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Bengals play prank on Browns

CINCINNATI -- With a "nod to players of the past while looking forward to things to come," the Cincinnati Bengals announced major news Wednesday regarding their logo.

It wasn't really "major," per se. But in the spirit of April Fools' Day, the announcement had the Buckeye State buzzing and may have added a little lighthearted fuel to the Bengals' rivalry with the Cleveland Browns.

As part of a prank to commemorate the holiday and to troll their in-state rival, the Bengals tweeted they would have a "fresh new look for the 2015 season." The tweet contained a link that sent readers to their website. Once on the team site, readers were taken to a page that featured three pictures.

The first had two versions of the team's striped "B" logo side-by-side with the years 2014 and 2015 underneath them. The 2015 version of the "B" logo had an orange in it that was a slightly lighter shade of what existed in the 2014 logo. The second picture featured the same cosmetic tweak to the orange in the Bengals' striped helmet logo. The third picture also had a similar change in color between the words "Cincinnati Bengals 2014" and "April Fools 2015."

In a release that accompanied the pictures on the site, the Bengals said the 2015 changes were "extremely subtle, but the impact will be huge."

The Bengals weren't the only organization to have some fun on April 1. The world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra even jumped on the pile by tweeting earlier in the day that it had a new logo:

The entire prank was an indirect reference to the Browns' uniform announcement back in February. When news of potential changes leaked a week before the big unveil, expectations around the NFL were high that the Browns would go in a radical direction from their old, traditional logo and uniform. Once the changes -- small ones to the brightness of the orange in the logo and helmet, and a change to the "Dawg Pound" logo -- were made public, the Browns were met with criticism about how hyped the alterations were.

The Browns spent two years working on a revamping project.

Other parts of the project won't be made public until an April 14 unveiling at the Cleveland Convention Center. Some believe the Browns' 2015 uniforms may feature an additional color, like a metallic gray.

Cleveland's other primary color, brown, remains unchanged. But the team maintains the newer orange is "brighter and richer and matches the passion of our fans and city."

Playing off that statement, the Bengals' prank used the words "bright" and "vivid" to describe how their supposedly new orange "pops against the contrasting black of the classic Bengals stripes."

The teams have a long-standing history. The Bengals were founded in 1968 by former Browns head coach and namesake, Paul Brown. His son, Mike Brown, is the Bengals' current team president.

Cincinnati and Cleveland split last year's meetings with the visiting team winning each game. Cincinnati's 30-0 Week 15 win at Cleveland came the same week Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel made his first career start. The Bengals lead the all-time series 44-39.

They also aren't changing their uniform and logo this year.

ESPN.com Browns reporter Pat McManamon contributed to this report.

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Bengals tweak Browns with April Fools' joke
Bengals tweak Browns with April Fools' joke
ESPN Bengals reporter Coley Harvey discusses an online prank in which Cincinnati poked fun at the Browns' new logo reveal, which turned out not to be drastically different from its prior logo.

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