New York Giants vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals Stadium
November 11, 2012
31 - 13 Win
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Capacity: 65,535 seats
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Draft Beer: $7.75
Hot Dog: $4.75
Two Paul Brown Stadium
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Stadium Review - Welcome to the Jungle
The city of Cincinnati has a strong German heritage that began with a wave of German immigrants who settled in the area in the early part of the 19th century. Today, Cincinnatians actually host the nation’s second largest Oktoberfest, known as Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati, and participate in the world’s largest chicken dance each year. The locally brewed beer is phenomenal and if you’re looking for Bavarian-style cuisine, you’ve definitely come to the right place, but Cincinnati also has a strong football culture as well. This city of resilient fan has suffered through many years of NFL mediocrity, but their patience seems to be paying off as the Bengals appear to be a team on the rise. With a franchise quarterback in Andy Dalton and an emerging superstar at the wide receiver position in AJ Green, the Bengals braintrust now has a nucleus that they can build around. The addition of a signature-style Marvin Lewis hard-nosed defense, also gives this team a chance to win close games and finally has this fanbase thinking playoffs in the Queen city.
I was in Cincinnati on an uncharacteristically warm November weekend in 2012, armed with the task of uncovering the ultimate Cincinnati Bengals fan experience. My ultimate experience began early in the morning in Newport, Kentucky (just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati) at a little 24 hour diner called the Pepper Pod Restaurant. I was informed by locals that no self-respecting Bengals fan would begin the day without a massive serving of a mystery meat that the locals call “goetta”. Goetta was developed by German immigrants who were looking to stretch the meat they had to feed their large families, so they mixed equal parts of pork and beef with pinhead oatmeal and spices to form a brick of goetta. It kinda looks like a large deep-fried Nature Valley Crunchy granola bar, and can be served for breakfast, eaten as a sausage, or cooked up for dinner. It’s like a multi-meal mystery meat that goes great with everything. So, I ordered up a slab of goetta with two eggs, hash browns, and toast (throw some grape jelly on there and you, my friend, are golden). What a way to start a gameday morning!
Tailgating begins at nine in the morning, so I walked over the bridge, past the area known as “The Banks” and headed to the northwest corner of Lot 1S to catch up with a collection of true Cincinnati Bengals die hards, known as the Bengal Bomb Squad. Anchored by the culinary talents of Big John, who serves up an awesome gameday spread, he and his partner, Shawn Moore (aka WhoDeyBaby) along with several other Cincinnati Bengals Superfans, host an incredible tailgating experience. Bengal Bombs are dropped throughout the day as food, folks, and fun come together in a party atmosphere that’s always friendly and welcoming. Visitor fans are embraced and even encouraged to stop by as these guys demonstrate on a weekly basis that they are true ambassadors of the game. At one point, I grabbed Big John and WhoDeyBaby to gather together a collection of local talent so they could accompany me in singing “Bengals Growl”, the Cincinnati Bengals fight song (I’d call it more of an instructional tutorial in Bengals etiquette). So armed with a cheat sheet of lyrics, and a vague understanding of the song’s melody, I powered through a throaty rendition of the umpa-band inspired touchdown celebration tune. I also tried gathering some folks together to sing the “WKRP in Cincinnati” theme song, but I found no takers.
My second tailgate stop of the day was to drop in on the fellas at Bengal Trailer. Frontman Tony Adams and his brother in law, Greg, host an incredible gathering of some of Cincinnati’s finest. The Bengal trailer itself is an impressive tailgate command post that was custom built with a set of 15 foot tall goal posts and that signature tubular-frame awning to keep the elements at bay . One side of the trailer is setup with food preparatory and grilling surfaces, while the other side incorporates a commercial grade deep fryer and three full kegs. The Bengal Trailer Boys have local beer on tap in the first two kegs (usually Hudepohl and a Christian Moerlein product) and the third keg is filled with a weekly special that’s pressurized by the guys and ready for dispensation through Tap #3. This week, in honor of the New York Football Giants, Tony and Greg mixed up their own Long Island Iced Tea concoction for Tap #3 (it went down nice and smooth). With libations flowing and food on the grill, we circulated through Tony’s tailgate conversing with fans, spinning the wheel and drinking out of gas cans (I guess you had to be there). The full sized DJ booth was run by local radio DJ’s spinning Old Skool East Coast hip hop music throughout the day. Again, another tip of the hat to today’s opponent. By the time the cannon fired at noon (the signal for all tailgaters to wrap it up), I was prepared to head in.
The Cincinnati Bengals entered the game as four point underdogs, but from the opening drive they took it to the defending Super Bowl Champs. A 56-yard touchdown bomb to AJ Green from Andy Dalton set the tone for the day, as the Cincinnati Bengals dominated the New York Giants in every facet of the game. The inspired play of the offense, defense and special teams units vaulted the Bengals to a 31 -13 drubbing of the visiting Giants, who simply never showed up to play. I capped off my ultimate Bengals experience weekend with a tour of Paul Brown Stadium that I arranged through the Bengals marketing department.
|City of Cincinnati Local Information|
Top Tourist Attractions:
Cincinnati Museum Center (inspiration for Super Friends Hall of Justice)
Roebling Bridge - predecessor to the Brooklyn Bridge
Newport on the Levee – Purple People Bridge, Newport Aquarium
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Cincinnati Chili (Skyline Chili vs. Goldstar Chili), Goetta, Mettwurst, Graeter's Ice Cream
What They're Drinkin':
Christian Moerlein, Hudepohl, Shoenling's Little Kings Cream Ale
Longworth Hall – Public Lot $30 – 700 West Pete Rose Way
Bengals Lot D directly to the East of the Stadium
Bengals Lot E for RV’s/Buses – directly to the south of the stadium.
Pocket Map of Cincinnati
Stadium Parking Map
Local Sports Media:
Mainstrasse in Covington (Pachinkos, Cock and Bull)
The Banks (Holy Grail Tavern & Grill, Moerlein Lager House)
Gateway Quarter in Over the Rhine
Downtown Cincinnati (Cadillac Ranch, Bootsy’s)
Newport on the Levee (Hofbrauhaus, Arnie’s on the Levee)
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Areas Covered: Suites, Luxury Boxes, Locker Room, Press Box, and
No tours are given during the NFL Regular Season
Hear that Bengal growlin',
Mean and ang-a-ree,
Here he comes a prowlin',
Lean and hung-a-ree,
An offensive brute,
Run, pass, or boot,
And defensively he's rough! Tough!
|The Purple People Bridge||Armagoetta Sandwich at Tom + Chee||Hans & Hans at Paul Brown Stadium|
|The Bengalance||A photo with one of Cincinnati's finest||Belting out "Bengal Growl"|
|Me and Greg the Shark||John Coleman on the Quest for 31||Bengal Trailer Baby!|
|Hans & Hans Celebrating a win!||Dinner at the Hofbrauhaus||Ya know I made it onto the field ...|
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have for my journey to Paul Brown Stadium, including the following:
- Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
- Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
- Tailgating Traditions
- Your Experiences or Helpful Hints
- If you saw me let me know!
All commentary will be moderated. Your e-mail address will not be published.
A Production of Madness Unwatched LLC