I have talked about being a life-long Steelers fan many times, including just this past week. Divisionally, I have always been a “hater” of, and in order: Ravens, Browns and then Bengals. This entire season, though, my hatred has shifted. On that list you can move the Bengals to the top of that list. They’re just filthy players (at least on defense). All this is especially true after last night’s Wild Card playoff game.
Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones have always been the “goons” of their team. Goon (in hockey, and yes I know this is football, but it’s the same concept) is defined as someone “that is always pushing people into the walls and ALWAYS starting the fights.” Not counting the sack on Big Ben by Burfict, which was a legal play (if not unnecessarily rough), almost every play either of them was involved in was a moment of contentious controversy. None more prominent than two plays, back-to-back, that led to the Steelers pulling off the victory, which we should have won anyway, had we not had a all-too-normal lapse in defense. The first play was Burfict lowering his head and causing Antonio Brown a concussion; a penalty for fifteen yards. During the scrum after that, “Pac-Man” (he hates being called that) Jones then proceeded to attempt to punch Steelers linebacker coach (and former player), Joey Porter. Now, I’ll admit that Porter had no business being out there and probably said something to provoke Pac-Man but Pac-Man attacked him. Cursing at him, whatever, would have been better for him, as that cost them another fifteen yards. Thirty yards on one play. That put us in field goal range with only eighteen seconds left on the clock. We won on that. Fine. Great. Yay!
That’s warriors battling on the field, I get it. What disgusted me the most was the crowd in Cincinnati. I get that fans are fired up and this is playoff football, but when they cheer when your player is basically knocked out and you can hear one person yelling, “I hope he’s dead!” that’s a bit much. When Big Ben was being carted off the field, fans were throwing things at him while he sat on the cart, passing by. They threw things onto the field when things didn’t go their way. It reminds me of the Chargers/Giants game from 1995 in the Meadowlands where the fans pummeled the field with snowballs, hitting a Chargers sideline official in the face causing him to collapse. Luckily, it didn’t come to that, but it was coming to something. I can compare it to almost any Philadelphia Eagles game from Veteran’s Stadium, especially when Michael Irving went down and what most likely led to his retirement. I’ll admit, I couldn’t stand him and did cheer when he went down, but soon changed my tune as I don’t like seeing careers or livelihoods ended like that. Regardless my feelings, he was a great receiver and hall of famer, he didn’t deserve that.
Cincinnati people, I’m sure are great people, but the Bengal’s fans. You, as a group, are awful and classless. I understand that Steelers fans can get under everyone’s skin. We’re proud of our team and we rub people the wrong way, but it’s always words and in spirit of our team pride. I’m not saying Steelers fans have never thrown anything at anyone on the field, but I can’t recall ever seeing or hearing of this happening. So, from here on out, whilst I still can’t stand the Ravens or Browns, Bengals are now enemy #1. And, I don’t mind gloating your demise last night. Nanny nanny boo boo! Sorry this wasn’t so “silent.”
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“One person, out of 75,000, yelled at the stadium when Antonio Brown was down, ‘I hope he’s dead.” – Tom Jackson