Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown has spent his entire life around football. The son of legendary football mind and founder of two NFL franchises, Paul Brown, he never really had much of a choice.
After leading the Cleveland Browns to three NFL Championships, Brown was fired after the 1963 season, leading to him pondering his football future.
After a few years and some urging from his son, Mike, Paul Brown decided to revive his career by co-founding the Bengals and becoming their head coach in 1968.
One of the three championships won in Cleveland was actually against the Los Angeles Rams in the 1951 season.
In a recent article on Bengals.com, Mike Brown recalls his experience attending that game. Oddly enough, the game was played in Cleveland’s home stadium, as will Super Bowl LVI will take place in the home stadium of the Rams.
Though it was 71 years ago, Mike sees plenty of similarities in the two matchups.
“It was a great win for the Browns,” Mike Brown recalls. “People in the NFL people had a hard time accepting them as deserving or equal.”
As the Bengals’ magical 2021-2022 run continues, many people have continued to question if the team should truly be in the position they are. Apparently, knocking off the top two seeds in the AFC on their way to the Super Bowl hasn’t been convincing enough.
Aside from Brown’s connection to the Rams, there are plenty of other storylines connecting Cincinnati and Los Angeles. In fact, the Rams have a direct impact on why the Bengals are where they are.
In February of 2019, the Bengals hired Rams quarterback coach Zac Taylor to be their new head coach, officially putting an end to the 16-year Marvin Lewis era. As the league moved to younger, offensive-minded coaches, Cincinnati adapted in a move that left some questions.
Three full seasons later, that vision has paid off.
Long-time offensive tackle and Bengals team captain Andrew Whitworth will be suiting up in blue and yellow on Super Bowl Sunday. Whitworth spent his first 11 years in Cincinnati, being a constant on the offensive line and unquestioned leader in the locker room.
After he wasn’t retained after the 2016 season, Whitworth chose to finish his career in the sunshine state. In what is said to be his last NFL game, the 40-year-old tackle will finish his career taking on the team that gave him his start.
History, connections and an improbable run have all the makings for an intriguing matchup. For owner Mike Brown, he is hoping the Brown Family success against Los Angeles in the biggest of games continues.