It was a uniquely ugly loss for the Cincinnati Bengals to the Pittsburgh Steelers last night in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game. Ugly-- BEFORE (given the Dec. 13 unsportsmen play between the two teams ), DURING (the volume and nature of penalties last night), and AFTER (the trash talk of some Bengal players). Unfortunately the press about two Bengal players will cause a nationwide view that Cincinnati should be named Mudville.
An absolutely great article written by Tom Archdeacon of the Dayton Daily News "Bengals Playoff Skid hits new low" contrasts the bad and the ugly with the good:
"And here’s another indelible late-game image, one that’s a flip side to the thugery and selfishness displayed Burfict and Pacman.
When the game ended Whitworth was one of four Bengals – the others were kicker Mike Nugent receiver Marvin Jones and halfback Rex Burkhead – who sought out Steelers players on the field to congratulate them.
Then the massive Whitworth lowered his 330 pounds onto his knees near the 50-yard line to say a postgame prayer. He soon was joined by Burkhead, fellow Bengals Cedric Peerman and Vinny Rey and Steelers cornerback Ross Cockrell.
As he stood in the locker room later and answered every question put to him, Whitworth was finally asked why he had bothered to go shake hands when so many teammates had headed straight to the dressing room and a couple of them had continued to act badly there.
“I shook hands with them because at the end of the day integrity and character and who you are as a man is more important than who you are as a football player,” he said. “And in the face of a loss you have to man up and walk out there.”
What a testament to character and Christian behavior. We need more Whitworths in the game to get us out of Mudville.