Cincinnati Bengals

‘I’m really excited;’ Fans and businesses ready for Bengals playoff game against Ravens

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bengals’ playoff push begins Sunday when they host the Baltimore Ravens at Paycor Stadium. Fans and businesses can’t wait.

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News Center 7′s Kayla McDermott spent Friday in Cincinnati speaking with Bengals fans and business owners. They tell her they are hyped for Sunday’s game, wearing Bengals merchandise and already have plans to watch the game Sunday to cheer on their team.

Some Bengals fans are not sweating this Wild Card game against the Ravens.

“I think we’re gonna beat the Ravens,” said Nik Smith, University of Cincinnati senior. “We’re gonna go on to the divisional (playoffs).”

McDermott says fans are so confident and bets are already being made.

“Joe Burrow passes over two or 250 yards and Tee Higgins gets a couple touchdowns,” said Joseph Sutton.

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Burrow is the quarterback no fan can seem to get enough of.

“Oh my gosh, one of my favorite people in all of Cincinnati,” Smith said. “We love him. He we’re hoping he can lead us to another Super Bowl.”

Nik Smith is a student at the University of Cincinnati and was hyped to watch Burrow take the AFC Championship last year. He went to last year’s Wild Card game against the Las Vegas Raiders where the Bengals got their first playoff win since 1991.

“I believed that it was going to be our first playoff win in 31 years,” he told McDermott. “And turns out I was right.”

Smith’s whole fraternity even came together for last year’s Super Bowl and he is even more excited for the year’s playoffs.

“I loved the orange on these (shoes) because it reminded me of the of the Bengals colors,” he said.

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McDermott says Smith does not just wear orange shoes for game day.

“I’ve got my Bengals blanket and pillow, put on these (orange) shoes, my Burrow jersey,” he said. “(I) sit on the pillow and that’s that’s how I give our guys good luck.”

People from all over Cincinnati will representing their team and Smith already has plans to watch game on Sunday again with boys.

“We’ve got like this big three couch tiered setup. We’re all going to be gathered around,” he said. “I’m really excited.”

Fans tell McDermott if the Bengals win Sunday, they are going to do their best to snag tickets to the next game which they hope will be the Bengals and Bills.

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One Bengals bar owner told McDermott he wants the Bengals to win Sunday, “for a couple of reasons.”

The Bengals are going to try and “Rule the Jungle” on Sunday. The are banking on that at Kitty’s Sports Bar across the street from Paycor Stadium who banking on Cincinnati to get a win.

Billy Watson, owner of Kitty’s, has been a Bengals fan his entire life.

“I have a honorary contract signed by Paul Brown when I was a little kid,” he told McDermott.

Paycor Stadium is right outside the bar’s window and Watson could not be more proud to support them.

“They’re gonna have you know, fireworks surrounding the stadium,” said Watson. “It kind of sends a chill up your spine.”

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McDermott says that is the feeling going back in full force for the playoffs on Sunday.

“Every playoff game the way games we were packed,” Watson said. “So obviously at home games, it is a no brainer.”

He said five years ago this place was empty when Bengals fans were away.

“If there was an away game, we might get four or five people in here,” he told McDermott.

Now, he says there is a crowd even when the Bengals don’t have home field advantage.

“We pretty much fill up all the seats so it’s really been great for us,” said Watson.

Since the team went to the Super Bowl, Kitty’s has been a spike in revenue.

“In the fall, (it) has probably not doubled,” he said to McDermott. “But it’s up quite a bit.”

Which helped them stay open with Covid.

“If it weren’t for the Bengals, we probably wouldn’t be surviving.”

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McDermott says a big money maker at his bar are his smoked wings which will sell out Sunday.

“Probably close to 2000,” Watson said. “Somewhere around 2000.”

He hopes as a fan and business owner the Bengals beat the Ravens Sunday night and keep on going.

“If they win, it means another great weekend for us,” he told McDermott. “So, business wise, fan wise. I love it.”

Watson will be open through the game Sunday and gets a couple of Daytonians every now and then but encourages more people to come this weekend.

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The Bengals and Ravens will play Sunday night at 8:15 p.m. at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, the winner will advance to the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

News Center 7 will have coverage of the Bengals and Ravens leading up to the game.

This includes the Orange Zone Sunday morning, January 15, at 11:30 a.m.