Cincinnati Bengals (AFL)

Cincinnati Bengals (AFL)

Cincinnati Bengals was the name of a short-lived professional football team that played in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is unrelated to the current Cincinnati Bengals. Originated by Hal Pennington (who was also the team's first head coach and general manager), [ [ Hal Pennington biography] - Xavier University Basketball Hall of Fame] the team was formed as a member of the second American Football League in the 1937 season. The Bengals finished with a 2-3-2 record in their first year, but the league folded after the season.

The Bengals continued as an independent team in 1938 (rejecting overtures from a new American Football League, first as the league was forming and in October 1938 after the dissolution of the AFL Cincinnati Blades team). In 1939, the team joined the newly-renamed American Professional Football Association after yet another overture, finishing in second place with a 6-2-0 record. The APFA folded as Cincinnati, the Columbus Bullies, and the newly-formed Milwaukee Chiefs defected to a newly formed major league, yet another American Football League, for the 1940 season.

In 1940 and 1941, the two Ohio AFL teams were fairly successful at the gate (rivaling their NFL counterparts), before the AFL suspended operations in response of the Pearl Harbor attack. Although the league announced plans for a continuation (an expansion franchise was awarded to Detroit for the 1942 season before the United States entered World War II), the "third AFL" (and the fourth professional league with the name) never returned to business.

Professional football returned to Cincinnati 26 years after the original Cincinnati Bengals folded. It was in the year 1967 when Paul Brown headed an ownership group that landed an expansion franchise in the modern-era American Football League that merged with the NFL in 1969. Brown, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who founded and coached the Cleveland Browns from 1946-62, picked the name Bengals for the new team "to give it a link with past professional football in Cincinnati."


Cincinnati Bengals all AFL season by season


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