Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is tired of hearing about the Cleveland Elfs … err, Browns. That’s what he almost called the Bengals’ Week 1 opponent when asked about the game.
“It’s a regular game to me,” Chase said Thursday. “It don’t feel no different. It’s the hooting and hollering about the Cleveland, um, Browns. I was about to call them the ‘Elfs.’ … If you ask me, I don’t really pay attention to it because Cleveland is Cleveland.”
Chase is of course referring to the Browns’ strange midfield image of an angry-looking elf — a logo the team unveiled in 2022, which was a throwback to an older logo from the 1960s. The Bengals’ wideout added that the elf is “funny” and “different.”
The Bengals are 1-3 against the Browns since Chase joined the team as the No. 5 overall pick in 2021 and 1-5 since quarterback Joe Burrow was drafted in 2020. But Chase has enjoyed personal statistical success in his three career games against Cleveland: 18 receptions for 194 yards and one touchdown.
Regardless of the history between the two AFC North rivals, this Week 1 matchup will be a tone-setter for both teams. The Bengals are focused on a return to the Super Bowl two seasons after their improbable rise and they just gave Burrow an NFL-record $275 million contract. The Browns, meanwhile, hope to see some positive return on their $230 million investment in quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Chase doesn’t appear too worried about the opponent, but he does seem to have his mind on the logo at midfield.