Um…we don't mind if the Bengals win

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So the Cincinnati Bengals are in the AFC Championship game. They're a fierce Steelers rival and blew out Pittsburgh twice this season. Yet, there isn't the same disdain for the "Bungles" that we've felt in the past. Here is why we don't really mind if they go to the Super Bowl

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Fan Morning Show Host Colin Dunlap

I’m not necessarily “rooting” for the Bengals, but of all the teams left I find them the most likable— or, well, least hate-able.

PM Team Host Chris Mueller

Putting aside the fact that I have a bit of a financial interest in Kansas City winning the whole thing, I absolutely am rooting for the Bengals. There's nothing inherently unlikable about Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid like there was about Bill Belichick and Tom Brady when New England was dominating the conference, but you still want to see someone else get to the Super Bowl. Everyone's acting like Chiefs-Bills was a de facto Super Bowl, which ignores the fact that the Bengals beat Kansas City in Week 17, and that Joe Burrow balled out to get it done. I love Burrow's attitude, and while he's not a physical freak like Josh Allen, or a unique talent like Mahomes, he's fearless and can make any throw.
He's got all the mental toughness of Brady with more natural talent. Beyond that, I have a soft spot for any fan base that has been tortured for a generation or more, and finally has real hope. In that way, the Bengals remind me of the Pirates, circa 2013. When you think about them on those terms, how can you not root for them to beat the Big, Bad Chiefs, and then win the whole thing?

Show Host Paul Alexander

I've always liked Cincinnati as a city. It is so similar to Pittsburgh. I also loved Tyler Boyd from his time at Clairton and then at Pitt. Joe Burrow stuck it to Ohio State by transferring and winning a National Title and the Heisman at LSU. In 1989, the Bengals had just suffered through three straight last place finishes in the division and then won it in '89 ended up in the Super Bowl. You guessed it.
The Bengals won the division this year after three straight last place finishes in the AFC North. The Super Bowl is their destiny!!!

Sports Director Jeff Hathhorn

I get people that root for the underdog.  This is a division foe.  A team who is troubled tailback clowned the Steelers in a Bengals blowout win in Cincinnati.  I like Boomer Esiason, Joe Burrow seems like a cool guy; root for a division rival.  Never.

Website contributor Andrew Limberg

There is something weird about not necessarily rooting for the Bengals but rather not minding if they win. Gone are the days of Vontaze Burfict and PacMan Jones. Now they have likeable players like Joe Burrow and Pittsburgh’s own Tyler Boyd. While they are an AFC North rival, that hatred just isn’t there anymore. I imagine if the Browns or Ravens were in the same position the Bengals are right now and know I would want them to crash and burn in the championship game…If it’s the Bengals that win on Sunday…good for them. It’s still weird though. I don't mind if the Bengals win a Super Bowl...but the Browns, I never want to see that happen.