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What Could Have Been When Paul Brown Passed Over Bill Walsh

Do you find yourself envious of other fans who might be watching today's Super Bowl with a vested interest, cheering on their teams in the so-called biggest game of the year? Instead of Ben Roethlisberger don't you wish that Carson Palmer were throwing touchdown passes to Chad Ochocinco? Instead of the James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, wouldn't it be more preferable that the Fisher Price boys were threatening Aaron Rodgers on every passing down, the same quarterback that Bengals sacked six times in 2009?

Of course you would.

But the reality is that Cincinnati Bengals fans will either cheer the Green Bay Packers because of their foaming-at-the-mouth hatred of the Pittsburgh Steelers or will take up arms for any AFC team because that's the conference we belong to.

When Paul Brown retired from the sidelines, Walsh resigned when Brown selected Bill "Tiger" Johnson as his successor. Walsh was the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers in 1976 before being the Stanford head coach for two seasons. Hired in 1979 by the San Francisco 49ers, Walsh would spend the next 10 seasons winning three Super Bowls and putting together one of the league's best dynasties in the 80s.

The Bengals have been to the Super Bowl twice, losing both games to the San Francisco 49ers, coached by Bill Walsh, who had as any reason to beat the Cincinnati Bengals as anyone.

In 2006, Walsh claimed that Brown "worked against my candidacy" to be a head coach in the NFL.

"All the way through I had opportunities, and I never knew about them," Walsh said. "And then when I left him, he called whoever he thought was necessary to keep me out of the NFL."

"I can't say," said Walsh, who didn't get his first NFL head-coaching job until he was 47. "He did that to other people too, it wasn't just me. But I was probably the most blatant one."

Did Walsh use games against the Bengals as motivation?

"By the time we got to those games, I didn't even think of the history," he said. "We were just playing another team. But when the plane took off the first time we beat them in Cincinnati, I looked back down and I was euphoric. I just sat there quietly. It was snowing down there. Lights on. We were gone."

Walsh never lost to the Bengals, winning all five meetings. It's funny how a choice like that would eventually define both organizations. While the Bengals made two Super Bowls with two separate head coaches in the 80s, Walsh would win three Super Bowls, two of them over the Cincinnati Bengals.

And this is all because Brown passed over Walsh.