MONTREAL - On any given Sunday during the NFL season, Brendan Gallagher is paying extra close attention to his favorite team - the Cincinnati Bengals.
That was certainly the case in Week 3 of the NFL season, when Marvin Lewis' squad gave the Green Bay Packers a bit of a scare at historic Lambeau Field, before ultimately dropping a 27-24 decision in overtime and falling to 0-3 on the year.
With the Bengals leading late in the fourth quarter, though, the 25-year-old forward took to his Twitter account - @BGALLY17 - to share his excitement about the prospect of possibly downing quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on their own home turf.
Unfortunately, things didn't pan out that way… and Gallagher paid the price for calling a Bengals victory before the final whistle.
"I heard it pretty hard the next day. Guys were pretty worried about me coming to the rink. It was a tough day waking up. I'm sure all Bengals fans felt the same way. It was tough," said Gallagher with a chuckle, reflecting on the heartbreaking loss in Wisconsin. "If I'm being honest, I kind of knew [Aaron Rodgers] was going to come back, I just wanted to enjoy it for the time being while we were beating the Packers."
When things were trending in the right direction for Cincinnati, Gallagher even invited his followers to join him in throwing their support behind the Ohio-based franchise.
"I think they won a lot of people over last week," said Gallagher, who is eager to welcome any and all new Bengals supporters to the fan club cause going forward. "I expect more and more to come on board every week that the Bengals show up and put on a show. You might as well jump on the bandwagon now because I'm still offering those spots."
Gallagher fully expects the Bengals to rebound on Sunday when they pay a visit to their in-state rivals - the Cleveland Browns - at FirstEnergy Stadium. It just so happenss the Browns are also heading into the tilt with an 0-3 record.
"I expect a big win in Ohio against Cleveland, probably 24-13," predicted Gallagher, who insists a victory in Cleveland could be the start of an important turnaround for the Bengals this season. "Like I was telling Shawzy [Andrew Shaw], they're going to be the sixth 0-3 team to make the playoffs. It'll be a good year… I still believe in [quarterback] Andy Dalton. I still think he's going to take us to the promised land."
With that in mind, will he be just as active on Twitter if the Bengals are in prime position to secure their first victory of the season?
"Absolutely, but maybe I'll wait until the game is over," cracked Gallagher. "If they win, though, I'll let the world know."
The story behind Gallagher's longstanding love for the two-time AFC Champions dates back to his childhood.
"I think a lot of it comes from everyone asking why I'm a Bengals fan and I just happen to answer the question over and over again," he explained. "I started watching football when Chad Johnson was doing all of his entertaining touchdown celebrations, which when I was a kid I found funny. I also really liked Carson Palmer. They were kind of an underdog team. Over the years, everyone kept chirping the Bengals and I just became more passionate about it. Now, everyone knows and I've got to stay loyal and true to the team."
Back on September 10th, Gallagher took in his very first Bengals game, attending the season opener against Baltimore at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. His brother, Nolan, made the trip along with him… albeit, to support the Ravens.
Regrettably, Brendan didn't prove to be the Bengals' lucky charm.
"They lost 20-0. It was really just to be there for the home opener, but it was Andy Dalton's toughest game of his career and I was in attendance, so I don't think he'd be looking forward to seeing me again," joked Gallagher, referencing the FaceTime conversation the two shared in an episode of the EPIX series Road to the Winter Classic ahead of the Canadiens-Bruins matchup at Gillette Stadium in January 2016. "My brother had a fun time, until he got a little scared to speak up because there were some pretty mad Bengal fans in the building. He got quiet and so was I."
Result aside, though, the Canadiens' resident Bengals expert enjoyed his time in Cincy.
"We got there early, saw all of the crazy Bengals' tailgaters and played a few games outside the stadium. I had my hat on and I went and bought a fresh jersey, Vontaze Burfict. I wanted to help the 'Free Burfict' cause, which everyone in Cincinnati was behind," said Gallagher, who has been impatiently waiting on Burfict's return following a three-game suspension for an illegal preseason hit. "We're looking forward to getting him back this week as well."