Late last week a friend of mine invited me to yesterdays Bengals game versus the Cleveland Browns. He received four tickets and a parking pass through his work and offered one of the seats to me for free. Having not been to the stadium for a game in a few years the decision was easy and I immediately decided to attend.
Since I had a hockey game later in the evening, I offered to drive our group to the game. We arrived before 10 in the assigned parking lot for a little tailgate action. Unfortunately we didn’t have a plan for any food, and everyone forgot chairs, so our tailgate basically amounted to hanging around the open liftgate, snacking on chips, and having a few beers.
In order to reach our seats in the 300 level we had to climb at least a dozen or so switchback ramps to the top-level concourse. The east side of the stadium has an escalator, but the west does not. Even with the lengthy climb we were still able to see the opening kickoff from our near 50 yard line seats. We had a great view of the field and the weather outside couldn’t have been more perfect for the game.
The Bengals jumped out to a quick lead when Pacman Jones returned a Cleveland punt 81 yards for the score. The stadium was officially sold out, but by my estimate at least a quarter of those in attendance were there supporting the Browns. This became evident by the loud cheers a Browns touchdown received throughout the stadium. But even with the less than 100% backing, the Bengals managed to add another touchdown in the second quarter as well as a field goal, the same scores that Cleveland had. The score was 17-10 at half time with the Bengals leading.
View From Row 1
During halftime I met up with another friend who was at the game, sneaking down to the lower level for the halftime show provided by the Ohio University marching band. Once the seats again began to fill with their owners, I started the long trek back up to my own seat. I stopped at a concession stand hoping to buy a slice of pizza. However all I could find were chicken fingers, popcorn, hamburgers, and hot dogs. I settled on the chicken fingers, realizing that the food offerings at Paul Brown Stadium leave a lot to be desired.
Back to the football game at hand, the third and fourth quarters were filled with back and forth touchdowns for the teams. It seemed that none of the scores were from inside the red zone, and were instead the result of long pass or run plays. It made for an exciting game, that’s for sure. We stayed all the way to the end of the game, as it never quite seemed that the Bengals had it completely wrapped up. The Browns had it down to a 7 point game, and even tried for the onside kick, but the Bengals recovered and went on to win the game 34-27. Who Dey!