In recent years, the Bengals-Steelers fiasco has gotten out of hand. The game has turned into a glorified spectacle of penalties and injuries. If the Bengals are to continue their upward trend of success with the public, they’ll have to make it evident with solid on-field performance. Bringing class and smash-mouth football together will get social media fires burning. But, how can it be done?
Bengals-Steelers was born of anger. If you’ve followed the “rivalry” from its early beginnings, you know it has ugly bruises. But to become a truly worthy event, the game needs an upgrade. Both teams (yes, it’s true Who Dey Nation) are filled with talented players. The abilities of each squad are truly amazing. Yet, the week before each game is filled with talk about how violent the matchups have become.
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The Recent analysis of the games is merely ongoing hype of Vontaze Burfict’s hit on Antonio Brown. There’s always the engaging efforts on Twitter. Unless you enjoy trolling the internet for rehashed accounts of electronic beef, the attention should be on the gridiron action.
Domata Peko joined the war of words, after expressing his dislike for the men from Pittsburgh. Per NFL.com, he described the Steelers as “pieces of bleep.” Peko isn’t known for filthy tirades of anger. He made a bleeping sound, to complete his thought.
The AFC North battles have become heavily penalized exhibitions of sloppy football. There’s absolutely no excuse for the integrity and intensity of the rivalry to be doused with…stupidity. There, it’s been said. Both teams have to rise above the pressure of being “hard” for the public.The people suffering most are the purist fans that crave a quality product. How can it change?
Get back to real football
It’s been said that the NFL is nothing more than the WWE with pads and a playbook. Here’s a chance to end the rumors. Although it seems like Marvin Lewis has lost on-field control of the Bengals, there’s only so much Magic Marv can do. Outside of putting on a uniform and reliving his youth, Bengals players have to take responsibility. Fans want to see deep passes to A.J. Green. They’re hungry for lights-out statistics from Andy Dalton.
Outside of the Week 14 meltdown, the Bengals defense was able to contain the Steelers. I’m a homer, but I have a little common sense. Brown was contained by the NFL’s second-best scoring defense. That should be more worthy of conversation than “painting” someone on sight.
The Bengals have one of the best offensive lines in the game. Allow the battles to be fought in the trenches. Let the skill players follow the big guys into war.
Suspend players for social media tirades
Use that anger on the field. There’s nothing wrong with passion. But, having the wrong approach is wasted motivation. The mention of Bengals-Steelers gets the blood boiling. There’s absolutely no need for tweets and Instagram posts. There was once a time when players were fined for using their phones on the field. What ever happened to that?
It may seem like taking the fun out of the game. Have no fear. The impact of having clean, fundamental football will override the thirst for trash talk. Besides, if it has to be about the verbal cheap shots, players may want to come up with some better put-downs.
It’s not all bad. Due to his suspension, Bengals fans will have a chance to witness Week 2 without Burfict. Maybe his absence will force the return of real football.