GAHANNA, Ohio (WCMH) – Bengals fans can breathe easy after the team began its march back to the Super Bowl by beating the Baltimore Ravens 24-17 Sunday.
Tom Magen, the organizer of The Columbus Bengal Nation, said the game that came down to the final seconds was rough to watch at times.
“I thought we’d win by 10 points,” he said. “We really didn’t and I think every sportscaster in America said, ‘Oh, the Bengals’ gonna crush ’em.’ The other team came to play.”
The group started with 460-ish members, but has now grown to 989.
“We’ll have at least 80-some people in here next week,” Magen said of next Sunday’s game, which the group will be watching at The Pub in Gahanna.
Before the game, some fans waiting to watch at area bars said they’ve been Bengals fans for as long as they can remember.
“Honestly, if you’re from Ohio and you’re not a Bengals fan, what are you doing?” said fan Ashley Shipley.
Many fans donned their favorite Bengals gear, hitting the establishments early to see who the Bengals could face in the next round (it will be the Buffalo Bills).
Two of those fans said they have a good feeling heading into Sunday’s matchup.
“I mean, we’re going for another Super Bowl appearance, of course, hopefully winning this time,” Shipley said. “(Joe) Burrow, huge hometown guy, always rooting for him. So a win at the Super Bowl is ultimately what we want.”
“I just want them to know that once they get through this game that they have nothing to worry about and that they’re going to go to the Super Bowl,” added fan Kelsey Kinsey.