Entering the 50th season of Cincinnati Bengals football, life-long fans of the team have been through significant heartbreak. There’s been some joy mixed in, but even the joy usually ends with heartbreak.
Such is life for fans of a football franchise that has never won a Super Bowl and hasn’t won a playoff game in more than 27 years. The Bengals have made it to the playoffs in six of the last eight seasons, but the one-and-done postseason exits have been brutal more often than not.
Still, Bengals fans remain true to the team and there are many reasons why: loveable players, memorable celebrations, highlight reel plays, the stripes, the helmets, family tradition, a love of all things Cincinnati. Every Bengals fan has their reason.
In honor of our website refresh, we asked for your stories of fandom and how you sum up being a Bengals fan. Kyle Phelps kicked things off with his awesome story. Here are some of your responses. We also encourage you to head over to the FanPosts to share your story in a more long-form manner. You’ll even be entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card to Fanatics.com if you do.
@Rebecca_Toback Used to play Madden 00 with my dad. He was a Packers fan and I kept beating him so I kept playing as one of worst teams on the game.— Jamie Wroe (@trequartbeasta) May 25, 2017
My grandads last words to me were Who Dey. Been a bengals fan following in his footsteps since birth. https://t.co/u2KWHEkaLi— Houston Crawford (@htown) May 26, 2017
@CincyJungle Picked out of a hat with 26 teams in 1986 at age 5. Every team other than TB and OAK. Could have been better(NE),could have been worse(CLE).— Jon (@jonscarlson) May 25, 2017
@CincyJungle As a 6 year old kid from California I liked their colors. This was pre stripe helmets. Been hooked for the last 50 years— Mark Wright (@Carolinacoug) May 25, 2017
@CincyJungle Grocery store in my area had machines w/ toy helmets to put stickers on. Bengals were the first one I got and fell in love with the stripes.— Travis Johnson (@TeeJay7989) May 25, 2017
A lifetime of paying for a decision I made when I was 7. https://t.co/8ysZv94jyu— Mo Egger (@MoEgger1530) May 26, 2017
@CincyJungle Born in Cincy. Grew up with the ickey shuffle. Fan through the dark ages. Joined the Navy. Got married. Stuck in Rhode island now! Who dey!— chris batte (@battey60) May 25, 2017
@CincyJungle Born & raised in 513. Fandom as follows: Riverfront, Dillon 300yrd game, sadness, Chad&Carson, more sadness.Forever hoping for a playoff win— Andy Biersack (@andyblack) May 25, 2017
@CincyJungle From Sydney Australia . Never miss a game up at 3am . Who dey from down under— chris delamotte (@chrisdelamotte) May 25, 2017
@CincyJungle Chad Johnsons celebrations. I was a kid then lol. Been loyal ever since— The Red Power Ranger (@ChillFrom94Til) May 25, 2017
@CincyJungle When I was a kid I thought the stripes on the helmets was so cool. It was different from any other team. Been a fan ever since— mo digity (@mmaodus954) May 25, 2017
@CincyJungle TNF '97 Tenn Oilers v Cin 14-41. #28 single gm. rookie rushing record 39att/246yd/4td. My dad let me go & skip my 3rd grade xmas musical.— Clint Boggs (@ClintBoggs) May 25, 2017
@CincyJungle Since 1981. Just win the damn Super Bowl. The end.— VegasBuckeye75 (@LasVegasBuckeye) May 25, 2017
@CincyJungle I'm brazilian, watched my first NFL game in 2012. It was Bengals lost to Texans in the Wild Card. Trusted myself that team was good. It is!— Will Pistola (@igor_vevo) May 25, 2017
@CincyJungle Kenny Anderson through the air, Pete Johnson on the ground, first regular highlights programme in the UK. Love at first sight.— Mitchell Burman (@booboo_The_Herd) May 25, 2017
@CincyJungle Became an NFL-fan in the mid-2000s. Needed a team, and wanted to root for an underdog. Bengals went 2-14 the previous season, so...— Dan F. (@avatar81) May 26, 2017
@CincyJungle When I was a kid playing NFL Blitz the Bengals had the best Helmets so naturally they became my favorite team.— Kyle Patterson⛳ (@kgpogi) May 25, 2017
@CincyJungle I had to choose between Bengals or Browns being from Central Ohio. I made the obvious choice— Patrick (@LB3PTMAN) May 25, 2017
Born in Cincy...been a fan of all Cincy sports since birth! Who Dey baby!! https://t.co/y2y5kGfY8B— Ray ⚾️ (@hylton_ray) May 26, 2017
@CincyJungle 2003 picked them to beat the 9-0 chiefs and won a pool bc of it. Pledged my allegiance and have suffered ever since.— zoocheck (@twittinpearlzz) May 25, 2017
What’s your story?