Sport Rulebook

Ohio’s Professional Sports Franchises: From Browns to Blue Jackets

Ohio is home to several professional sports teams that have left a significant mark on the national sporting scene. From American football to basketball to soccer, Ohio’s sports franchises have been key players in their respective leagues.

In this article, we will delve into the history and achievements of these teams, focusing on the

Cincinnati Bengals,

Cleveland Browns,

Columbus Blue Jackets, and

Columbus Crew.

Cincinnati Bengals

The

Cincinnati Bengals, founded in 1966, are a professional football team that plays in the National Football League (NFL). Before the NFL, the team began as a member of the American Football League (AFL).

In 1970, the AFL merged with the NFL, and the Bengals became part of the NFL’s American Football Conference (AFC). The Bengals have made two Super Bowl appearances, but have yet to win a championship.

In recent years, the Bengals have been in the news for their first-round draft pick, Joe Burrow. Burrow was a standout quarterback at Louisiana State University (LSU), leading the Tigers to a national championship in 2020.

The Bengals took Burrow as their top pick in the 2020 NFL draft, and he has shown strong potential as their starting quarterback.

Cleveland Browns

The

Cleveland Browns are another Ohio-based football team that plays in the NFL. The Browns began their journey as a member of the All-American Football Conference (AAFC) in 1946.

The AAFC dissolved in 1949, and the Browns were absorbed into the NFL.

The Browns won several NFL championships during the 1950s, including the NFL championship in 1964.

However, the team struggled in the following years, before returning to the playoffs in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Browns have yet to win a Super Bowl title, but have made the playoffs several times.

Columbus Blue Jackets

The

Columbus Blue Jackets are the only NHL team in Ohio. The team was founded in 2000 and played their first game in the 2000-2001 season.

The Blue Jackets have yet to win a Stanley Cup championship, but they have made the playoffs several times, most recently in the 2020 playoffs. One of the most memorable moments in Blue Jackets history came during the 2018-2019 playoffs, where they defeated the highly-favored Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round.

The Blue Jackets swept the Lightning, becoming the first team in NHL history to sweep a Presidents’ Trophy-winning team in the first round of the playoffs.

Columbus Crew

The

Columbus Crew are a Major League Soccer team that has been playing in the league since 1996. The Crew won their first MLS Cup in 2008 and their second in 2020.

In addition to their MLS Cups, the Crew have also won the Supporter’s Shield, the U.S. Open Cup, and the Campeones Cup. The Crew were recently in the news after a major rebranding effort that included changes to the team’s name, logo, and colors.

The team is now known as Columbus SC, with a new circular team logo featuring an “M” and “C” intertwined.

Final Thoughts

Ohio is home to several sports franchises that have left a lasting impact on their respective leagues. The

Cincinnati Bengals,

Cleveland Browns,

Columbus Blue Jackets, and

Columbus Crew have all had their share of successes and struggles, but they continue to be a source of pride for sports fans across the state. Whether you’re a diehard fan or a casual observer, there’s plenty to appreciate and enjoy about Ohio’s rich sporting history.

Cincinnati Reds

The

Cincinnati Reds are one of the oldest and most storied teams in Major League Baseball (MLB) history. The franchise began in 1869 as the Cincinnati Red Stockings, a semi-professional team that quickly gained popularity due to their success on the field.

In 1882, the team joined the American Association and won the league championship in their first season.

The Reds continued their success after joining the National League in 1890, but soon hit a rough patch.

The team struggled throughout the 1910s and 1920s, before turning things around in the 1930s. The Reds won their first National League pennant in 1939, but lost to the New York Yankees in the World Series.

The Reds won their first World Series championship in 1919, but it was marred by controversy due to allegations of the Chicago White Sox intentionally losing the series in a betting scandal. Despite this dark cloud, the Reds went on to win three more World Series titles in 1940, 1975, and 1976.

In 1990, the Reds added their fifth World Series championship, cementing their status as one of the premier franchises in the MLB. The 1990 team, known as the “Nasty Boys” due to their trio of dominant relievers, swept the Oakland Athletics in the World Series.

The Reds have also won numerous division titles and made several playoff appearances throughout their history.

Cleveland Browns

The

Cleveland Browns are a professional football team that currently plays in the National Football League (NFL). The Browns began their journey in 1946 as a member of the All-American Football Conference (AAFC).

The team quickly became a powerhouse, winning the AAFC championship in each of its four seasons.

After the AAFC dissolved, the Browns were absorbed into the NFL in 1950.

The team continued to dominate, winning three NFL championships in the 1950s. The Browns have yet to win a Super Bowl title, but they were a consistent and successful franchise throughout the Super Bowl Era.

The Browns’ history has been marked by several periods of success and struggles. The team experienced a long title drought after their last championship in 1964, going through a series of coaching changes and failed attempts to rebuild.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, the Browns returned to prominence, making several playoff appearances and coming close to a Super Bowl title in the 1986 season. However, the team struggled in the latter half of the 1990s and early 2000s, going through several ownership changes and coaching turnovers.

The Browns finally returned to the playoffs in 2020 after an 18-year drought, with a team led by notable players such as quarterback Baker Mayfield and defensive end Myles Garrett.

Final Thoughts

The

Cincinnati Reds and

Cleveland Browns are two of Ohio’s most beloved sports franchises, with long and storied histories dating back several decades. While both franchises have experienced periods of success and struggles, they have remained vital parts of their respective leagues and inspirations to their fans across the state.

Whether it’s the Reds’ World Series titles or the Browns’ championship drought, both franchises have fascinating stories for sports fans to dive into.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The

Cleveland Cavaliers are a professional basketball team that plays in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team was founded as an expansion franchise in 1970, and quickly developed a loyal following despite several early struggles.

The team’s fortunes changed in the 1980s, with the arrival of star player Mark Price and a new focus on defense.

Despite the team’s regular-season success in the 1980s and 1990s, the Cavaliers were unable to break through in the playoffs.

That all changed in 2003, when the team selected a young high school phenom named LeBron James with the first overall pick in the NBA draft. James quickly established himself as the face of the franchise, leading the team to several playoff appearances and a trip to the NBA Finals in 2007.

After a controversial departure from Cleveland in 2010, James returned to the Cavaliers in 2014 and led the team to its first-ever NBA championship in 2016. The championship was a historic moment for the city of Cleveland, ending the city’s 52-year championship drought across all sports.

Since then, the Cavaliers have struggled on the court, but remain a beloved part of the Cleveland sports landscape.

Cleveland Guardians

The

Cleveland Guardians are a professional baseball team that plays in Major League Baseball (MLB). The team was originally founded in 1894 and played in the Western League before joining the American League in 1901.

The team has gone through several name changes throughout its history, including the Cleveland Naps, in honor of star player Nap Lajoie. In 1915, the team adopted the name “Indians”, a name that has become a subject of controversy in recent years due to its origins in Native American stereotypes.

In July 2021, the team announced that it would be changing its name to the

Cleveland Guardians ahead of the 2022 season. The new name pays homage to the city’s iconic Guardians of Traffic statues, which have stood on the Hope Memorial Bridge since 1932.

The

Cleveland Guardians have a rich history, marked by several memorable moments including their first World Series title in 1920. The team, known as the Cleveland Indians at the time, defeated the Brooklyn Robins in a best-of-nine series, with pitcher Stan Coveleski leading the way for the Indians.

The team added its second World Series title in 1948, thanks to a dominant pitching performance by Bob Feller.

While the team has struggled in recent years, finishing last in the American League Central division in 2020, the future looks bright for the newly renamed

Cleveland Guardians.

The team’s young core of talent, including infielder Jos Ramrez and pitcher Shane Bieber, provide hope for a return to postseason success.

Final Thoughts

The

Cleveland Cavaliers and

Cleveland Guardians are two teams that have added to the rich sports history of Ohio. While the Cavaliers are known for their NBA championship run led by LeBron James, the Guardians are a team with a proud legacy and a new name that represents change and progress.

Both franchises represent the resilience and spirit of Cleveland, and will no doubt continue to inspire fans from all corners of the state.

Cleveland Rugby League

Cleveland Rugby League is a professional rugby league team that was scheduled to participate in the inaugural season of the North American Rugby League (NARL) in 2021. The team was founded in 2018 as part of the Midwest Rugby League Conference, with the goal of bringing rugby league to the United States and expanding the reach of the sport.

The North American Rugby League was set to be the first fully professional rugby league competition in North America, with teams from the United States and Canada. However,

Cleveland Rugby League announced its withdrawal from the competition in May 2021, citing financial constraints and issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The future of

Cleveland Rugby League is currently uncertain, with many questions about its future in the Midwest Rugby League Conference, the NARL, and the broader rugby league community in the United States. However, the team’s initial founding and participation in the Midwest Rugby League Conference demonstrate a strong desire to grow the sport of rugby league in the United States.

Columbus Blue Jackets

The

Columbus Blue Jackets are a professional ice hockey team that began playing in the National Hockey League (NHL) as an expansion team in 2000. The team was founded as part of the NHL’s efforts to expand into new markets and bring the sport of ice hockey to non-traditional hockey areas.

Despite a slow start to their NHL tenure, the Blue Jackets began to see success in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Led by head coach John Tortorella and a talented group of players including Cam Atkinson and Seth Jones, the team made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 2009.

However, the Blue Jackets struggled to make it past the first round of the playoffs until the 2018-2019 season, when they made a historic run to the second round. The Blue Jackets swept the heavily-favored Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round, becoming the first team in NHL history to sweep a Presidents’ Trophy-winning team in the first round of the playoffs.

The Blue Jackets went on to play in the second round of the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, eventually losing to the Boston Bruins in six games. While the team failed to repeat their success in the 2019-2020 season, they remain a promising young team with a strong core of players, including defenseman Zach Werenski and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.

Final Thoughts

Cleveland Rugby League and the

Columbus Blue Jackets are two professional sports franchises that have made a significant impact on Ohio’s sporting landscape. While

Cleveland Rugby League’s withdrawal highlights the challenges of establishing new sports leagues and teams in the United States, the founding and participation of

Cleveland Rugby League demonstrate the growing demand for rugby league and other non-traditional sports in the United States.

The

Columbus Blue Jackets, on the other hand, have established themselves as a successful expansion team and continue to make strides towards Stanley Cup success. With a bright young core and a supportive fanbase, the Blue Jackets are a team to watch in the coming years.

Columbus Crew

The

Columbus Crew are a professional soccer team that play in Major League Soccer (MLS). The team was founded in 1994 as one of the original ten MLS teams and have been a key part of the league’s growth and development.

The Crew have a rich history, marked by several trophy-winning seasons. In 2008, the team won its first MLS Cup championship, defeating the New York Red Bulls in the final.

The Crew have also won the regular season championship, known as the Supporter’s Shield, three times, and have won the U.S. Open Cup once. In 2019, the team won the Campeones Cup, a competition between the MLS Cup champions and the Liga MX (Mexico’s top soccer league) champions.

The Crew have had a loyal fanbase since their founding, with supporters organizing under the banner of the Nordecke. In recent years, the team has faced challenges related to ownership and funding, including a threatened move to Austin, Texas in 2017.

However, the announcement of new ownership in 2018 and investment in the team’s facilities and community outreach have revitalized the team and its supporters.

FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati is a professional soccer team that began playing in MLS in 2019 as an expansion team. The team’s quick rise to MLS was due in part to its strong performance in the United Soccer League (USL), where the team played from 2016 to 2018.

Despite a difficult first season in MLS,

FC Cincinnati made significant progress in 2020. The team’s 2020 season was a historic one, with the team setting several franchise records including most points in a season and largest margin of victory.

However, the team’s success was cut short due to COVID-19, with the season being interrupted and shortened. Looking ahead to the future,

FC Cincinnati is continuing to grow and evolve as a team.

The team has made several additions to its roster ahead of the 2021 MLS season, including veteran MLS midfielder Luciano Acosta and promising young forward Brenner. The team is also preparing to move into its new stadium, TQL Stadium, in May 2021.

The 2023 season is expected to be a significant one for

FC Cincinnati, with the

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