CINCINNATI — When it comes to cheering on the Bengals, it doesn’t get more “all in” than this family of fans from New York.
Maybe you saw the “Rocky” spoof of a giant raven boxing a six-year-old Bengals fan in a ribbed muscle suit. The cinematic social media post for the Bengals-Ravens game was the work of the Arnitz family.
A.J. and Johanna Arnitz and their kids Gianna, Josephine and Toni create pre-game and post-game videos for their favorite team every single week — showing everything from boxing matches with a raven to transforming their dog into the perfect Bengals mascot. It’s the kind of fun you’d expect to go with this incredibly fun season.
“It’s usually a conversation at breakfast," Johanna said. "They brainstorm, and then his wheels get turning, and I’m just sitting there thinking, ‘Oh my gosh. What is my house gonna turn into this week?’”
With the help of props they order on Amazon, a green screen, the magic of editing and a whole lot of enthusiasm, the Arnitz family is able to connect with Who Dey Nation from their corner of New York. Yep, the Arnitz home is in Bills country, but that doesn’t stop them from making mini-movies honoring their favorite team.
Their love of the Bengals actually started with A.J.’s father.
“It was my dad’s favorite team when I grew up. I was born into it,” A.J. said. “He liked the way they played. He told me that he called them a renegade team in the ‘80s — you know they started the West Coast offense. He was a loyal fan, I became a fanatic loyal fan.”
Then A.J. met Johanna who bought into and fanned the flames of his orange and black obsession by taking him to his first game at Paul Brown Stadium in 2005.
Family pictures show just how much they love the team. And to make sure their kids buy in heart and soul, the family travels now.
“We took the kids the first time — their first game was the season home-opener,” A.J. said.
“It was awesome," his kids yelled in unison.
So look for the Arnitz clan to produce more Bengals bits — all in the name of superfandom.