For this little site of mine, this particular time of year is kind of a nightmare. So much stuff is happening that is hilarious and there is material everywhere. I have to leave so much on the cutting room floor in January because news just comes fast and furious, especially in the first two weeks when we still have plenty of playoff teams left. ¬†We had the LA news (Which obviously needs a comic too), more coaching changes, and each game pretty much has something to talk about. I could have easily done something about Kirk Cousins not liking that or the Chiefs finally winning a playoff game, but I have to pick my battles because I know next week will have just as much insanity. (on the plus side, if you want a Chiefs or Redskins or Packers thing from me, maybe this week’s Uproxx cartoons will satisfy you). Some of this is simply going to have to wait till the offseason (I have very special plans for a running gag about Rex and Rob Ryan in Buffalo, but now isn’t when I can do it).

The Bengals meltdown deserved a comic, even though now it’s practically old news. It would have been Tuesday’s comic, but I didn’t have a solid idea yet. I’ve never seen a meltdown like that. I’ve seen things close to it; hell the Giants last second failures against the Saints this season sorta feels similar. But nothing quite so bad. They had it. They really had it. We were 1:40 away from having the two longest playoff win droughts ended on the same day, and they failed completely. Let’s recap!
-Steelers go up 15 to nothing in a boring slog
-Ryan Shazier commits dirty helmet leading hit to Gio Bernard, whips Bengals/fans into a frenzy since it goes unflagged
-Bengals come back in the 4th to be down 15-10
-Big Ben is hurt during this timeframe by Vontaze Burfict (Fairly clean sack, just bad luck)
-Bengals score TD to AJ Green with 2 minutes left, go up 16-15 (Failed 2 point conversion)
-Vontaze Burfict intercepts Landry Jones with 1:40 left to play, runs off the field laughing
-Hill fumbles
-Steelers convert a 4th down, edge into Bengals territory
-Antonio Brown drops a pass and Vontaze Burfict commits incredibly dirty hit, giving the Steelers long field goal range
-Adam Jones gets into an argument with Steelers coach Joey Porter, draws another 15 yard flag
-Steelers win the game on a chip shot

Unbelievable. I almost turned the game off at halftime it was so boring. I’m so glad I didn’t, because this is historic.

The aftermath has been just like the game: ugly. Just terrible. Bengals fans are mad because Joey Porter shouldn’t have been on the field, and furious that the Gio Bernard hit wasn’t called. I’ve also seen some serious rationalization about the hit. Steelers fans are calling the Bengals fans babies, pointing out fair points about them being babies, but then also being delusional. I think what bothers me the most about all this is what usually bothers me, the Fan Hypocrisy. If these teams were reversed, you know damn well lots of¬†Steelers fans would be defending the hell out of Vontaze for playing “Hard-nosed Steeler Football” and calling Shazier a dirty scumbag. Frankly it’s hilarious how high and mighty the Steelers fans are acting now that they finally ended up on the morally superior side of this sort of thing. This is a fanbase that spent the late 00’s defending the hell out of James Harrison for playing exactly the same way Vontaze plays. There are no winners here. Both of these fanbases are rationalizing hard. Every fanbase in the NFL rationalizes hard. All fans are scum, we are all terrible people.

For the record, I think Vontaze is dirty. I don’t think he’s this monster, but I do think he’s a hotheaded ass who better learn how to control himself. But I also think his actions are being a touch overblown, or to put it better, unfairly spotlighted. There is a lot of dirty stuff in the NFL. Late hits, just scummy things. (Here’s a Steelers example!). A lot of it seems to get ignored or go unnoticed by the right people. Then one guy does something a little too visibly and he gets branded the boogeyman, and then he starts getting over-scrutinized. Harrison. Suh. Now Burfict. It’s not that these guys don’t deserve their fines, because they do, and they are terrible jerks, but that they are taking all the blame when the problem is far more widespread. That’s why fans of the team with the player on it are always defending these people, because they see it once they are suffering the unbalanced punishments. Bengals fans are defending Vontaze by claiming that so many other players do things like him, and they aren’t wrong, but it does make them seem to be defending Vontaze when they really don’t have a leg to stand on there, because Vontaze deserves his reputation.

I don’t see how anyone can defend Vontaze after that hit. It was so dirty. It doesn’t matter if the Bengals were mad about the Gio-non call. It doesn’t matter if the hit was with a shoulder. That hit was dirty and dumb as hell. Watch the replay. Brown clearly misses the catch right in front of Vontaze. Burfict has his head up, there’s no way he missed it. Burfict is at least 2 long steps away. Even moving really fast, he had time to react. But he still lowered his shoulder and leveled Brown. It was so blatantly unnecessary it’s astounding Burfict is that stupid. He cost the Bengals everything.

Bengals/Steelers next year is going to be horrible isn’t it?

Also I smell a Panthers upset this weekend. Just hints, but it feels right.