There may not be a better off-field moment for the Bengals this season than JuJu Smith-Schuster changing his pregame routine.
For weeks, Smith-Schuster would dance on the opponent’s logo, oftentimes doing moves found on the wildly popular short-form video app TikTok. He does have a rather large presence on the app, amassing 2.7 million followers.
Prior to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Monday Night Football game in Cincinnati, Smith-Schuster took to his rival’s field and danced on their logo, spiking the ball after he finished his dance. Everyone in the stadium knew it, and the Bengals, as many other teams that came before them, likely felt it was disrespectful.
Well, they made Smith-Schuster pay. Vonn Bell, the team’s offseason addition from New Orleans, is one of the hardest-hitting safeties in the league, and he laid an absolute hammer on the Steelers star.
Let’s also keep in mind — this was a clear hit. No flag was thrown. This isn’t just the video, but one of many TikToks that were created following the massive hit.
Vonn Bell turned Juju Smith-Schuster into a meme pic.twitter.com/EFtylAWg4l— Barstool OSU (@BarstoolOSU) December 22, 2020
Mike Tomlin said following the game that “it’s about respect.” ESPN also reported that he was planning to talk to the receiver. Well, the news is out, and the star is hanging up his pregame dancing cleats.
Steelers’ WR JuJu Smith-Schuster told reporters this today: “For the betterment of myself and my teammates, I'm going to stop dancing on the logos."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2020
The Bengals went out and dominated the Steelers on Monday Night Football. They entered halftime with all the momentum and a 17-0 lead.
Now, there’s no telling whether the Bengals were truly upset and energized by Smith-Schuster’s dance, but it certainly couldn’t have helped calm down the 2-10-1 Bengals fighting for their coach.
That said, this is awesome for a fanbase that will now always take credit for forcing their rival’s star receiver to stop dancing on logos. Also, let’s not forgot to mention the Bengals handed the Steelers their third straight loss after they started the season 11-0.
Both are important.