This season will mark the Bengals' 50th season in Cincinnati. Since we were formed in 1968, we have enjoyed great support – first at Nippert Stadium, then at Riverfront Stadium, and now at Paul Brown Stadium. Throughout all those years, there has been one constant: you, our fans. We appreciate your support, and I say "thank you" on behalf of the entire organization. We look forward to celebrating our team's history with you this season.
Memories of our first 49 years are too many to mention, but through all the good times and bad, our fans have been right there with us. Our fans got us started on the right foot with a successful expansion franchise. We made the playoffs in our third season, an NFL record at the time. You cheered us on to our first Super Bowl in 1981 – after enduring a memorable Freezer Bowl along the way – and then supported us to a second Super Bowl that ended 34 seconds too late. You have shown us the way to six playoff appearances in the past eight years, including three AFC North Division crowns. You have been there for hundreds of other games. Some good, some agonizing, some too cold to recall, but we have always felt your presence and appreciated your support.
While we have had many good steps along the way, this 50th season reminds me that we have more steps that we want to take. My passion is to bring Cincinnati a much-deserved NFL championship and you have my pledge that our organization is hard at work with this goal in mind. I care deeply about this town. I raised my kids here, and I have an abiding appreciation for the support you have lent us through the years.
I don't know what our 50th season will hold for us. We have a good team, yet the NFL is a tough league. Will this be our season? I hope so. If I had my choice, our 50th season would give you a lifetime of memories, much as you have given me a lifetime of memories. I am thankful to you, and though the simple words "thank you" seem inadequate, for me they really say it all.