By Paula Alberto
My mom and I have only recently become season ticket holders, but we have attended all Bengals home games faithfully for the past five years. My mom's name is Carol Hanifin and she is affectionately known at home, in Paul Brown Stadium and in the community as Crazy Grandma. She is crazy because she LOVES her Bengals, her family, and the men and women who serve our great country in the Armed Forces and as first responders.
Mom is 74 years old and has had knee and hip replacements which make it difficult for her to walk long distances, so my brother bought her a mobility scooter several years ago. When I retired from the Army in 2010, I kidnapped the scooter from her garage and decked it out in Bengals style. We have continued to add to it each year.
She has become somewhat of a mascot in the area where we sit and she loves it. When we are able to tailgate before games, Crazy Grandma always makes it a point to have donuts or some other treat which she shares with any fans of the opposing teams that happen to walk by and mention her "Bengal-mobile." She makes friends with them, gets her picture taken with them and tells them that Cincinnati Bengals fans are great people. She thrives on being an ambassador for our Queen City.
But the thing that stands out most for me, my family and those who see her at the games, is her love for our law enforcement and military personnel. Before each game, mom hand writes at least 25 thank you cards and includes small gift cards in each one. Then she makes it her mission to thank and hug each police officer, firefighter or military person that she sees before presenting him or her with the thank you card and small gift. There are always smiles, hugs and sometimes tears and she lets them know that she loves them and supports them.
I truly believe that Carol Hanifin, my mother and Crazy Grandma, is one of the Bengals most dedicated fans.