Just joining the Bengals bandwagon now? Here's everything you need to know

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What's with the playoff and Super Bowl drought? How do I dress like a Bengals fan? What's the story about Mike Brown? What in the world is a "Who Dey?"

With the Cincinnati Bengals playing in the Super Bowl for the first time in decades, we know there's got to be some fresh fans out there.

So If you're just joining the Who Dey Nation, there are a few things you might want to know.

(And if you don't know where to begin your Who Dey transformation, this quiz is a good place to start to determine what kind of Bengals fan you are).

On to Bengals 101.

Cincinnati Bengals Super Bow history

Here's a quick overview. It's been a while since the Bengals have been to the Super bowl. This season's playoff run has been the longest for the team in 33 years. Here's some perspective: Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow wasn't even alive when the Bengals made their last Super Bowl appearance in 1989.

For the first time in 31 years, the Cincinnati Bengals have won a playoff game.
For the first time in 31 years, the Cincinnati Bengals have won a playoff game.

Since that Super Bowl, it's been a long, eventful journey.

Cincinnati Enquirer Sports Columnist Paul Daugherty said he's never seen the Republic of Cincinnati more jazzed than the weeks leading up to the ’88 Super Bowl. That magic has somehow lived on for Bengals fans as the whole city joins this season "as one cheering the deeds of Joe and Ja’Marr."

The Bengals even have a (not so) secret weapon.

The Bengals made it to one other Super Bowl. That super cold, first trip to the big game in 1982.

But enough about the past, says former wide receiver Tim McGee, who says he's done talking about 80s Super Bowl appearances by the Bengals.

Burrow's done with similar narratives, too. "I'm tired of the underdog narrative," he said. "We're a really, really good team. We're here to make noise."

So to honor these two players' wishes, we'll move this along, but just to catch the newbies up, here's how the Bengals have done in past playoff rounds.

Bengals fight song

After the Cincinnati Bengals score during home games, two things happen: Paul Brown Stadium is filled with "The Bengals Growl," a polka-like tune that has been sung since the team was founded. (Head to the link in the previous sentence to learn how to sing it).

And then the Who Dey chant is proclaimed.

Who Dey Chant

"Who Dey? Who Dey? Who Dey think gonna beat them Bengals? Nobody!"

How the Who Dey chant started is up for debate. But it began in the 1980s and beer may have been involved.

And no, the chant wasn't stolen from the Saints. (At least that's our view).

But it looks like the Bengals want to redefine the catch phrase or at least defensive tackle D.J. Reader does.

"“It is us,” Reader said. “We ‘dem.” Back in August, Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah defined the Bengals season with the statement, “Why not us?”

And just to get you fully into the "Who Dey" spirit, here are some memes.

The Ickey Shuffle

Cincinnati Bengals rookie fullback Ickey Woods does a dance he calls the "Ickey Shuffle" after scoring a touchdown in this Nov. 27, 1988, file photo. Woods scored three touchdowns in the Bengals 35-21 win over the Buffalo Bills.
Cincinnati Bengals rookie fullback Ickey Woods does a dance he calls the "Ickey Shuffle" after scoring a touchdown in this Nov. 27, 1988, file photo. Woods scored three touchdowns in the Bengals 35-21 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Bengals fans know this dance that will live on in Bengals lore forever called the "Ickey Shuffle," and that it was former Bengals fullback Ickey Woods' end zone dance each time he scored a touchdown.

How to look like a Bengals fan

One of the most fun parts of being a Bengals fan is dressing like one. You're likely going to want to grab one of the top 5 Bengals jerseys.

Now top that jersey off with a face full of tiger paint or a beanie (or both), or a crazy Who Dey cowboy hat, and get tickets for the big game. Or tailgate. (We go a little wild for tailgating in Cincinnati).

Zac Taylor

Let's talk about Bengals head coach, Zac Taylor.

Taylor said he believed in the Bengals, even when they were losing.

After a brutal 38-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the Bengals' final game of the 2020 season, Taylor took the podium with no lack of confidence in what he was building in Cincinnati despite having just six wins in his first two years.

"I believe in what we're doing, I think that's the most important thing," Taylor said.

A year later, Taylor's Bengals are AFC North champions and in the postseason for the first time since 2015. Quite the difference a year makes.

Right after his Cincinnati Bengals‘ first playoff win in 31 years, Taylor said he was giving game balls to team president Mike Brown and the city of Cincinnati.

And he meant it.

Taylor is also at the epicenter of the recent football successes in the city of Cincinnati whether he fully accepts it or not, according to Keith Jenkins, Enquirer sports writer.

And the man meant it.

Here's another defining Zac Taylor moment.

Oh yeah, it was also Taylor who also selected quarterback Joe Burrow.

Joe Burrow

The Bengals picked Louisiana State University product Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft, succeeding Andy Dalton.

And at 25 years old and as a second-year quarterback, apparently Bengals fans don't have to sweat it. He's leading the team from the worst record in the league to a division championship and playoff berth in two short years.

"He’s becoming an anxiety-free quarterback," writes Daugherty. "You simply don’t despair about the game when he’s in it. You don’t give up. The situation doesn’t matter, the score is numbers on a board. Burrow’s playing, right? We’re good...Burrow is earning it."

He's a great quarterback, and quite a personality. Just look at some of the things he's said. Some of the things he's worn. And those cigars.

Mike Brown

"Like in most cases of collective grievance, the crowd looks for a scapegoat. As long as I have been a fan, that goat has been Mike Brown," writes Daugherty. Some think fans owe Bengals owner Brown an apology for accusing him of being cheap, disapproving of his decision to not hire a general manager, or wishing he would make more aggressive moves in free agency during the "drought."

And while Daughertyadmits Brown is pained by something he helped create, fans might also be shocked to know that losing has eaten at Brown.

Who Dey gonna beat our coverage

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This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Have the Bengals ever been in the Super Bowl: Cincinnati Bengals fan guide

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