ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) – Despite the tough loss, Bengals nation has gained some new fans in southeastern Ohio.

The best way to sum up the mood in Athens is disappointed but hopeful, with the game not ending how the crowd would have liked it to.

But they all point to the fact their guy, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, is still young.

Every bar in Athens was packed for Sunday’s Super Bowl, and they were busy well before kickoff as well.

The Bengals got off to an amazing start in the second half and people in Athens were feeling great, but as the fourth quarter unfolded, and especially as the Rams went on a long scoring drive near the end of the quarter, the tension was high, and fans were nervous.

Even though the Bengals didn’t win, fans believe the future is bright with Burrow and said what he’s done for the Athens community cannot be taken away.

“It’s really sad to see it end this way, but man, this has been special,” Athens resident Chris Hatfield said of the Bengals’ season. “It’s been a special, special run.”

“Joe Burrow, since I’ve been here, he’s been such a big part of this community and he always will be and I’m very excited to see what his future has to hold,” said Athens resident Britney Ciornei.

“Despite the loss tonight, the work he’s done here has been so influential in the community here and I’m proud to be an Athenian,” said resident Amber Vandyke.

The town’s pride in Burrow is easy to see, with his jersey number posted on a bunch of light poles and a banner strung up over Court Street.

Some fans said they’re now Bengals fans because of Burrow.