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andybren

An Open Letter to New Bengal Fans

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Upon hearing about the Detroit sportsradio talk show that has decided to "adopt" the Bengals as their new team, and considering the increase in national coverage our boys are getting, it occurs to me that there will probably be an increase in the number of people calling themselves Bengal fans these days.

To you, I say welcome!

It may be easy to say that the new fans of a newly-successful team are "jumping on the bandwagon," but think about it, didn't we all jump on the bandwagon at one point or another? I track my own fandom back to the Bengals first Super Bowl in 1982. The key is that I stayed on the wagon. Even through the Decade(-plus) of Misery.

So in the interest of turning "bandwagon fans" into just "fans", I suggest that we, the previously-established Bengal fans, educate the newcomers so that they may have a true understanding, and ultimately, a deep-seated love for our men in stripes.

Some things you need to know:

:bengal: Our team was founded by one of the primary architects of modern football, Paul Brown. Our traditions may not run as deep as teams like the Packers or Bears, but our credentials are strong. Among other things, Paul Brown is known for developing film study and playbooks, for hiring the first fulltime staff, and for saying that when you score a touchdown, you should act like you've been there before. If your only image of the Bengals is Chad Johnson's touchdown celebrations, you should find this ironic.

:bengal: Our recent success is largely attributed to the arrival of head coach Marvin Lewis. Not only is Marvin's knowledge of the game undisputed, but he has demonstrated enormous skill in leading men. He changed the attitude of the team as a whole and largely re-built the roster through successful drafts, relatively few free agent aquisitions, and by retaining key veterans. The team is fast, smart, and they work hard. Among the notable personnel decisions: allowing Pro Bowlers Takeo Spikes and Corey Dillon to leave and re-signing Rudi Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh. Those of us who bought into the Marvin Lewis Revolution early on were said to be "drinking the Kool-Aid". (By the way, we were right.) See also, "Black Jesus".

:bengal: Our team has worn tiger stripes since the 1981-1982 season. We love the stripes. The rest of the world hates the stripes. We love that the rest of the world hates the stripes.

:bengal: Our team cheer is "Who Dey!". As in "Who Dey Think Are Gonna Beat Dem Bengals!". In the recent past it hasn't made much sense. It doesn't make much sense now, but now it's a lot more fun to say.

:bengal: Our primary rivals are the Browns, the Steelers, and the Ravens (the former Browns). Different Bengal fans may hate these teams to different degrees, but essentially we all agree that we love to beat these teams the most and we love to see them lose to other teams, too.

I trust my fellow die hards can add some pertinent knowledge...

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good tread, but i welcome all lions fans as TEMP bengals fans.

detroit has a long a proud history. and i do FEEL their hurt.

i want detroit to get there team back. so we can have good smack talk.

it was not so long ago, we were in the lions predicament (sp?)

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Yes we all did jump on at one time or another. I jumped on in 1993, at the worst possible time.....Why you ask?...... well at the time I was 6 yrs old and I didnt know any better but all I knew was that I liked the uniforms. Since that day, my love for this team grew.

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I first never cared much for football but then outta nowhere, I had a sudden surge of love for the sport (thats what I get from playing madden so much) and I decided that I needed to be a fan of a team. I wanted to choose a team that hasn't won much and is notorious for losing so when they win, I can celebrate like they won a championship. I became a die-hard bengals fan at the start of the Akili Smith years.

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Another interesting point is that Bengals fans averaged about 50,000 fans a game during the Decade of Misery. Maybe that should be a lesson for all Lions fans.

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i have been bengals fan since 1985 when i was 7 years old, why Bengals, becz my favorite color is orange, and my favorite animal is tiger.

my best memory is super temco bowl game for nintendo, where i play as bengals, and nobody can ever tackle james brooks, so i got td every time i rush, lol

and this year is best year for me, as my brother is a miami dolphins fan, so now he understand what i been thur all my life, about time miami dolphins sucks.

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born and raised a bengals fan and my first memories as a fan were the 88 season, ha good year to remember wow cant belive that i was 2 then...

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I'm relatively new to the football fan world. I never really gave a crap about it until 2002, when the Buckeyes were going on their run. That grabbed my interest, so I hopped on the Bengals train too in the thick of a 2-14 season. Nobody can call me a bandwagoner! ;)

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I've been a Bengals fan all my life. I was born into it for better or worse. When I was a kid, my dad would take me to Wilmington. He was a ball boy for the Lions in the late 50s and knows Dick LeBeau from his days as a Lion DB. I remember meeting Kenny Anderson, Bill Bergey, Chip Meyers, Lemar Parrish, Jim LeClair, Bob Johnson, Tommy Casanova, Lyle Blackwood...s**t, even Bruce Coslet played for the team back then. Those are just the guys I remember from the early years. As time progressed, I met Collinsworth, Jack Thompson, Pat McInally and many others. I don't remember meeting Montoya, Munoz, Pete Johnson and some of the guys revered through the years...but I was there every year and am certain I did meet them at some point. At the time it didn't occur to me that dad was a cool guy but how lucky was I to meet these guys at such a young age?

My 6 y.o. son is off on the same foot. No matter how hard I try and consistently repeat that we are Bengals fans, he has glomemed onto the Cardinals as his team. Like my dad did for me, I took him to Cardinals training camp. He got to meet a lot of players, got his ball signed and proudly displays it in his room. I think a life-long love affair has developed. Who am I to get in the way of a man and his team?

I don't really buy into the band wagon thing...whatever...you want to root for us, go ahead...how's that going to hurt me? I say Welcome Lions' fans...but don't forget that you have a franchise with a long and proud history.

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Another interesting point is that Bengals fans averaged about 50,000 fans a game during the Decade of Misery. Maybe that should be a lesson for all Lions fans.

What is the lesson, persistence? The Lions sell out Ford Field every game, and when they were at the SilverDome they averaged 60-70k in some really bad years (the place holds 80k). Lion fans are really die hards. That is why this is such a huge thing. Rarely do they revolt in this manner.

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