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Why the Bengals vs Steelers Wild Card matchup made me sour

Something changed for me this past weekend. It took a few days to fully realize, but the NFL may not be the same for me after this.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

After taking some time to digest what happened on Saturday, I have come to a few conclusions.

  1. Every fanbase has bad fans, usually the loudest ones are the most obnoxious.
  2. The NFL and its governing body are a joke.
  3. There is no original thought in the media anymore.

Let me start with my thoughts on the game. The Bengals played a pretty bad game but had a chance to win it at the end. The offense failed to do anything for three quarters. The play calls were bad, the execution was also bad. The defense played pretty well to keep an offense like the Pittsburgh Steelers' out of the end zone. Jeremy Hill fumbled and the Bengals lost.

Had Vontaze Burfict not hit Antonio Brown on that last play, he probably would be named player of the game. Was his hit on Brown illegal? Sure, but these hits happen in every game. The Bengals were flagged earlier (incorrectly) for one and one the Steelers were not flagged against Giovani Bernard. Make no mistake, I am not blaming the refs for this, these are just facts. Depending on what color glasses you watched the game with you may not have the mental capacity to see the reality.

Every fanbase has bad fans

I'm sad for the city of Cincinnati. We were not painted in a good light on Saturday and we suffered a scar because of it. Sure, there were some crappy circumstances on the field, but we tossed countless beer cans and water bottles on the field. Fans cheered injuries. People were obnoxious. But, Bengals fans weren't the only ones. Steeler fans were just as obnoxious. Why rip the cup holders and logos off of pieces of the stadium? Why pick fights in the bathrooms when you are visiting another team's stadium? I just can't understand these things.

It doesn't stop there. Why create online accounts just to run your mouth or send Tweets anonymously just to anger people? Is that what you have going for you in life? To anger people over the Internet? I love talking smack as much as the next guy, but at some point, it just becomes tired and sad.

The NFL and its governing body are a joke

Why did it take less than 48 hours to suspend Vontaze Burfict for a hit that happens every weekend? Tom Brady may or may not have cheated in a game and his case is spread over two years. Ray Rice knocked out and dragged his fiance out of an elevator and 5 months later he received a two game suspension. (Yeah, LESS than what Burfict received). Ndamukong Suh intentionally stomped on a player when the play was over and had 10 personal fouls in three seasons and did not face the punishment that Vontaze Burfict did.

Watch just about every play Burfict was involved in. Part of the game plan was to get him fired up. People talk about David Decastro's pancake block of the line backer, but also notice that is happened long after the whistle had blown and everyone had stopped playing. If Burifct made that block there would have been multiple flags. But sure, let's give DeCastro the benefit of the doubt, he just gouged a player's eyes at the bottom of the pile in Week 14 on the Bengals that drew no flag either, so, he's above the rules, right?

I think Vontaze Burfict lowered his shoulder to destroy Antonio Brown. I think players from all over the NFL do this all the time. I think a fine is probably necessary. I think a suspension is stupid. I will pick on Mike Mitchell because I am familiar with his career. This is a guy who:

  • Injures players with illegal hits
  • Celebrates those injuries and tells others on the field they are next
  • Twisted the leg of a Chiefs running back after a play was over
  • Has dove over the line on a kneel down play to hit a QB
  • Tweet at a fan, "kill yourself"
  • Targeted Carlos Hyde's knee with intent to injure

Yet, he was not suspended when he targeted Tyler Eifert on a helmet to helmet hit and then celebrated it. It's inconsistent and reeks of a "pile on" mentality.

There is no original thought in the media anymore

Since the final whistle blew, the media has been running with the story that it was the Bengals who were out of control in this playoff game. I didn't see multiple Bengals coaches make themselves part of the story line. If a coach interferes with players in a game, this is the type of event that should be handled swiftly and harshly by the league. Yet, both of the Steelers coaches who meddled on Saturday are allowed to coach this weekend. Why not, Mike Tomlin stopped a touchdown in a Steelers vs Ravens game and was allowed to coach the next week. It seemed to me the Steelers coaching staff was the ones out of control.

These story lines are not as important as running with the "Bengals are thugs" stories. Did the Bengals players lose their cool at the end of the game? Yeah. Did they storm the field with weapons like the media portrayal states? Nope. This was an emotional game, fueled by some unfortunate events and fed by the media and announcers.

This has made me not want to watch any more football this postseason. I just imagine watching the Steelers / Broncos game and hearing the story how the Steelers held their composure against the Bengals who were trying to kill them.

This has happened to me before. I used to be a huge boxing fan. I had a few favorite fighters but just loved the sport. However, decisions became fake, it was clear there was an agenda in some of the fights and after one very bad outcome of a fight I was interested in, I was done. This kind of has that feeling. Not because the Bengals lost, that sucks, but because of the bigger picture. It is not fair to the fans that did not lose their cool to be lumped in with the few that did. It is not fair to the majority of the Bengals players who played their hearts out to be dragged through the mud and the media's agenda. But, here we are.