For many, its a historic feat and for some it will be the first time watching their team play in the Super Bowl.
At least one Springfield resident will be in the stands of the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
Brandon Peterson, 46, has supported the team for most of his life. It is a passion rooted in going to games as a kid with his father Noah.
As he became a father, it’s a tradition he has passed onto his children as they often watch the games as a family. As a first time season ticket holder, Peterson also takes his two young sons to watch the Bengals play in Cincinnati.
He even has an RV that he takes to games decked out in Bengals gear and his passion also extends to the Cincinnati Reds.
For the father of six, watching his team participate in the Super Bowl is a dream come true.
This season has also been a particularly special one for his family. Peterson’s father, Noah Peterson, has Alzheimer’s and watching the games together along with his children has been important to him.
“I am thinking about him every time I am at a game and now I am able to share this with my boys,” Peterson said.
Peterson and his wife were in the Kansas City stadium as the Bengals defeated the Chiefs 27 to 24, a feat that made the lifelong fan have tears of joy.
“Suffering through one of the worst decades that a franchise can have and going through all those losses, just to see firsthand them being able to win in Kansas City. It was a dream come true,” Peterson said.
It was on the way home from that game, that he and his wife talked about the possibility of him going to the Super Bowl.
Peterson said his wife told him that he should really try to go, given what this means to him.
Peterson was able to buy the ticket package that the Bengals were offering and will be spending the weekend in Los Angeles surrounded by fellow diehard fans.
Although he is going alone, Peterson will be thinking of his father and his family back in Springfield as he watches his team potentially win the Super Bowl.
For him, every game is a memory in the making and a bond that he shares with his father and one that he is growing with his own children.
Several other fans in the Springfield area are excited for the Cincinnati Bengals to be in Super Bowl LVI. Though they won’t be in Los Angeles over the weekend, they plan to show support and root for their team at home.
One Springfield couple has been Bengals fans since the team started.
“Born and raised in Springfield and we’ve been Bengals fans since their inception,” Terry Black said of him and his wife Carolyn. “We’ve been season ticket holders for over 40 years, even went to the Freezer Bowl.”
The couple has felt “extreme excitement” during the playoffs and are excited about the team going to the Super Bowl over 30 years later.
“I wish it hadn’t taken that long, but glad they’re going now,” he said.
Black said that he and his wife always went to Cadillac Jack’s, also known as Caddy’s, on Second Street where WLW Radio broadcasted the pre-game show. He said they were usually the first to arrive and sat on the front below the broadcasters.
“At the last broadcast, they gave us one of the stools we sat on, and they all autographed it. We display it proudly in our Bengal bar here at home,” he said.
Black added that his wife also has a black Dodge Ram with an orange stripe one it and a license plate that says, “HOODEY”.
Ashley Thornton of Springfield has been a fan for over 20 years.
“I started cheering for them because they were always the underdog and I’m from Ohio,” Thornton said. “The Bengals are tough and dedicated just like their fans.”
Thornton said she has felt all sorts of emotions during the playoffs. She said she yelled, cried and celebrated when they won last week.
“(I felt) happiness, nervousness, excitement,” she said.
Thornton said “excited isn’t a strong enough word” for how she feels about the team going to the Super Bowl, and that she will be watching the Super Bowl at home with her family, where they are all Bengals fans.
Wade Fulk has been a fan of the team since he was little.
“My relatives have had season tickets since I could remember, and I’ve been going to the Bengals games since I was young,” he said. “I’ve stuck with this team through thick and thin and continued my support through all these years.”
Fulk said he was so happy and overwhelmed when the team won last week, that he can’t remember how he felt.
“All I know is it was a great feeling to see this team make a Super Bowl,” he said.
Fulk said he will be watching the Super Bowl with his dad at his house, who took him to his first Bengals game when he was 11-years-old.