Bengals’ Hatred For Pittsburgh Is Futbol Strong

epierce
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) tackles Pittsburgh Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (33) during the first quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) tackles Pittsburgh Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (33) during the first quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Is there anything stronger than the hatred between the Bengals and Steelers?

When it comes to rivalries, there are tons to choose from. But the meanest, lowdown and ornery feelings are shared by the Bengals and Steelers. The love affair between the teams goes back to the early beginnings of the Orange and Black. Recently, another rivalry has begun between a Southern Ohio team and the Steel City. The Queen City’s love for futbol has pulled in a few Bengals players.

Last week, Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones were able to do a little off-field venting. They were both honorary captains for FC Cincinnati. The United Soccer League team started play in Cincinnati about a month ago.

The soccer team has caught fire and is drawing fans like crazy. So, what does a strategic marketing planner do? You reach out to the guys that hate Pittsburgh. Tell them the Pittsburgh Riverhounds are going to be in town and see what happens next. Bengals hate Steelers. That’s a natural fact. The turnout was awesome.

Domata Peko and running back Jeremy Hill were also a part of the Pitt love-in. FC Cincinnati wears orange. The Bengals wear orange. What more is needed? There’s an instant connection. Throw in a Pittsburgh based sports team and the feelings will ultimately seethe over. Peko was matter-of-fact, per ESPN.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

"“Cincinnati and Pittsburgh is probably one of the nastiest rivalries in football. Whenever we play Pittsburgh, everyone wants us to beat them. That’s how I feel when it comes to soccer. Hopefully we can get this big win.”"

The Bengals January 9 Wild Card game against the Steelers was an instant classic. Outside of the fact that the Bengals took an L, the game was fierce and competitive. The Bengals-Steelers hookup got a 19.2 rating. That mark beats the 17.3 received by Pittsburgh the year before, according to Pro Football Talk.

Love it or hate it, the Bengals and Steelers have forged a bond that will forever be written in chaos. Pigskin fanatics want more and Bengals faithful are slobbering with anticipation. It’s not ketchup, it’s definitely smash-mouth football.

Once FC Cincinnati decided to ask the Bengals for help, the flood gates opened. Giovani Bernard, Kevin Huber and Dre Kirkpatrick also joined the celebration of hate. The word hate is so blunt. Would “dislike” be a better choice? Nope. The Bengals-Steelers rivalry is one of pure hatred.

Burfict will miss the season’s first game against the Steelers. But, he said it best.

"“I hate Pittsburgh. It’s not personal. That’s just the way it is.”"

The church says, Amen.

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