OK, Cincinnati Bengals fans – the week is here.
The Metal People are coming to town. Even better, they’ve looked as soft as melting gold so far this year. Those from the “pit” are ripe for the picking.
Notice how we haven’t named them yet? That’s because, with some teams, you just dislike them so much that you want to say their name less than Voldemort. And there’s a reason for that hatred. In fact, there are several.
Cincinnati and the pit town have had more than their fair share of run-ins over the last few years. That has mushroomed into a pretty fierce rivalry – one that would give Da Bears!-Packers historic rivalry a run for its money.
Here are five moments/games that have really brought this thing to a head. And made us want to rip someone’s head off.
5 Big Moments in the Cincinnati Bengals Rivalry with “Them”
5. Time to Shine
Some might say this was more shallow than an episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but it was still fun. Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh had a great game in a 38-31 victory at Heinz field in 2005. To top it off, he used a Terrible Towel to shine his cleats in the tunnel. We can think of only one better use for the Terrible Towel. Hint: It wouldn’t be the shoes that you wipe …
The sting of this one is still fresh. It’s December 2017 and the Cincinnati Bengals are still hoping for a playoff bid. But the black and gold team stopped them cold, with some help from the black-and-white striped team. The Bengals were flagged 13 times for 173 yards (a team record). Many of those were the result of poor officiating. The worst was a BS holding call against Giovani Bernard in the second half that wiped out an Andy Dalton touchdown pass. It was such a phantom call that you half-expected to see an opera along with it. The TD – and the momentum – was officially lost. Along with a 17-point lead, the game, and the postseason.
3. Taking a Knee
The first playoff meeting between the two teams was in 2005. The stakes were high, the tension higher. Said tension reached a fever pitch when Bengals’ QB Carson Palmer was drilled on the second offensive play (in what many people thought was a late, dirty hit) and left the game with a knee injury. Cincy still managed to take a 17-7 lead, but the bottom fell out after that. The Other Team scored 24 straight and won 31-17, paving their way to a Super Bowl title.
2. You’re Late … Again and Again and Again. If you thought one late hit was a doozie, how about a second half full of them? That’s what we witnessed in the 2015 Wild Card Playoff game. Things seemed reasonably calm in the first half. Then the rain started falling … and the bodies. Assistant coach Mike Munchak pulled Reggie Nelson’s hair. Giovani Bernard was on the receiving end of a Ryan Shazier helmet-to-helmet tackle. Vontaze Burfict and Pacman Jones donated 30 yards in penalties to the Make-a-Field-Goal foundation. Even Ben Roth ….Roethles …. Roethlis … Big Ben was pelted with garbage as he was carted off the field after being sacked by Burfict. Where were the WWE superstars to make it a complete circus?
1. You Want Somma This? Well sorry, it’s ours! The 2009 Iron Workers football team allllmost qualified for the playoffs at 9-7. How sweet was it then, that two of those losses were to the eventual AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals? Because, ya know, without those two losses, Pitt would have made the postseason. Claiming a playoff spot with one hand and shoving your heated rival away from it with the other hand? Ummmm, yes please!