Ohio’s Cincinnati Bengals are a part of the NFL’s American Football Conference (AFC) and are a product of Pro Football Hall of Famer and Cleveland Browns founder Paul Brown.
Under the ownership and guidance of Brown, Cincinnati was granted an expansion franchise in 1967 to bring the team back from a complicated history; the team stuck with the “Bengals” name as a link to its past. Although the Bengals have been a staple in the league for decades, the team has yet to win a Super Bowl during their two appearances.
Cincinnati has had several legendary players take the gridiron while decked in black and orange. Drafted in the second round of the 2001 NFL draft, Chad Johnson made his mark on the franchise during his 10-season stint. The former wide receiver was noted for making 751 receptions, receiving 10,783 yards, and completing 66 touchdowns. Additionally, the team has recognized former quarterback Ken Anderson as the all-time passing leader within the franchise. During his tenure with the team, Anderson threw for 32,838 yards and 197 passing touchdowns.
The organization has stuck with three primary jersey colors over the years: Orange, black, and white. The team introduced distinctive and simple tiger stripes in 1981, which would remain on the jerseys until present day.
Continue reading to see how the Cincinnati Bengals have shaped their iconic jersey since their inception in the league.
Notable Uniform Changes
1968: For their inaugural jersey, the Bengals have black tops with one orange stripe surrounded by two white stripes on each sleeve. It features white block numerals, appearing on both the front and back. The team also rocks orange helmets with gray facemasks. It’s simple in design: The script “Bengals” arches across both sides of the helmet.
1975: Most notably, the stripes on the sleeves are now separated with black bands.
1981: The Bengals make drastic changes to their home uniform, giving them one of the most unique looks in all of sports. The jersey features tiger stripes on the shoulders with TV numbers added to the sleeves to make the players more identifiable.
1990: Small changes are made to the tiger stripes and helmet.
2001: Instead of TV numbers, the team adds a leaping tiger alternate logo to the sleeves.
2004: The team debuts an orange alternate jersey with partially black sleeves and white striping down the sides. The number styling is changed to be rounder. Black pants are introduced for the first time.
2012: Nike produces uniforms for the NFL; the Bengals introduce a sleek new look featuring a more aggressive tiger stripe pattern on the sides of the pants.
Looking Back to Look Forward
Throughout years of hard work and cooperation, the Cincinnati Bengals have had many greats leave their all on the field while reppin’ orange and black attire. The organization has a lot to be proud of (two championship wins in the AFC and two Super Bowl appearances), but it has been quite particular in retiring jersey numbers.
Currently, the Bengals have only retired one jersey number:
No. 54 – Bob Johnson
The franchise has inducted a total of two players – Charlie Joiner and Anthony Muñoz – into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With the 2016 NFL season underway, fans are eager to see what the Bengals have in store (and hopefully what additional jersey numbers will accompany that of Bob Johnson). In any case, wearing a team’s jersey is a great way to show your pride.
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