Why I Became a Bengals Fan

When I was young, I was a Brown's fan, which made sense, since I grew up thirty miles south of the city. I was at the 1964 NFL Championship game and watched the Browns paste the Colts, 27-0.

After that, it was mostly heartbreak--familiar to any Bengals fan. A loss in the 1965 Championship game, missed plays in 1980, 1986 and 1987 which stopped us from making the Superbowl.

Then in 1996 the team was stolen away. By then I had moved to Cincinnati; but it wasn't until my children started asking to go to Bengals games that I finally switched allegiance. Usually, we had six tickets for a couple of games, and I'd be cheering for the Browns, and everyone else for the boys in stripes.

Slowly but surely, I started changing. In 2005, we bought our first pair of season tickets and took turns going. Not a bad year to start. Then the play in the playoff with Pittsburgh. Down goes Carson Palmer. It was like watching "The Drive" or "The Fumble," or "Red Right 88." I knew the pain of close losses. It felt like I had simply transferred the curse. I let two of my kids use the tickets for that game; and my son said a woman sitting next to him cried for the rest of the first half.

Now my daughters have moved away and my son, Seth, and I attend every game. I love the bond we have; and we sit in a section with die-hard Bengals fans, people who don't carp about any of our mistakes, but die a little with every tough defeat. Home playoff losses probably hurt the most, none more than our last second defeat against Pittsburgh, 16-15. I have never experienced such a change in my life--from the exhilaration of the Burfict interception, to the Hill fumble, to the debacle of Joey Porter on the field, and then we get two penalties, and we lose.

I love the Bengals now. I think Green and Burfict and Atkins are among the best in the league. I think Dalton is underrated and I like his leadership. I'm an optimist, too. I think we're going to the playoffs again this year and I think we're going to win more than one game. I think Eifert is going to be healthy. I think John Ross is going to torch a few defenses. I think William Jackson III is going to be a great addition, a "second first round pick" this year.

I've seen a lot of sad finishes; but I keep dreaming.

I hope Joe Mixon stays out of trouble after making a terrible mistake. I'm an optimist and believe in redemption and think he can. I like Adam Jones, hot head and all. I think the Bengals have a lot of class individual on their squad; and like any Bengals fan, I get sick of hearing all the negative stories about what's wrong with our team.

They're "my team" now and, since I hate front-runners, I won't be changing my stripes until I die.

Super Bowl? I say we get there soon and win one.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.