The biggest event of the year in all of sports happens this Sunday and sports fans all across the country are as excited as ever. Well, almost all of them.
Yes, I'm talking about the Super Bowl, and for those of us who have been following the Cincinnati Bengals all year, it’s been a rough week. Whether you’re a native of Cincinnati or from Athens and would follow Joe Burrow through anything to bringing prominence to this small town in the middle of Ohio, we’ve all had reason to reject the idea that the NFL season is still going on.
Yes, I’ll admit it, when that Harrison Butker field goal went through the uprights last Sunday and the Kansas City Chiefs were pronounced AFC champions, I was one of many who wanted to denounce that I was ever even a football fan and act as though such a loss wasn’t about to ruin my whole week. But let’s face it, the Bengals lost and the storybook return to the Super Bowl that we had all been waiting for will not become a reality this season.
Like many Cincinnati fans, one of my first thoughts last week while watching the Chief's trophy presentation was that nothing could make me want to watch the Super Bowl when the time came. However, there’s no need for one crushing defeat to hinder the coming togetherness that is brought with the Super Bowl each year.
Here are my top reasons why you should still be excited to watch the big game this weekend as a Cincinnati Bengals fan.
Jason and Travis Kelce
Look Cincinnati, I get it if we all want to hop on the Travis Kelce hate train after his emphatic AFC Championship game celebration full of disses to the Cincinnati mayor and our beloved QB1. But can we really blame him? We were just a few plays away from coming out victorious and as a fan base we would have been enthralled to see Burrow out there on the podium proclaiming historic “Arrowhead Stadium” as “Burrowhead.”
Both of the Kelce brothers have done nothing but show their Cincinnati pride throughout their whole careers with ties to the University of Cincinnati Bearcats. Travis Kelce even made an appearance at last year's college football playoff game between Cincinnati and Alabama, fully decked out in his Bearcats attire.
Plus, you have to admit it's pretty cool that for the first time in history two brothers will face each other head-to-head in the Super Bowl.
Yes, it sucks to see the Chiefs take our place on the biggest stage in sports, but it’s hard not to root for Travis Kelce when he's not taking on the Bengals.
To see the Chiefs lose
I mean this one seems pretty obvious, right?
A great rivalry has been born between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Bengals after back-to-back AFC Championship games against one another and constant trash talk between both fan bases. Even the mayor of each city chimed in on the trash talk for their most recent game.
Whether or not you like the Philadelphia Eagles, it would be a kind of closure to watch the Chiefs walk off the field in defeat much like we had to see the Bengals do last week.
Former Bengals and Ohio Natives playing in the game
Along with the University of Cincinnati connections in this game, there are also several former Bengals to root for as well.
Mainly, former Bengals defensive lineman Carlos Dunlap will take the field for the Chiefs. Dunlap played with the Bengals from 2010 until 2020. In 2018 Dunlap was named the Bengals Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee as a result of the startup of his own charity where he helped set up opportunities for underprivileged youth coming out of high school in Cincinnati as well as in his hometown in North Carolina.
Dunlap also had a campaign in Cincinnati with Bengals running back Joe Mixon to prevent bullying in schools.
Along with Dunlap, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy was the Bengals running back from 1995 to 1998 before he became one of the best coordinators in football.
Chiefs offensive lineman Joe Thuney never played for the Bengals, but he did grow up in Centerville Ohio, just one hour north of downtown Cincinnati.
It’s still the Super Bowl!
As sports fans, we watch to be entertained and it is undeniable that the matchup between the Eagles and Chiefs is a classic waiting to happen. All season long these two teams have showcased some of the best offenses in the NFL and we are bound to see some high intensity action on Sunday night.
Not only are these two teams representative of the best players in the NFL, but history will be made on Sunday night between quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Jalen Hurts of the Eagles. It will be the first time in NFL history that two Black quarterbacks will meet head-to-head in the Super Bowl.
Plus, think of the 52 seasons in Bengals history where we weren't in the Super Bowl. You still watched then, and you might as well still watch now. The Super Bowl is an annual event to bring people together and spend time with family and friends while rallying behind a common sports team. Don’t let the Bengals coming up just short take that away from you.
Also, did I forget to mention you can still just watch the commercials?
Robert is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views expressed in this column do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Robert? Tweet him @robertkeegan_