treating him like a puppet - six (0-6) starts and 4 (0-8) starts since 1991 - drafted a run & shoot QB David Klingler and try to make him into a conventional style QB - brought in Reggie Rembert from the Jets - Number 1 overall pick Big Daddy Wilkinson turned out mediocre - Number 1 overall pick Kijana Carter blows out his knee in his first game - drafted Akili Smith number 3 overall pick -No 1 pick David Pollack sustains a career ending neck injury - 2nd round pick Kenny Irons never plays a down because of a knee injury - No 1 pick Chris Perry never developes following a nagging sports hernia - ect, ect, ect until Mike Brown dies and someone kidnaps Katie.
Oh, I forgot all the wonderfull off the field arrests and problems....Who Dey!