Bengals legend Sam Wyche passes away
By Larry Spicer
Legendary Bengals coach Sam Wyche has died. He was more than just a coach in Cincinnati. He is a cultural icon the city will never forget.
It is a sad day not only for the Bengals as an organization, but for the city of Cincinnati and football as a whole. Former head coach Sam Wyche has passed away. He was just a few days shy of his 75th birthday. Wyche coached the Bengals from 1984 to 1991 with a record of 61-66. His tenure was highlighted by a trip to the Super Bowl following the 1988 season.
Wyche made a major impact on NFL offense as we know it. He was an early innovator and pioneer of the no huddle offense. His offense was one of the best in the league during his time in Cincinnati. His legacy goes well beyond wins and losses.
He is a cultural icon in Cincinnati. Of course, just about everyone remembers or knows about the infamous “You don’t live in Cleveland” speech shown below via the 1530Homer YouTube channel. I can still remember sitting in front of my TV watching that game. I can also remember jumping up and cheering like the Bengals had just scored a touchdown after that speech. Many fans no doubt have similar memories.
Wyche brought a certain swagger to the Bengals. He made it cool to be a Bengals fan. He made the Bengals cool. He led the team through what could be argued as the greatest era in franchise history.
Local legends like Boomer Esiason, Icky Woods, Eddie Brown, and many others were made in the Queen City during this era, thanks in no small part to Wyche. The effects were quickly felt after his departure as well. The Bengals went on a historic run of losing seasons after Wyche left the organization.
He may not have the most wins in Bengals’ history. His run simply wasn’t long enough. Still, almost no one had a bigger impact on the Bengals than Sam Wyche. The football world is a little darker today. Coach Wyche will be missed everywhere, but especially in Cincinnati. He leaves behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.