This upcoming NFL season marks the Cincinnati Bengals 50th anniversary. With the big anniversary comes an opportunity for the franchise to do something they could do better at.
That area where the Bengals are lacking is celebrating their history. They have no jersey numbers retired, and not many visible banners to mark their achievements. The Bengals at least are making an effort for their 50th anniversary to go against this trend. With a fan voted list of the top 50 retired Bengals players being released this week. Plus, several former Bengals will be honored at games this upcoming season.
That might not sound like much, but it’s a decent step compared to nothing at all. Now some might say that there’s very little for the Bengals to celebrate historically. Considering the Bengals have only really had one good decade in their existence. With the next best perhaps being this current stretch of the Marvin Lewis era. However, they at least have some things to celebrate and they should make a better effort to do so.
History can be a unique force in sports, as it is in other aspects of life. Sometimes it can drive people to root for a particular team, even when that team isn’t doing well. This in certain ways is the case for fans of the Cincinnati Reds, baseball’s oldest professional team. The Reds able to draw in fans to the ballpark sometimes by celebrating their nearly 150 years of existence. As they did last month when they honored Pete Rose with a statue.
A team’s history is right there along with regionalism, personal/family ties and success. Those stand as four factors that drive a fans rooting interests in a team. We might be fans of a particular sports team because their the closest one to us. That or because our parents, other relatives or friends root for them. Also, they may just be a really successful team, either currently or historically.
Most Bengals fans likely fall into the regionalism or personal/family ties categories. They probably aren’t drawing many fans on their long term success or history alone. Although, with this 50th anniversary the Bengals could make some money though marking their history. Especially through selling commemorative merchandise for the occasion. One figures that was one of the first thoughts the Bengals management had regarding this anniversary, they’re a business after all.
Whether this upcoming season goes well for the Bengals or not. This season is a chance for the Bengals to reflect on the highs and even lows of the last 50 years. From the days of Paul Brown and Greg Cook, up to Andy Dalton and other current stars.