In 2004, the Bengals made their first major uniform change in more than two decades. The new franchise digs were part of a successful era in Cincinnati that included three division titles and seven playoff appearances from 2005 to 2015. Cincinnati is surely hoping their new uniforms – which were unveiled on Monday – will usher in a series of similar success.
And at first glance, they are off to a good start.
They even take a famous line from Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders.
Founded in 1968, the Bengals’ first uniforms were similar to those of Cincinnati founder Paul Brown’s first team: the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals made a drastic uniform change in 1981, with the addition of stripes being the biggest addition. Cincinnati clearly loved their new uniforms, as the franchise moved towards its very first Super Bowl this season. And while their original jerseys were relatively bland, the Bengals’ striped helmets stood out from other team helmets.
“My dad said he wanted a helmet that would recognize us at a glance from the top seat of the stadium,” said Bengals owner Mike Brown. “I think our helmet has stood the test of time. It established our identity, our trademark, if you will, and that’s important to our fans.”
The Bengals jerseys had remained largely unchanged until 2004, when Cincinnati changed their stripes and the styling of the numbers. They also added more uniform options which included the team’s all-black, white, and âHalloweenâ uniforms.
The new uniforms aren’t the only thing the Bengals are revealing this offseason. The team recently announced the creation of a Ring of Honor whose initial class will include Paul Brown and Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Munoz. Membership holders will vote for the other two members of the team’s Ring of Honor First Class.
As they plan to start paying homage to their past, the Bengals are also optimistic about their future. Prior to his injury, quarterback Joe Burrow was among the first to win the offensive rookie of the year award. The Bengals are expected to get Burrow a lineman or wide receiver with the No.5 pick in the draft. The top two contenders are former Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell and former LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who enjoyed a successful partnership with Burrow during their time with the Tigers. Chase recently said he spoke to Burrow about joining forces at the next level.
âI wouldn’t mind going back with Joe,â Chase said, via Sports Illustrated. “If we go back together, we will try to regain our chemistry and have more fun.”