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The Cincinnati Bengals are going to the Super Bowl in the year of the Tiger. Coincidence?

a tiger looks into the camera
Sasin Tipchai

Immediately after the Cincinnati Bengals beat Kansas City Sunday to advance to the Super Bowl, social media was flooded with people pointing out the football achievement aligns with the Chinese New Year being the year of the Tiger. The Bengals mascot, of course, being a Bengal tiger has fans proclaiming this is Cincinnati's time to win.

Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year, begins Feb. 1. While the first seven days are considered the official public holiday, celebrations last up to 16 days. That means the Super Bowl on Feb. 13 falls within the festival period. The Lunar New Year aligns with the Chinese zodiac, a repeating 12-year cycle of animal signs and their characteristics.

"The year of the Tiger means a lot of things to us," says Leo Chan, executive director of Midwest USA Chinese Chamber of Commerce. "It means strength; it means capability; and it also means determination."

Those are all qualities Bengals' fans say they're expecting from their hometown team.

When it comes to big games like the Super Bowl, fans are looking for every advantage. Wore your lucky shirt? You have to wear it again. Ate exactly 12 green grapes before the game? Better get to the store. The Bengals make it to the Super Bowl in the year of the Tiger? Clearly it's a sign.

"It may be a little superstitious, but it's actually quite interesting," says Chan. "It just so happens that this year is the year of the Tiger, and we have a Bengals team here in town and a Bengal is (a type) of tiger and we are celebrating the year of the Tiger and we're celebrating the Bengals for winning the championship."

Chan says he's not a Feng Shui master or a fortune teller, but he does point out a lot of auspicious things that have already occurred.

"We have done a lot of great things. We have elected the first Asian American mayor for the city (Aftab Pureval) and we have the Bengals winning the championship and going into the Super Bowl and it's the year of the Tiger— I think it looks to us like all the stars are aligned, all the elements are there for us to have a huge win for this year."

Man in a Bengals sweatshirt gives a thumbs up in front of the Bengals game on TV.
Lee Wong, chair of the Midwest USA Chinese Chamber of Commerce and a West Chester Township trustee, is excited to root for the Cincinnati Bengals in the year of the Tiger.

Bonus fun facts

The website notes Tigers are most dangerous at night, so that bodes well since the Super Bowl kicks off after dark.

Quarterback Joe Burrow was born in 1996, the year of the Rat. The site notes that Rats like saving and collecting so if you "receive a valuable gift from a Rat, know that he thinks highly of you."

A Super Bowl win sounds like a pretty big and nice gift!

Also, "Rats don’t look for praise and recognition" and "when they do take risks, they’re usually successful."

Head Coach Zac Taylor is a former Rams' quarterback coach, but his birthday means he was born in the year of the Pig. The zodiac says that means he's a logical thinker who can fix whatever problem he's in — a good trait for the man leading the team.

Finally, when it comes to compatibility, the Pig is best matched with — you guessed it, the Tiger.

Who Dey!

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.