The National Football League (NFL) is one of the most popular leagues in all sports, with players and teams enjoying astronomical popularity around the world. These teams have such a large following that it is common for them to represent cities and states. Every major city in America typically has one NFL team out of the 32 currently participating in the league. However, some cities are blessed with more than one franchise. One of those cities is Ohio, a city that is our topic of conversation today.
So why does Ohio have two NFL teams and not just one franchise? What makes Ohio State a breeding ground for two of the league’s most popular teams? Are there other states that have more than one team?
First off, Ohio has two teams because Cleveland had one of the most dominant teams in the NFL in the ’40s, ’50s, and early ’60s, thanks largely to coach and general manager Paul Brown. Unfortunately, after buying the team, Art Modell had disagreements with Paul because Modell wanted to be consulted on football matters, which Brown refused.
After the layoff, Paul Brown moved to the other end of Ohio state and formed the Cincinnati Bengals which, as you will see, shares the same colors as the Cleveland Browns. While the Bengals had some good and great years when Brown stopped training, they also had some very bad years, particularly after the death of Paul Brown.
The Battle of Ohio
As you may have learned by now, Ohio has two fairly successful franchises, the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, and they have had a rivalry for ages. This rivalry is commonly referred to as the Battle of Ohio. It is one of the most storied and evenly matched rivalries in North American sports, with both teams competing in the AFC North Division and neither having a clear upper hand.
The teams first met on October 11, 1970, with the Cleveland Browns prevailing 30-27. They met 98 times, with the Cincinnati Bengals slightly the upper hand with 51 wins versus the Cleveland Browns’ 47 wins.
The rivalry arises from two main factors: the geographic proximity of the franchises, as both teams are Ohio state residents. The other factor is that they were founded by the late great Paul Brown, who founded the Bengals in 1968 after the legendary innovator founded them in 1946.
The Battle of Ohio used to be a big deal in the stacked AFC East, but both teams have been rebuilding for a long time. The Cleveland Browns are now a shell of their former selves, with internal conflict rearing their ugly heads, while the Cincinnati Bengals appear to have found what works for them. The next battle in Ohio is scheduled for December 11, 2022, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Which states other than Ohio have more than one NFL team?
California, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas also have more than one NFL team. California and Florida are the best-represented states, with both states fielding a staggering three NFL teams each in the 2022 season.