I have lived in Cincinnati 14 years this month. Prior to 2008 I grew up in Northern Indiana which means I’m a Cubs fan and a Bears fan. (Side Note: I’m a Miami Dolphins fan first but that’s a tale for another day). As a non-Bengals fan living in Cincinnati I am excited for the city and the fans. As a Cubs fan, I think back to the 2016 World Series. I know the feeling. It doesn’t matter if its 108 years or 33 years, the joy and euphoria is still the same.
I’ll admit that it’s hard not to get caught up in the energy. There is a small part of me that feels like I should run out and buy a Bengals shirt or a hat. It’s infectious, but I can’t claim to be a “closet Bengals fan” when I have friends/co-workers that have lived here their whole life. They have endured the rough years and disappointing seasons. As a Cubs fan, I can definitely relate to that as well.
To Root or Not To Root
I’m happy for Cincinnati and I’m excited for the fans. My wife was living in Chicago when the Bears won in 1985. The feeling you get just walking down the street is so electric that we want our kid to feel that too. So, despite having grown up a Bears fan, we will root for the Bengals.
Granted there is a small conundrum. My dad has been a Rams fan for as long as I’ve been alive. We can’t neglect the feeling of not only eliminating the 49ers but the rare opportunity of having actual home field advantage in the Super Bowl. I guess, for me personally, it’s a wash who wins. I’ll be happy for Cincinnati or I’ll be happy for my dad. Either way I win.
I’m also glad that I actually care who the Super Bowl contenders are this year. It will be nice that it’s not Brady or Mahomes or Rogers. Although I don’t think anyone predicted it would be the Bengals and the Rams!!