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Local Cincinnati Bengals fans sing “On the Road Again”

They left the Springfield area at 6 am Sunday morning and went straight to the stadium. Then he went straight home after the game. That’s 13 hours in the car for about three hours of gameplay.

“Long day,” he said.

Now he’s heading to Kansas City after purchasing 24-row tickets from the field for $450, face value. He’s hoping for a Bengal victory and then finds himself in a hotel near St. Louis.

Irick’s prediction: Bengals 34, Chief 17

“They still have to prove themselves”

Jennifer Bryant hopes what she calls “my vision” continues to see 20/20.

44-year-old Franklin Twp. resident predicted the bengals would upset the buffalo bills and thinks the bengals will beat the chiefs in the afc championship, then defeat the san francisco 49ers in super bowl lvii in two weeks.

“I love their commitment to a cohesive dressing room,” she said when asked what she likes about this year’s squad. “This team just wants to win and they don’t care who shines. The loser thing has come to them. They still have to prove themselves. This team is special.”

Longtime season ticket holder Bryant was at Highmark Stadium this past weekend with her husband Aaron and several friends. She will continue to follow the away team until the defeat.

She was surprised by the atmosphere in Buffalo and how she and her friends were treated by Bills fans. When Bryant, one of six people traveling in the rented van, got out at a popular Buffalo joint, she got a lot of “dark looks,” she said.

He told Buffalo fans, “I thought we were friends here. I can not eat?”

When the Bengals players were introduced, Bryant was shocked by the boos that echoed through the stadium.

But ultimately, after the Bengals took control of the game, Bryant said Bengals fans “silenced the Bills Mafia.”

He’s already booked his flight to Arizona and his hotel rooms for the Super Bowl.

Bryant’s prediction: Bengals 31, Chiefs 22

“This is a team of destiny”

As Bengals season ticket holder of 27 years, Steve Millard, 60, of Washington Twp., recalls what he calls the “good, bad and ugly” seasons.

The Bengals, he said, were “in the good phase now” and Millard was enjoying the ride.

He and his son-in-law, Craig Ashworth, will be at Arrowhead Stadium for the AFC championship game, and if the Bengals win, Millard has booked flights for him and his wife, Suzanne, to attend Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 4 in Arizona .

He’s confident the Bengals, a 10-game winning streak, can extend that to 12 games and clinch the franchise’s first Super Bowl after three losses.

“This is a team of destiny,” he said. “Last year was a surprise and the team made some very important and impressive updates.”

While quarterback Joe Burrow, an MVP candidate, understandably gets most of the credit, Millard believes owner Mike Brown should be applauded for “building a team to last.”

Not long ago, Millard said, Bengals were the “bullshit” of all professional sports.

“That has changed dramatically,” he said.

Millard’s prediction: Bengalis 30, Chapters 27

“It was a great time to be there”

Minutes after the Middletown City Council completed its session on Jan. 21, City Manager Paul Lolli and a few friends started driving toward Buffalo for the Bengals AFC Divisional game against the Bills.

The trip, he said, cost between $1,000 and $1,200, or as he put it with a laugh, “Nothing compared to the $20 million (in American Rescue Plan Act) we spent on Saturday.”

Lolli, a longtime season ticket holder, said the 50-year-old Highmark Stadium resembled an old Division II college football stadium with bleachers.

“Metal bleachers at that,” he said.

Lolli and the group returned to Middletown Monday tired from seats at the game and in the car.

“Winning heals everything,” he said. “It was a great time to be there.”

He said those in the restaurants and bars commented it was “amazing” how many Bengal fans attended the game. Some of the Bills fans told Lolli they were grateful for the way the Cincinnati community supported Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac event during a Monday Night Football game on Feb. 2, then resumed and attended the playoff game.

Lolli’s prediction: Bengalis 34, Chapters 21

“Everything was good”

Jennifer Fox has good timing.

Last season, the first time the Bengals advanced to the playoffs since 2015, Fox bought two season tickets. After the team lost to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVII, he doubled his season tickets so he could share them with his two daughters and three grandchildren this season.

Fox, 58, and her daughter Sarah Wisecarver, 27, drove from Dayton to Buffalo for last weekend’s AFC Divisional game against the Bills. They spent the night in Erie, Pennsylvania, then finished their journey Sunday morning.

They parked in a mall and took a bus with about 30 other Bills and Bengals fans. A three-mile trip that was supposed to take 10 minutes took 45 minutes due to heavy traffic. They got to their seats eight minutes before kick-off.

The Bengals took the opening possession at the back of the field and never trailed, winning 27-10.

“I kept thinking Buffalo was going to come back,” Fox said. “Then I looked up and the fourth quarter was almost over. I couldn’t believe how she was doing.”

Most of the Bills fans were friendly until the end of the game. One man stayed until the final seconds and after hearing the “Who-Dey” chant too many times, he told Fox, “I’m rooting for KC.”

Instead of walking back to their cars on the bus, Fox and her daughter walked. Several people rolled down their windows and yelled at them “take home the trophy,” she said.

“It was all good,” he said.

Due to his work schedule with Paragon Investigations, Fox will not be able to attend the AFC championship game in Kansas City, he said.

Fox’s prediction: Bengalis 27, Chapters 21


WHAT: AFC Championship game

WHO: Cincinnati Bengals to the Kansas City Chiefs. Winner plays against Philadelphia Eagles/San Francisco 49ers winner, February 12 in Super Bowl LVII

WHEN: 6.30pm Sunday


BET LINES: Chiefs minus 1; Over/minor: 47

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