The oldest child of Bengals’ vice presidents Katie and Troy Blackburn and the granddaughter of Bengals president Mike Brown, Elizabeth Blackburn has been football-obsessed since before she can remember. When the family recently cleaned out its basement, they found her fifth grade autobiography project: a 30-plus page book dedicated to her love of football.
“I remember growing up wanting to win the Super Bowl and wanting to work for the team,” Blackburn says. “My entire career and work experience has been to make sure I was doing it because it wasn’t assumed of me. That was probably the hardest part. Making sure I wanted to do it and that I could actually help.”
While Blackburn followed her grandfather and mother to Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., it was actually the first place she had ever been where no one knew her as the kid that could wind up running the Bengals one day. She was just the freshman girl from Cincinnati standing up at a frat party to defend Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.
But there was never any debate about this. No matter where she was or what she was doing, it kept coming up Bengals, Cincinnati and football.
When she went to San Francisco to work for the management consulting firm Bain & Co., she became drawn to co-workers from Midwest towns like Indianapolis.
Ruocco says Blackburn used her “extensive computer skills” to allow them to value every number or dollar amount related to collective bargaining with the push of a button.
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