CINCINNATI — It's here. It's today. It's Game Dey.
The Cincinnati Bengals are in a Super Bowl. Still doesn't feel real to say that. Probably won't feel real until kickoff tonight.
It's the first time in 33 years. A whole generation has never known this feeling.
They've never won it all. That could change today.
It's funny to look back at how this season started: All the 'experts' picked us to finish last in the division - we wouldn't even get a sniff of the playoffs, they said. With Joe coming back from injury, a young core and an unknown defense: No way, they said.
Look at us now.
Look at what the Bengals achieved.
From "Why not us" to "It is us". To cigars and acting like we've been there before. To last minute field goals and game winning interceptions.
We're here now. And through all the pain of the past few decades, to be here when we weren't supposed to be: It makes it all the sweeter.
One last opportunity to leave it all out there and say "Remember When..."#SuperBowl - 6:30 PM ET on NBC pic.twitter.com/6FyxjZGS5l— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) February 13, 2022
This town has been moved in a way we haven't seen in a long time. The Reds had a moment recently - even made some good runs in 2010 and 2012. FC Cincinnati got us going recently, too. But not like this.
The town is painted orange and black. The skyline shoots out light for all to see. It seems like every school within 50 miles had a Joe Burrow dress up day and is either off or late on Monday to mark just what a big deal this is, win or lose.
And so what will it be? Win? Or Lose? They've doubted us all year, all decade, even this whole millennium. Sure, we've earned some of the doubt over the years, but we never lost faith.
One thing this town has proven in this unlikely run is that we've got passion. Dedication. Pride. Win or loss - Maybe we've joked about rooting for the Jacksonville Jaguars instead, but deep down, we all bleed orange and black. Even when we said we wouldn't watch on Sundays, or we'd stay on the roof until the team won, or we'd sell our fan allegiance to Pittsburgh - we still checked the box score, still watched the press conferences, still said "Who Dey", even if quietly.
Even in the darkest of moments - we lamented Marvin Lewis, berated Mike Brown and disowned the players who were selfish. But we did it because. We. Care.
That's what makes this town so special. Like a family, we get in fights, we disagree and we grow apart, but when the time comes, when Sunday comes; we get back together again and unite for one goal: To Rule It All.
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