On Wednesday, the Bengals newest rookies had their uniform numbers revealed. And if fate is real, Georgia guard Clint Boling wearing #65 could be an indication of a prosperous career in Cincinnati. As some of you older fans remember, this number is a solid reminder of one of the best offensive guards in franchise history.
Max Montoya, a four-time Pro Bowler and one of three Bengals players to start in both Super Bowls, sported #65 from 1979-89. Afterwards, Montoya joined the Los Angeles Raiders in the early 90s until his retirement in 1994, where he opened a Penn Station East Coast subs in Northern Kentucky a year later. From 1990 until 2002, the number was worn by a variety of players such as Mike Arthur, Darrick Brilz and John Jackson until the Bengals drafted a guard out of Iowa in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
The versatile and highly underrated Eric Steinbach wore #65 through the 2006 season when he left for the Cleveland Browns. Many point to his departure as the breaking point of an offensive line that was considered one of the best in the NFL. We'd be alright with you pointing towards Richie Braham's career-ending injury in week two of that season. Interior offensive lineman Dan Santucci wore the number since.
The first to wear it?
Bill Kindricks, who played nine games in the NFL, all with the Bengals during the franchise's inaugural season. After the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Cincinnati Bengals 16-9 on November 10, 1968, several Chiefs players accused Kindricks, Pat Matson and Fletcher Smith of dirty play.
Junious "Buck" Buchanan, a six-time AFL All-Star and two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle with the Kansas City Chiefs said, "That damn Matson. I wish I'd played in front of him the whole game. There'll be another time." God how I miss the passion that existed in this game.
Some of the charges included a Fletcher Smith clothesline on Chiefs' Noland Smith. Bengals head coach Paul Brown shrugged his shoulders and said, "He simply tackled him around the head, which is legitimate." Fletcher Smith was a safety with the Bengals from 1968-1971 and, ironically, played with the Chiefs from 1966-1967.
I would say that Boling picked a damn fine number.