From Louisiana to Ohio, fans are ready to cheer on Burrow and the Bengals
The Dressman family first took note of LSU in December 2019 when Joe Burrow and the Tigers competed in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. The Dressmans, from Ohio, were there to scout the quarterback who would be drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals months later.
"I think it's gone from expectation after seeing [Joe Burrow] down in the Peach Bowl, to seeing him play as a pro and as a Bengal, to really believe that he was going to be able to do this," John Dressman said in an interview with WBRZ Friday.
The first time John and his wife Marianne saw Burrow in person, the quarterback was leading LSU to a national championship. Roughly two years later, he's navigating a legendary playoff run with a world championship in sight.
"Honestly, I don't think anybody really expected that it would happen," Marianne said. "Especially coming off an injury year, you just don't know what you're gonna get."
For Super Bowl Sunday, the Dressmans don't plan to change any of the habits they've formed as the Bengals ticked off three straight playoff wins.
"Well, we've got to keep it the same, right?" John questioned. "So we've had a party each playoff game. It's the same core group of people coming over. [We'll] sit in the same spot, wear the same clothes, that sort of thing."
As Super Bowl weekend arrives, the excitement the Dressmans feel in Ohio is similar to that of some fans in Louisiana.
"[Cincinnati] just became a team I wanted to cheer for, and became excited for their success," said Bridget Derbyshire, of Meraux, La. "It wasn't just about Burrow and [Ja'Marr] Chase anymore. It was about all those guys."
Derbyshire, a lifelong New Orleans Saints fan who, like so many of them, has started to root for "Who Dey" in addition to the her loyalty to the "Who Dat nation."
"It's nice to see other teams go over that hump and find success," Derbyshire said. "I think it's something that as Saints fans, we can relate to."
When Cincinnati bested the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship, Derbyshire, filled with so much pride, decided to pen a love letter of sorts from Louisiana to Cincinnati.
While Louisiana and Ohio likely top the list for Bengals support, the Dressmans know the fandom has spread elsewhere across the country, in large part because of Burrow.
"He really above all has captured the attitude that people, kind of really, are drawn to him," John said.
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