Sunday, December 28, 2003

Bengals' attire selling like crazy



By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Jacquelyn Bartz of Bismarck, N.D., shows how big a Bengals fan she is while shopping at the Pro Shop on Saturday.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
Christmas started early for the Cincinnati Bengals and has stayed late.

Steve Wolf, manager of the Bengals Pro Shop in Paul Brown Stadium, said the store is enjoying the best sales year ever for all things orange and black with tiger stripes.

Although Wolf wouldn't comment on exactly how much the store has sold this year, he said it has scored double-digit gains.

"Sales started increasing when Marvin Lewis was named coach," Wolf said. "But after the Kansas City game, they just took off. It's been crazy and fun, a night-and-day difference compared to the last three years."

Kansas City brought an undefeated record into Paul Brown Stadium Nov. 16, only to leave with a 24-19 defeat.

Wolf said locker room T-shirts declaring the Bengals AFC North Division champs will available Monday morning, if the Bengals clinch the title today. Similar hats and sweat shirts will be in by Tuesday, if the team can clinch its first division title since 1990.

A win over Cleveland, coupled with a Baltimore loss tonight against the Steelers, would give the Bengals the division title.

"We're on track for our best year ever," Wolf said.

Wolf said wide receiver Chad Johnson's jersey has been, by far, the most in-demand item.

E-mail dklepal@enquirer.com




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