Two weeks ago, the Bengals defeated Las Vegas for their first playoff victory since 1991. Now they’re headed to Super Bowl LVI against the Rams, who join last year’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers as just the second team in history to play the Super Bowl on their home field.
It didn’t come easy for the Bengals, who needed all the second-half magic they could muster Sunday in Kansas City, exorcising their longstanding demons in a comeback for the ages.
Just as he did to sink the top-seeded Titans in Nashville a week earlier, fearless rookie Evan “Shooter” McPherson hammered the final nail in KC’s playoff coffin with a walk-off field goal in overtime. From pouring locker room shots to puffing victory cigars in the Arrowhead parking lot, the Bengals made every second count, soaking in a moment over 30 years in the making.
An entertainment spectacle of the highest order, the Super Bowl has long been considered an unofficial holiday, distilling all that makes America great—football, beer, pop culture, obscure prop bets and mountains of junk food—into a single night of debauchery.
The Monday after a Super Bowl is always a struggle, with half the country nursing hangovers, waking up in clothes that fit a lot better yesterday, which, for most of us, was about four ranch-drenched pizza slices and 10 chicken wings ago. Over the years, many have campaigned to make Monday after the Super Bowl a government holiday with others petitioning to instead stage the Super Bowl on Saturday, allowing the country a much-needed day of recovery before beginning a new work week.
Expecting students to be exhausted from staying up late to watch the Bengals Sunday night in Super Bowl LVI, Cincinnati Public Schools announced no classes will be held, Monday, February 14th.
You have to admire Cincinnati’s confidence, closing school in anticipation of what would be the Bengals’ first Super Bowl in franchise history. And while this is sure to give superstitious fans a heart attack (talk about tempting fate), it’s a nice gesture by the Cincinnati school system, rightfully acknowledging a team that has given so much joy to a tortured city and fan base that, until recently, hadn’t had much to cheer about.
For what it's worth, the Bengals—who did not face the Rams during the regular season—opened as four-point underdogs on FanDuel Sportsbook.