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KANSAS CITY — There’s a moment when having fun and being confident gets unmasked. And then all the big talk and boldness that seems acceptable in the context of winning ages poorly in light of a loss.
That moment came for the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
From top to bottom this team that is equal parts young and talented arrived in this town expecting to own Kansas City and its team as it has in the past. Expecting, as Cincinnati’s idiotic mayor Aftab Pureval tweeted, to make Arrowhead Stadium into Burrowhead Stadium named after Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.
Pureval also took a jab at Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, citing Joe Burrow held a 3-0 advantage in matchups between the two before Sunday.
Cincinnati Mayor Talks Big, Takes L
“Whereas Joseph Lee Burrow…who’s 3-0 against Mahomes has been asked by officials to take a paternity test…to confirm whether or not he’s his father,” Pureval said.
Yeah, the good people of Cincinnati elected this foof.
Anyway, the Bengals came into Sunday’s AFC Championship Game riding a 10-game winning streak and strutting like they were headed back to the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year.
And then the Chiefs made them look like the immature team they are. The Chiefs also made sure everyone knew the Cincy mayor’s act didn’t help his city’s team.
Chiefs Took The High Road
“Yeah, listen, our guys did a great job of not going that direction,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after Sunday’s 23-20 victory over the Bengals. “Their mayor said it all. So I’m glad our mayor did what he did. Some people heard it.”
Mahomes, who took most of the strays from the Ohio politician, came away from this game looking pretty good. He threw for 326 yards and 2 TDs and delivered the key play of the game.
“I mean, they beat us last time but they were talking about ‘We got to play them,’ ” Mahomes said. “There was a lot of stuff, I mean the mayor came at me.
“I understand he’s the mayor of Cincinnati, so he has to think about something, but it’s something you just got to play the football game and let your play do the talking.”
But, you see, this isn’t just about the mayor.
Bengals Hard For Other Teams To Stomach
The Bengals, so young and cocky, are kind of hard for other teams to stomach at times.
Last week, for example, coach Zac Taylor sarcastically apologized to the NFL for ruining its plans to hold a championship game in neutral site Atlanta by beating the Buffalo Bills. (The AFC Championship would have been in Atlanta if the Bills advanced against the Chiefs).
And cornerback Eli Apple embraced the whole Burrowhead narrative after beating the Bills. He retweeted the tweet below on his timeline.
Before that, Apple also seemed to send Damar Hamlin and the Bills off on a vacation to Cancun, using Hamlin’s signature No. 3 and love hands emoji. That one caused Bills defensive lineman Shaq Lawson to challenge Apple to a fight.
All of this reached the Chiefs in some form or fashion and was heightened by the whole mayor issue — which Kelce addressed on national television.
And then with reporters this way:
“I said enough about the Cincinnati mayor,” Kelce said. “Cincinnati was a better city when Jerry Springer was the mayor.”