FAIRFIELD, Ohio – Cincinnati’s grandpa is going to the Super Bowl.
Jim Lipscomb, 86, who has watched the Cincinnati Bengals since the franchise debuted in 1968, is heading to SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles to watch his beloved team face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI, WBNS-TV reported.
Thanks to more than 2,100 donations totaling $41,079, the Fairfield, Ohio, resident, will get to see if Joe Burrow and Co. can finally bring a Vince Lombardi Trophy back to Cincinnati as the franchise makes its third appearance in the NFL’s championship game. The Bengals reached the Super Bowl after the 1981 and 1988 seasons, losing to the San Francisco 49ers both times.
When the Bengals defeated the two-time defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Lipscomb’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Eschenbrenner, took a video of his reaction to the 27-24 overtime victory, People reported. The video was viewed thousands of times on Facebook and went well over a million views on TikTok, the magazine reported.
“I had this blanket around me, I just put that blanket over my face and sobbed,” Lipscomb told WCPO-TV. “I just, being with them since 1968, I went to the Super Bowl in Detroit, but I didn’t go to the other Super Bowl (in Miami). I sat through the Freezer Bowl down in Cincinnati (the AFC Championship Game in January 1982) … it was terrible — below zero temperatures.”
Super Bowl tickets are not cheap, so Lipscomb’s family launched a GoFundMe page to get the longtime fan to the big game.
“I’m 86 years old and I want to go and see them play in the Super Bowl before I die,” Lipscomb told WBNS.
Lipscomb attended the Bengals’ first game, a preseason contest at Nippert Stadium on his birthday, on Aug. 3, 1968, WCPO reported.
“The team was just a mish-mosh of players. It was hard to believe they even put a team on the field,” Lipscomb told the television station. “It was against Kansas City and we got stomped to death.”
The Bengals lost that debut to the Chiefs, falling 38-14, newspaper archives show. During the 1968 regular season, the Bengals went 3-11.
Don Eschenbrenner, another lifelong Bengals fan, will accompany Lipscomb to the game on Feb. 13, WCPO reported. The tickets have already been bought, he said.
“It’s always on my bucket list to go,” Don Eschenbrenner told the television station. “You work all your life to get to go somewhere, then you retire and you can’t afford it. So, you spent your whole life loving something you can’t ever go see live.”
Lipscomb recorded a video on social media thanking people for their donations.
“People of the world, I bless you. You have done something that many people would not think of doing” Lipscomb said. “You have been such a wonderful, wonderful bunch of people that have taken me under your wing. I appreciate it and I love you. God bless you. Who Dey!”