Last week, fans from the Reddit NFL online football discussion sub found the only remaining live internet post from the Cincinnati Bengals 1991 playoff win.
The post is from the Usenet newsgroup discussion archives, which were purchased by Google in 2002 and are still available online. Usenet existed as an early internet version of a message board. It consisted of a system of constantly changing computer servers. Users would communicate through posts and threads in groups based on subjects - much like the Reddit NFL sub which discovered the 31-year-old post.
User James Cameron wrote a post in the rec.sports.football group on Jan. 6, 1991 at 2:24 p.m., updating the early NFL playoff football games. His first message was about the Miami Dolphins vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, followed by a update on the Cincinnati Bengals vs. the Houston Oilers before halftime.
Cameron wrote: "PS. As of 1:30 left before half time in the Bengals Oilers AFC game, Bengals were DESTROYING the Run-N-Shoot offense of the Oilers. The score was 20-0 and the Bengals had gained 200 yard to the Oilers 7. 23 first downs to 0. 25 minutes to 3:00 in time of possession. I do not see the Oilers coming back, as they do not have any other offense to come to the rescue with 8 wide outs and no tight ends on the team."
The Bengals won the game 41-14 - their last playoff win until the team beat the Raiders on Saturday, Jan. 15 at Paul Brown Stadium.
Usenet was developed in 1979 and put in service in 1980. It continued to be a key source of early internet communication through the 1990s. Its use was a plot point in the first "Mission Impossible" movie, starring Tom Cruise and released in 1996. An article from Computerworld published online in February 2001 details the sale of Usenet to Google.
"The popular Google search engine handles 70 million searches daily," the article said.
Current estimates have Google averaging 5.6 billion searches a day in 2021.
The Oilers eventually moved to Tennessee and became the Titans, the team the Bengals play on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 4:30 p.m. in the AFC Division round.