My fellow football fans,
First of all, let me take this opportunity to pass along my sincere wishes for a happy and peaceful holiday season to you and your families. While the weather is still mild and sunny this December 25th, I hope we can take this opportunity as football fans to come together around some fundamental truths that we all can agree on before returning to cold, blustery January football.
And it is January football that I want to talk about today, without snark or rancor. Football played outside, in the cold, where the importance of every down reaches new heights. Football played at a higher level of intensity. Football where legends are born, when whole areas of this great country come together for a shared, intense experience. January football, when the games earn names like the Freezer Bowl, the Epic in Miami, the Immaculate Reception and The Drive.
The fundamental truths I wish to talk about today are subjects I hope we can all agree on, as fans of our two great franchises, the Bengals and the Steelers. For while we are rivals, while we do engage in friendly and not-so-friendly debates, while most weeks we do wish only the worst outcomes for each other, I believe that we can come together today. I believe we can set aside our differences and testify to shared football values. I believe that we as fans can state in one loud voice that while the game we love can change, there are principles that are eternal. Yes, we can agree.
Yes, we can.... prove this weekend that diva wide receivers do not lead to the promised land of the NFL playoffs. AJ Green and Jerome Simpson strike more concern in me than any man with a reality show ever did. These two young men understand that football is about team success. Football is about hard work and preparation. Football is about giving credit to those shoulders that you have stood on to reach the mountaintop, not to yourself and your own abilities. These men understand that the best talking is done with the ball in your hands on Sunday rather than a microphone in your face on Wednesday.
Yes we can....prove this weekend that the AFC North is the best division in the NFL. There are fundamental football truths that the AFC North displays on every Sunday that I believe we all can agree on. You play great, hard-hitting defense to win games. You play outside in the cold and elements on grass. You run the football to win. You throw deep. No west coast offense. No domes. No 45 to 41 scores. With a win by the Bengals this weekend, half of this season's AFC entries in the playoffs will come from the North. I think we can agree that the AFC North wild card teams will be favored on the road when the playoffs open. This is the toughest, meanest, best division in football despite whatever rule changes the NFL puts in place to protect Tom Brady's skirts from contact with the ground. I believe the AFC championship game will be between two North teams. I believe this level of fierce competition between our teams in the North makes us all better. I believe a Lombardi trophy will come home to the AFC North this February.
Yes we can....prove the prognosticators that forecast a winless Bengals season totally dead wrong.
Yes we can.... for one week......come together as fans and support the Bengals.
From a die-hard Steeler fan, thank you all. Merry Christmas, God Bless America, and Go Bengals!
PS: Beat those dirty stinking Ravens, make Ray Lewis cry, Unibrow run out of bounds for big losses and Harbough blame the refs for not giving them enough pass interference calls because that's all their useless offense is after all and I hatehatehate them!