In 2004, the Bengals made their first major uniform change in over two decades. The franchise's new digs were part of a successful era in Cincinnati that included three division titles and seven playoff appearances from 2005-15. Cincinnati is surely hoping that their new uniforms -- which were unveiled on Monday -- will usher in a similar run of success.
And from the looks of it, they're off to a good start.
They're even borrowing a famous line from Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders.
Founded in 1968, the Bengals' first uniforms were similar to Cincinnati founder Paul Brown's first team: the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals made a drastic uniform change in 1981, with the addition of stripes being the biggest addition. Cincinnati clearly liked their new uniforms, as the franchise advanced to its first-ever Super Bowl that season. And while their original jerseys were relatively bland, the Bengals' striped helmets distinguished themselves from other team helmets.
"My father said he wanted a helmet that would take just one look to recognize us from the top seat in the stadium," said Bengals owner Mike Brown said. "I think our helmet has stood the test of time. It has established our identity, our trademark, if you will, and that's important to our fans."
The Bengals' jerseys had been largely unchanged until 2004, when Cincinnati altered its stripes and number styling. They also added more uniform options that included the team's all-black, white-out and "Halloween" uniforms.
New uniforms is not the only thing the Bengals are unveiling this offseason. The team recently announced the creation of a Ring of Honor whose initial class will include Paul Brown and Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Munoz. Season ticket holders will vote on the two other members of the team's inaugural Ring of Honor Class.
While they plan to begin paying homage to their past, the Bengals are also optimistic in their future. Before getting injured, quarterback Joe Burrow was among the front-runners to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. The Bengals are expected to get Burrow either a lineman or a receiver with the No. 5 overall pick in the draft. The top-two candidates are former Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell and former LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase, who enjoyed a successful partnership with Burrow during their time with the Tigers. Chase recently said that he has spoken with Burrow about the chance at joining forces at the next level.
"I wouldn't mind going back with Joe," Chase said, via Sports Illustrated. "If we go back together we'll try to get back our chemistry and have some more fun."