Only in Super Bowl LVI can three be more significant than five.
In this case, three represents the number of Cincinnati Bengals jerseys owned by NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Conor Daly, who once tweeted that he has been “a #Bengals fan since I was a child.”
Daly has a game uniform autographed to him by former Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton. Upon receiving the black-and-orange No. 14 jersey for Christmas in 2015, Daly tweeted a photograph of it along with the hashtag #GingersUnite.
Daly’s other Bengals’ jerseys represent former players Corey Dillon and Chad Ochocinco, and he has an unopened box of Ochocinco’s O’s cereal bearing the wide receiver’s signature.
Daly’s social media account has several references to the Bengals, including a Jan. 30 tweet after Cincinnati’s 27-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
“It is incredible to picture the Bengals in the super bowl!. WOW. (Yes, I’m a colts fan first don’t worry),” he wrote.
Daly said his Bengals’ fandom is authentic and deep-rooted.
“I’ve always cheered for underdogs, and when I was growing up the Bengals won no games,” he said. “I also cheered for underdogs at the Indy 500. Like, I didn’t care if Helio (Castroneves) won (the race) or Gil de Ferran won, I wanted to know what Buzz Calkins and Jimmy Kite were doing.”
Graham Rahal is an Ohio native, but he has shown support for Cincinnati because the Bengals have five starters with Ohio State ties. Rahal never needs a reason to support his hometown Buckeyes.
Four of those starters – right tackle Isaiah Prince, defensive end Sam Hubbard, cornerback Eli Apple and safety Vonn Bell – reached the NFL directly from Ohio State. Quarterback Joe Burrow graduated from Ohio State, but after playing sparingly as a backup he transferred to Louisiana State, where he won the Heisman Trophy and the College Football Playoff National Championship in 2019.
Said Rahal of Burrow: “I think he deserved his shot at Ohio State, and he never got (it). I was glad to see him go somewhere else and get it.”
Rahal noted that Hubbard is one of Ohio State’s “all-time greats.”
“He’s a Cincinnati boy,” the NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver said. “Definitely good to see them do well.”
The Bengals face the Los Angeles Rams in Sunday’s season-ending NFL game in Los Angeles.