Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict said this week he hated Pittsburgh.
The Steelers chose not to continue the fight, responding with love, or at least a shrug.
“That’s bad because we are such great guys over here,” Steelers guard Ramon Foster said, via Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I honestly don’t know why they hate us. I don’t know. Maybe it is something personal, but it is just a game.”
No Ramon, it’s the playoffs, when blood lust causes temperatures to rise to a boil and men destroy one another, . . . oh wait, that’s right, it is just a game.
“If that’s the way he feels, that’s the way he feels,” Steelers tight end Heath Miller said. “We know he is going to be ready to play not because he hates Pittsburgh but because this is the playoffs and he’s trying to get to the next round like we are.”
Frankly, a more civilized discourse is refreshing, considering the way the two sides bantered back and forth when they met last in the regular season, with social media sniping and $147,000 in fines after a pregame scuffle and a chippy game.
So perhaps this time, we’ll just get to enjoy a good game between two quality teams.
And then maybe a big group hug.