RUSKIN, Fla. — One of the Cincinnati Bengals' most loyal fans is in town for the team's Thursday night game despite Hurricane Ian throwing a wrench in plans.
Shawn "Who Dey Baby" Moore lives with his wife along Florida's gulf coast and flies to Cincinnati for every Bengals' home game. Only rare family emergencies stop him.
After seeing the Bengals win their first game of the season Sunday and monitoring early storm forecasts, Moore's plan was all but set for Thursday's game. The Bengals will host the Miami Dolphins in a primetime game that will air on WCPO 9.
All 66 counties in the state of Florida are under a state of emergency. Early Monday morning, Ian moved from tropical storm status to hurricane status.
"It's a little trepidation to leave out and say (to my wife) hey, I'm going to the Bengals game," Moore said.
Moore is a registrar for a charter school 30 minutes south of Tampa. So getting to mid-week games is not easy. The next one feels special, he said. The Bengals will wear white helmets for the first time. The team will also induct new members into the franchise's Ring of Honor. Then there's the game. The visiting Dolphins are undefeated.
"Hopefully there's more Florida Bengals fans coming up," Moore said. "We need the home field. We need to make it happen."
The former NFL "Fan of the Year" was supposed to be flying from Tampa on Wednesday — until his flight got canceled. That's why on Tuesday, he decided to pack up his car and drive to the Queen City.
Another Cincinnati native had a different plan.
"I think I planned this trip back in June so it's just luck not that I'm an excellent planner or anything," said Brian Wells, who is now living in Riverview, Florida. "We're going to the Bengals game, and my daughter and a bunch of my family is all going down tailgating at Longworth, we already planned this well ahead of time you know it's just dumb luck."
Wells seemed to downplay his strategy getting from the Tampa area to Cincinnati. He may call it "dumb luck," or perhaps timing just happens to work out in his case. He told us it's a win-win situation after his friend decided to do him a favor and watch over his house and three dogs while he's away.
"The person that is house sitting for me, Teresa, she is in the 'evacuation A zone' so I have a really big house which is built out of stone so it's really solid so she's in a much safer place," said Wells.
Two different game plans, but they all have the same goal in mind which is avoid Hurricane Ian and get to Paycor Stadium on time.