It’s impressive what sibling rivalry spurns. In Paul Tomasulo’s case, it created a love for the Bengals that time, distance nor the Bungles run of the 90s couldn’t erase completely.
“Ironically, I grew up north of New York City and became a Bengals fan on November 2, 1975. They were playing the undefeated Steelers and my older brother was a Steelers fan. I chose the Bengals that day and have never really left.” Paul shared with me via email.
Paul attended his first Bengals game in the unfriendly confines of Shea Stadium. It was September 13, 1981, and the Bengals were playing the New York Jets. He sat in the enclosed end zone three rows up. It ended up being a memorable first game for him, as the Bengals used a late Mike St. Clair fumble return for a touchdown to pull away with the 31-30 win.
Since then, Paul continues to follow the Bengals. On game days, Paul has a tradition where he drinks an orange Gatorade with his meal before the game.
His favorite Bengals’ memory was when A.J. Green caught a touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. Paul remembers it fondly, “I drove eight hours to be at the game. Driving rain. Celebrating and hugging total strangers. Will never forget that moment.”
Paul aims to see the next Bengals’ playoff game. “Me and a buddy decided no matter where they play their next playoff game we will be there, as long as it’s not Pittsburgh. Need to be there when the Curse of Bo dies.”
Concerning this year’s squad, he said, “I like this team’s chances. I like that they are under the radar and being slighted by most of the national media.”
The optimism and passion remain strong. And to think, it all began with one game back in 1975.