Forty Years Of Fan Connections Form The Vines Of Bengals’ Jungle

KENNY ANDERSON: “I think the new uniforms (had a lot to do with it.) The instigation of Nancy Brown getting all the banners up along the field. I think everybody kind of got into the excitement of it. It kind of built as the season went. We had five games in November all against play-off contenders and not one of them was a close game. All of a sudden, we are for real.”


Katie Blackburn, the daughter of Nancy Brown, remembers her mother probably doled out the finances for the bedsheets and the paint so Katie and her friend Maggie Schiff could get them ready for game day. Most days they were in Maggie’s basement, but they were at the Brown house enough in Indian Hill that Nancy can still see some flecks of orange paint on their basement floor.

’81 lives on in so many ways.

The girls would tenderly roll up the banners in this huge, suddenly quite heavy bag and somehow get them in and out of her father’s car for the Sunday morning trip to Riverfront Stadium. After Mike Brown, then the Bengals assistant general manager, drove her to Riverfront, Katie and Maggie would string them together on the blue seats at the field level.

“I was just a 16-year-old enthusiastic fan that was sucked into doing fun things on game day,” says Blackburn, the executive vice president who now runs…

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