Today, the Cincinnati Bengals celebrate their 44th birthday, kind of. On May 24, 1967, the American Football League granted Cincinnati a franchise after five cities, including Cincinnati applied for one. Of course, the franchise didn't take shape until Sept. 27, 1967, when it was given to former Cleveland Browns coach and Bengals founder Paul Brown.
The AFL was comprised of 10 teams, the Boston Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Houston Oilers, Miami Dolphins, New York Titans, Dallas Texans (who became the Kansas City Chiefs), Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers and the Oakland Raiders. The Bengals were the last team to join before the merger between the AFL and the NFL in 1969.
In the Sept. 27, 1967, edition of the Record-Journal, it was written that Paul Brown and the president of the AFL, Milt Woodward, were introduced infront of a packed press conference in Cincinnati by the mayor at the time, James A. Rhodes. Rhodes stated that moment was "the greatest step in the history of this city."
He added, "I urge you to bury open hospitality and make this the greatest football and baseball town in this nation."