Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Cris Collinsworth has come up short in two attempts at winning a Super Bowl, but he still hopes for another chance.
He was among a Bengals' delegation cheered loudly Monday at a city-sponsored homecoming as the team returned from Miami and Sunday's 20-16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl."I don't know how many more chances I'm going to get to bring a championship here, but I hope to get a few more. You people are the greatest in the world. Thank you very much," said Collinsworth, who has been with the Bengals since 1981 and turns 30 on Friday.
The Bengals' loss Sunday was their second to the 49ers in the only two Super Bowls in which Cincinnati has played. San Francisco beat Cincinnati 26-21 in January 1982 in the Super Bowl at Pontiac, Mich. Collinsworth is one of only seven Bengals players who was a member of the team for both Super Bowls.
"We have so much to be proud of. Our fans have so much to share. We're looking forward to next football season," Bengals linebacker Reggie Williams said.
A roaring, banner-waving crowd of at least 3,000 people received the Bengals' leadership and players as heroes, despite Sunday's loss.
"We thank you for your presence here. It's very heartwarming," Paul Brown, general manager and founder of the Bengals, told the crowd at Cincinnati's downtown Fountain Square plaza. "Our men played a tremendous football game, and I've got to say it was a great game, too. You're super, we love you, and thank you."
Coach Sam Wyche said the fans were a big part of the reason the Bengals, who finished 14-5, were undefeated at home during the regular season and the NFL playoffs.
Fans dressed in orange and black, the Bengals' team colors, mingled with office workers to cheer, wave banners and dance to the music of a rock 'n roll band after listening to the Bengals speak.
Running back Elbert "Ickey" Woods, who scored 15 regular-season touchdowns, charmed the crowd by doing the "Ickey shuffle," a tongue-in-cheek dance he popularized as a post-touchdown celebration.