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Bengals Publish Open Letter from Grateful L.A. Rams Fan Who Just Became a Cincinnati Supporter | Sports & Recreation | Cincinnati


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photo: Adam Doty

Cincinnati Bengals fans always have a “WHO DEY” ready.

The Los Angeles Rams may have won Super Bowl LVI, but the Cincinnati Bengals came out on top for having the best fans at the game.

This week, the Cincinnati Bengals published an open letter from Elliot Kozolchyk, a Rams supporter in L.A. who had attended the Super Bowl on Feb. 13. In his letter, Kozolchyk celebrates what we in Cincinnati already know — that Bengals fans are enthusiastic, kind representatives of the Queen City.

Kozolchyk begins by noting what he has seen in other games as a Rams season-ticket holder.

“I’ve had the fortunate experience of seeing many NFL games at SoFi Stadium cheering for my Rams, but also seeing on full display how fans of other teams behave in an opponent’s stadium. Sadly, I more often than not saw pretty disturbing behavior and antics not worthy of proper human etiquette outside a stadium and certainly not inside one,” Kozolchyk writes. “NOT Bengals fans. The fans that traveled from Cincy were amazing.”

The author then remarks on Cincinnati fans misting up while taking in the full Super Bowl experience and talking football with anyone who would listen. And, Kozolchyk writes, fans got personal.

“I was shown pictures and videos of their kids on their cell phones screaming ‘Who Dey’ and even pictures of the view of their seats at Paul Brown Stadium.
And it was EVERY fan of the Bengals,” Kozolchyk writes. “I couldn’t believe it, just so nice.”

My Super Bowl experience was fantastic not only because my team won the game, but watching the game with Bengals fans made it all the more special,” he adds. “I sincerely appreciated that.”

And though the Rams and Bengals likely will be bitter rivals now that they’ve tasted blood together in the NFL’s biggest game, Kozolchyk says he now has a soft spot for Cincinnati.

My second favorite team in the NFL is now the Cincinnati Bengals,” he writes.

Read Kozolchyk’s full letter.

On Feb. 13, the Bengals lost 20-23 to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI, Cincinnati’s first shot at the Vince Lombardi trophy since 1989. After earning a 10-7 regular-season record, winning the AFC North, and pulling out magical win after magical win in the post-season — including the AFC Championship — the Bengals were thwarted by sacks and a lack of consistency.  

But despite the Super Bowl defeat — which came near the very end of the game — this Bengals team let Cincinnati fans dare to dream again after years of constant loss. Fans contributed to the Bengals having the most-watched Super Bowl in the last five years. Leading up to the game, businesses and organizations throughout Greater Cincinnati plastered their buildings with Bengals signs and created special items to celebrate the playoffs. Governments even got in on the act, with Cincinnati City Hall flying a Bengals flag, Dayton, Kentucky, renaming itself as “Deyton,” Cheviot changing its street signs to Bengals names, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declaring that Super Bowl Sunday would be called Cincinnati Bengals Day.

Shortly after the Super Bowl, the Bengals extended head coach Zac Taylor’s contract through 2026, and bookies gave the Bengals higher odds for next season. And on Feb. 10, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was named the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year, while Burrow earned Comeback Player of the Year during the NFL Honors awards show.

The Bengals have announced the team’s opponents for the 2022-2023 season. The full calendar is expected in May.

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