Kansas

Fans gear up for AFC Championship rematch with Kansas City

Bengals players and their coach praised their fans Wednesday as they prepared to defend their AFC Championship in Kansas City. After practice, defensive tackle DJ Reader told the media in the locker room that enthusiastic fans energize the team. “We don’t want to let them down. So it’s a great relationship between us and them,” Reader said. “They show up every time. They’re ready to go and we feel that energy behind every game.” It could be argued that the bond between fans and players has never been stronger. As most residents braced for a snowfall that day, a mother dragged her children downtown for a Who Dey shopping spree. “Joe will get a Bengals soccer ball,” said mum Christy Kruessel from Delhi. Peter O’Shaughnessy also came from the West Side to update his Bengals wardrobe at Koch’s Sporting Goods. He said he’s been a fan since childhood, when his father drew stripes on his face. “My father, that poor man,” O’ said Shaughnessy, hanging his head in thought over the heartbreaking years of losses. “Well, it was so much fun just watching him watch the game.” It’s that kind of fan vibe that resonates with players like center Ted Karras. “I want to say thank you so much to the Cincinnati fans,” Karras said. “I hope there’s a ton in Arrowhead. There was a ton in Buffalo. There was Who Dey chanting pretty much all fourth quarter. Very special.” O’Shaughnessy thinks it’s a beautiful thing how the fan base and players have reacted to each other this season. He was referring to what Dave Lapham said about this being the best locker room he’s ever seen. “We can’t relate to playing on the field, but we can relate to coming together as a city,” O’Shaughnessy said. As we chatted, a customer at the counter asked for one of those special Burrow sideline hats. Koch’s had ordered hundreds and they sold out just before Christmas. “It’s become very popular,” said owner Eric Koch. “Look at the sidelines, everyone is carrying them now. And I’m pretty sure most of them clipped the balls off the top as well, just like Joe. So everyone wants a little Joe Burrow look on ’em just now.” The look of fans right now seems to matter. You get that feeling just watching them buy stuff, drive around with Bengali flags on their cars and yell “Who Dey” both as an expression of trust and as a greeting. “I know our fans will be ready,” head coach Zac Taylor said on Wednesday. “I know they’re going to be louder than ever. We had a great, great group of fans attending Kansas City last year.”

Bengals players and their coach praised their fans Wednesday as they prepared to defend their AFC Championship in Kansas City.

After practice, defensive tackle DJ Reader told the media in the locker room that enthusiastic fans energize the team.

“We don’t want to let them down. So it’s a great relationship between us and them,” Reader said. “They show up every time. They’re ready to go and we feel that energy behind every game.”

One could argue that the bond between fans and players has never been stronger.

As most residents braced for a snowy day, a mother dragged her kids downtown for a shopping spree with Who Dey.

“Joe will get a Bengals soccer ball,” said Christy Kruessel, a mum from Delhi.

Peter O’Shaughnessy also drove in from the West Side to update his Bengals wardrobe at Koch’s Sporting Goods.

He said he’s been a fan since childhood, when his father drew stripes on his face.

“My dad, that poor man,” O’Shaughnessy said, his head hanging low, reflecting on the years of loss. “So, it was so much fun watching him watch the game.”

It’s that kind of fan vibe that resonates with players like center Ted Karras.

“I want to say thank you so much to the Cincinnati fans,” Karras said. “I hope there’s a barrel in Arrowhead. There was a ton in Buffalo. There was Who Dey chanting pretty much all of fourth quarter. Very special.”

O’Shaughnessy thinks it’s a beautiful thing how the fanbase and the players have reacted to each other this season.

He was referring to what Dave Lapham said about this being the best dressing room he’s ever seen.

“We can’t relate to playing on the field, but we can relate to coming together as a city,” O’Shaughnessy said.

As we chatted, a customer at the counter asked for one of those special Burrow Sideline hats.

Koch’s had ordered hundreds and they sold out just before Christmas.

“This has become popular,” said owner Eric Koch. “Look at the sidelines, everyone is carrying them now. And I’m pretty sure most of them clipped the balls off the top as well, just like Joe. So everyone wants a little Joe Burrow look to have them right now.”

The look of the fans seems to be important right now.

You get that feeling just watching them buy stuff, drive around with Bengali flags on their cars, and shout “Who Dey” to show both confidence and a greeting.

“I know our fans will be ready,” head coach Zac Taylor said on Wednesday. “I know they’re going to be louder than ever. We had a great, great group of fans attending Kansas City last year.”

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