For the first of my classic articles, I wanted to run one that got the most feedback of anything ever written on SDB. Originally, I just wanted to take a look at what it might be like if the Bengals used their current logo package and made a change to their helmets. I did not intend this to be a criticism of the helmet they wear today, just an exercise in fantasy. Just like Stan Lee wasn't suggesting the Fantastic Four "should" have different superpowers, only that it would be interesting to see what it would be like if they did. The article brought out many emotions from Bengals fans, so here is a look back at my post from July titled:"What If?" Cincinnati Bengals"
The Cincinnati Bengals have had one of the most unique helmets in the history of the NFL. The overall tiger stripe design was a revolutionary look when it was introduced and is still one of the most innovative around. However, the striped helmet has now been around for nearly 30 years! What if, the Cincinnati Bengals were to change the look of these helmets? What directions could the team go to give them a fresh new look to replace the 30 year old striped dome? First, it is very unlikely to ever see this happening, because the current helmet is embossed into the seatbacks at Paul Brown Stadium, but it would be fun to take a look at possible options to give the Bengals a new look.
First, it would be interesting to see what the team would look like with a primarily black helmet. One option that would be easy to implement would be to create a new version of the current one, but change the base color to black and only have the hint of black striping over the top. This would give the helmet a meaner look, but would keep the striped design in place, thus eliminating the need to replace seats at Paul Brown Stadium.
Another way to go would be to make the Bengals' helmets look more like those of traditional NFL teams. This could be achieved by placing the team's "B" logo on the side of a solid black helmet. The "B" would make a nice helmet logo and give the team a completely new look, with some tiger stripes thrown in for good measure. Of course, this look would also work with an orange background as well.
Since the team is known for their helmet design being outside the mainstream, what if you were to take the team's jumping tiger mascot and put it on each side of the helmet in a unique position. Placing the tiger on this way and this large would give the team another out of the ordinary look like no other team.
As I have written before about the Bengals, I am a huge fan of their old school simple look from the 1960's and 70's. What if you could bring back some of that old school flair with a modern twist? Start with the helmet. By taking the team's more modern logo font and giving it a bit of an arch, you create a modern retro version of the old style Bengals helmet. This design utilizes the team's current font, but brings back all of the greatness of the team's original helmet.
To go along with the helmets, you could give the team's jerseys a bit of a back to the future feel as well. How about you simplify the jersey down to the way they were back in the 1970's, but update the sleeve stripes in a way that pays tribute to the way they were in the past. You could give the stripes some modern flair that also incorporates some of the more recent striped look of today? Put the two together and you have a modern looking return to the past for the Cincinnati Bengals.