Eight-six-year-old Jim Lipscomb is a die-hard Bengals fan. He's had season tickets. He's written letters to the team. He proudly chants the team's "Who dey" cheer. And last week, he cried tears of joy when the Bengals made it to the.
When thein last week's playoff game, Lipscomb's family filmed his tearful reaction. His granddaughter, Lizzie Eschenbrenner, posted the video on Facebook and it soon went viral.
Eschenbrenner created a GoFundMe to help raise money to try to send her grandfather to the Super Bowl, where the Bengals will faceat SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on February 13.
The cheapest tickets for the game are just under $5,000 — and the most expensive exceed $18,000, according to Ticketmaster.
"All costs would go towards him and a caregiver to get to the game!! I know it is a big ask, but he is the biggest Bengals fan out there at the ripe age of 86!" Eschenbrenner wrote in the GoFundMe description.
"He has loved this team since he scouted for them in the Paul Brown era," she said. "I learned to 'Who dey' from him. This is pure love right here. He deserves this."
The appeal raised more than $42,000 — and his family has secured him tickets. Lipscomb will go with his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, who helped him become known as "Cincinnati's grandpa."
"I was blown away at the response. People on social media, all the nice words they had to say, it really restored my faith in humanity that there is still good out there," Eschenbrenner told CBS News, as Lipscomb started tearing up. "And now grandpa's crying again."
When asked why that made him emotional, Lipscomb said: "The number of people that have donated, from different countries, it's just mind-boggling to me."
Eschenbrenner said she thinks her grandfather's story resonated with so many people because he reminded them of their own grandfathers or dads.
"A lot of the people I've heard from, their loved ones passed away. But even though we can't physically take them with us, I feel like we're taking the spirit of all grandpas and all loved ones that want to go to the Super Bowl," she said.
Lipscomb was at the first-ever Bengals game at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati in 1968, and "fell for them," he told CBS News. The next day, he bought season tickets, which he held until the 1980s. His team hasn't gotten to the Super Bowl since that decade, but maybe having Lipscomb in the stands will be their lucky charm.
"The Bengals are going to win," he proclaimed.
"Straight from Cincinnati's grandpa, everyone. The Bengals are going to win," Eschenbrenner said.
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