Today in Sports History: September 26th


(Paul Brown in front of several demo Bengals helmets)

9/26/1967 - Brown and Bengals born again

The city of Cincinnati, Ohio is given an American Football League team -- the tenth and final in the AFL's existence. The team was later named the "Bengals," copying the name of the Cincinnati NFL team that had existed in the 1930's.

The founder, owner, general manager and coach of the Bengals was none other than Paul Brown, the former coach of the Cleveland Browns who had been fired in 1963 by Art Modell, the team's owner. At the time, Brown had been the only coach in the Browns' existence and had even named the team (after himself). Outraged over his dismissal, Brown headed an expansion group to bring the gridiron to Cincinnati -- giving Ohio two separate football teams. Brown, who had clashed with players over his fastidious play-calling, was not a proponent of the AFL and only joined the league because an agreement was in place to merge the AFL into the NFL.

"It was terrible," Brown said in 1968, described his time away from football. "I had everything a man can want: leisure, enough money, a wonderful family. Yet, with all that, I was eating my heart out."

As if putting a team in the same state as the Browns wasn't enough of an affront, Brown had the Bengals wear uniforms with the same shade of orange as the Cleveland Browns. In 1970, when the two leagues merged, the Browns and Bengals were thrust into the same division -- creating a fierce rivalry that would last for several years. Brown never forgave Art Modell and didn't even shake his hand when the two teams met for the first time in 1970.

Brown lasted as the team's coach until 1976 before stepping down and remaining as general manager. He remained the owner of the team until 1991, when he died of pneumonia at age 82. His son, Mike Brown, assumed ownership of the club.

9/26/1973 - Chamberlain signs with ABA team

Wilt Chamberlain signs onto the San Diego Conquistadors, intending to make a comeback to professional basketball. Instead, he was relegated to just being a head coach, a job that he didn't quite care for.

To read more about this story, click here for an in-depth Inhistoric article:

9/26/1998 - Prairie View snaps massive losing streak

The Prairie View Panthers football team beat Langston University 14-12, after preventing a last-minute two point conversion by Archie Craft, who had attempted to perform a quarterback sneak. With the win, the Panthers snapped an 80-game losing streak, the longest in the history of college football.

From 1989 to 1998, the years in which Panthers didn't win a single game, the team was outscored by 2,782 points. In 1990, the football program was shut down for allegedly using ineligible players. A year later, football returned and the Panthers scored a season total of 48 points, while giving up an average of 56 points per game.

"One (win) isn't good enough for me," said Prairie View running back Kevin Bell, who ran for a 57-yard touchdown. "I don't want people to think it's a fluke."

Prairie View proved it wasn't a fluke; they won two games that year.

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