The Ghost of Paul Brown
There is no bigger presence in Bengal history than that of founder Paul Brown. Brown founded the team after many years in Cleveland with the Browns. He was fired by Owner Art Modell in 1963 and began life in Cincinnati 5 years later, starting what would be a bitter rivalry in the state of Ohio. Brown was the owner, general manager, and head coach of the Bengals for many years, and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of football. As the founder of the team, his fingerprints are all over it, even today as the team currently plays home games in Paul Brown Stadium. His death in 1991 is a clear turning point for the franchise, as the team was passed to his son, Mike Brown, and has had just 3 winning seasons in the years since. Any future owners, coaches, or GMs will inevitably, and understandably compared to this near-mythical figure.