CINCINNATI (WKRC) – A dream came true for a die-hard Cincinnati Bengals fan who is deaf. She's traveled to home Bengals games, and is now heading to the Super Bowl.
Over the years, Meg Burkhard has become an advocate for other deaf and hard-of-hearing fans. Through all the winning and even the losing seasons, Burkhard has been one of the most animated football fans out there.
I’ve always watched it since I was about 9 years old, I remember,” she said.
Burkhard watched the Bengals from afar for years. She grew up in Los Angeles and moved to central Pennsylvania.
That's when she started making frequent eight-hour drives to Cincinnati.
“I’ve gone every year since 2009. Started one or two games, and now it’s six or seven,” said Burkhard.
Burkhard's love for football led her to start advocating for other deaf fans.
It’s hard for us. It’s difficult," she said. "There are so many roadblocks.
She recently went to an away game in Baltimore.
“I saw captions in the stadium, and I was like, 'Why don’t other stadiums have that?'” she said.
Captions on the jumbotron are something she wants to see in all stadiums. It's a conversation she has now started with the Bengals.
Burkhard says it's been a dream of hers to represent the deaf community at a Super Bowl.
Friends set up a fundraiser to support the goal. Zac Taylor's wife even donated to it.
And after going to eight other games this season:
Now, I’m going to the Super Bowl for my ninth game," said Burkhard. "My ninth game I get to go. I get to go to the Super Bowl. I’m so excited!
She says she can't wait to help cheer the team and her favorite player, Joe Mixon, to victory.
With the extra money raised, Burkhard plans to start a fund to help send a deaf fan to the Super Bowl every year.