On Feb. 13, the Bengals went to Super Bowl LVI
, Cincinnati’s first shot at the Vince Lombardi trophy since 1989. Our beloved team was just two minutes away from the win but ultimately lost 20-23 to the Los Angeles Rams. But despite the last-minute defeat, this Bengals team let Cincinnati fans dare to dream again after years of constant loss. The Bengals delivered a 10-7 regular-season record — something no oddsmaker had predicted — and won the AFC North as well as the AFC Championship, pulling off magical win after magical win in the postseason and demonstrating why it was smart to draft rookie kicker Evan McPherson. Plus, days before walking onto the Super Bowl field, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was named the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year, while quarterback Joe Burrow earned Comeback Player of the Year. The playoffs and Super Bowl run ignited a long-dormant spirit within the city, with fans contributing 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 “WHO DEY” signs and created special items to celebrate the playoffs. Hell, even Hu-Dey beer made a limited comeback for the occasion. Governments got in on the act, too, with Cincinnati City Hall flying a Bengals flag, Dayton, Kentucky, renaming itself as “DEYton,” Cheviot changing its street signs to Bengals players’ names, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declaring that Super Bowl Sunday would be called Cincinnati Bengals Day. With Bengals head coach Zac Taylor’s contract now extended through 2026, Cincinnati has plenty more to roar about as the 2022-2023 season approaches. bengals.com.