Rivalries can be found in every sport at every level. Some rivalries can date back to the beginning of a team's existence, while others are just now coming around to being considered rivalries. Every fan will argue that their teams' rivalries are the best in the league or the most exciting to watch.
But I don't care what other fans say about their teams because one of the most epic rival out there is the Bengals and Steelers. Every season I always look forward to the Bengals playing against Pittsburgh. As a fan we all know that the Bengals seem to play at a completely different level when they battle the Steelers and that it will be a very competitive war for the victory.
It all started in 1970. That's when the Bengals and Steelers became division rivals and started playing each other twice during the regular season. Since then the Steelers have won 50 of the 82 match-ups, including the one time both teams met in the playoffs. Pittsburgh has also won the last two games against the Bengals.
Not only is this an exciting game for the fans to rally behind the troops, but it's also an intense battle for the players, the ones who actual endure the physical blows and serve out their own dose of pain during each game.
Domata Peko summed up every Bengals' fan and player's feelings about the Steelers the best.
"We hate them and they hate us. Everywhere I go even the chefs in the restaurants are like 'just beat Pittsburgh.' It's just that rivalry. Nothing like going up against your rival and getting at it."
For the Bengals, this is somewhat unfamiliar territory. Currently the Bengals are in contention for a playoff-birth and are tied with the Ravens for the first-place in the AFC North. They've only been to the playoffs two times in my entire life and during those two seasons the Bengals won three out of four games against Pittsburgh. Both teams ended up meeting in the playoffs during the wild card game and well I don't want to bring up any horrific memories from that game where we witnessed the injury of Carson Palmer that forever changed his career.
Right now most of us fans are starting to talk about the playoffs and the Bengals' odds of making them, but unlike us, the players aren't concerned about the playoffs. Instead they are taking everything one week at a time. The players can't control what other teams do. They can only focus on the task that lays in front of them. And this week that assignment is known as the Steelers. If the Bengals are able to defeat the Steelers on Sunday it will only help them on their journey to a potential playoff-birth.
The last time the Bengals swept the Steelers was in 2009 and that's also when they handed Ben Roethlisberger his first loss to an Ohio-based team in Ohio. But that was with Carson Palmer as the quarterback and Chad Ochocinco at wide receiver. It's a new era with Andy Dalton under the helm and A.J. Green dashing downfield making jaw-dropping catches for the Bengals and on Sunday both of them will be catapulted into one of the most epic rivalries in all of football.