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Early line

The first Bengals fans in line for training camp tickets were Larry Rehrig and 16-year-old son Logan of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Liz Krutz of Fountain City, IN, and boyfriend Ian Driver of New Paris, Ohio.


Check out the first six people in line Friday morning to get tickets for the first-ever Bengals training camp on their home turf at 3 p.m., and it was sort of like scanning an NFL roster.

A little bit of everything.

Larry Rehrig and his 16-year-old son Logan Rehrig made the seven-and-a half hour drive from Winston-Salem, N.C. on Thursday and then got a 5 am. wakeup call at the Millennium Hotel to get to the Paul Brown Stadium North ticket window by 5:35 a.m.

Liz Krutz, a recent graduate of Indiana University, wore boyfriend Ian Driver's No. 15 Chris Henry jersey and explained how she just recently chose the Bengals as her favorite team via Google.

"I really liked their team from doing the research in the media," Krutz said. "I like football in general, but I hadn't picked a team. He showed me some videos on YouTube. I really like some of the players and I can't wait to see them in action."

Driver, who has been a passionate and loyal fan well qualified to tell Krutz about how good the late Henry could be, says Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green leads the list.

"And the other new, younger players," Driver said. "It looks pretty promising."

They are a Tristate border couple. Krutz is from Fountain City, IN. Driver is from just over the state line in New Paris, Ohio. It took them about an hour-and-a-half to PBS when they left at 4 a.m.

And then there were fans Five and Six from up Dayton, Ohio way. Five got up at 4 a.m., picked up Six at 5 a.m. and here she was wearing a throwback C. Johnson No. 85 jersey that Six gave her.

"I can't tell you my name," Five said. "I'm not supposed to be here."

Oh yeah. It's a Friday.

"We're here to see A.J. Green and Jordan Shipley and those guys," Six said.

"But I'll always like Chad even if he's not a Bengal; Chad always," Five said.

The Rehrigs were officially first, but when they saw no one was around they walked back into the city to eat breakfast. When they came back, No. 15 was there.

"That's OK. I didn't want to be first in line," Larry Rehrig said.

Talk about the Paul Brown influence. Rehrig says he's been a fan ever since the Bengals went to the stripes on the helmet in 1980 and it's been only diehard all the way from North Carolina, where he now works at the camp Richard and Kyle Petty run for children with debilitative diseases.  

"I brainwashed my son," Rehrig admitted. "We come to a game usually once a year, but we've never been to training camp. That's something I always wanted to do because of being up close with the players and getting autographs and all that cool stuff. We decided it was a little cheaper to come to training camp this year. What a great place to go. I think Cincinnati is going to be a great place for them to do this."

The Rehrigs got into town Thursday night early enough to take the advice at the hotel and knocked back some chili. They'll watch practice Friday and Saturday's 3:15 p.m. workout before getting back on the road Saturday evening.

They'll each go back with a Bengals football because Bengals exec Jeff Berding handed them out to the First Four. Everybody else in line with about 45 minutes to go before the tickets were handed out at 10 a.m. got a free something, mostly T-shirts.

Five said if she could wear a jersey now, it would be Green's No. 18.

"I'm optimistic," said Larry Rehrig, 32 years later holding a ball with stripes and a couple of hours away from his first camp practice.

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