Bengals 1981 NFL Yearbook in Cincinnati Bengals Posted June 7, 2005 · Report reply Came across this quite by chance on ESPN Classic earlier tonite. Missed the first ten minutes but caught the last 20.I was 10 (turned 11 in December) in that magical year and seeing the Yearbook brought back a LOT of good memories.1. I miss Phil Samp. I grew up listening to his call on the games many times over the years. He was simply phenomenal.2. For young voters on the all-time polls in these parts, if you get a chance to ever watch this yearbook, please do. If you have any doubt as to why old fellaz talk about Pete Johnson like they do, this will help you understand. (Same deal for Max Montoya...seeing him lead on a couple of plays where he pulled from his G slot was a fond trip down memory lane).3. Cris Collinsworth was far faster than I remembered him late in his career. Seeing some of his early highlights again was an eye-opener. Weird how time dulls memory.4. Dan Ross was a spectacular TE.5. I got kind of teary watching the shots of the crowd, particularly in the Freezer Bowl AFC Championship game. Talk about seeing a fanbase spring to life and grow teeth...that's one of the reasons I am so excited I think the merry-go-round of success is coming back again. Cincinnnati Bengals fans have been among the more loyal and ferociously zealous for their team in the league. That is something that only Bengals fans really know, but I promise you that most organizations could not have sustained the level of losing the Bengals did and still pull the attendance numbers the Bengals were pulling even in 2002. With the re-birth of a franchise achieving dominance starting this year (just watch), part of the joy for me watching from Memphis will be watching the Jungle finish it's re-birth and the team come into one of the more daunting home field advantages in football again. For you young'uns, there were a lot of years when opposing teams wanted no part of Riverfront...damn that place got loud.Good times. You might scan ESPN Classic tonite in the overnite and see if that Yearbook will repeat...if so, Tivo that bad boy.Peace. I caught a little bit of it as well. I was 5 that year and I vaugely remember the Super Bowl. What the 81 highlight did for me though was remind of the mid-late 80's in Riverfront...man, that place got insane loud. And Phil Samp, that voice will always remind me of the good times in the 80's. The Bengals were never much of a road team, but damn, could they play at home.You made some good points about the loyalty of the fan base here in Cincinnati. Most cities will never go through a test of 12 extreme years of losing, and we'll never know just how some of those fans in other cities would react to 12 years of nothing but despair.Of course the consensus crack on the Bengals now is that ALL the fans are bandwagoners....we all came out of nowhere after 12 years of not following our team. The Browns fans are the worst about accusing the Cincy fans of being bandwagoners. Ehhh, I really don't care too much about it...I chose to stay away from the games from about 1998 to 2003 because it was just to painful too watch...as bad as they were I still got way to into the games and it just ruined my Sundays. I gave up not on the Bengals, but on Mike Brown. I think that is the difference that many other fans do not understand. I did not stop supporting the Bengals, I stopped giving my money to Mike Brown.Things are definitely looking up and I think that even Marvin is going to be surprised on the spirit and attitude of the city come the 2005 football season...this town embraces a winner like none other.