Ox Posted December 1, 2007 Report Share Posted December 1, 2007 A little Northern inhospitalityBengal fans lament Steeler fans' behaviorBY SHANNON RUSSELLIf you think it's difficult being a Bengals fan in Cincinnati, try being one at the Bengals-Steelers game in Pittsburgh.Orange-and-black-clad supporters are vastly outnumbered by Terrible Towel-wielding Steelers backers, and the Bengals haven't helped by posting a 13-24 record in Pittsburgh.Throw in the teams' proximity, AFC North connection, and the ultimate smack-talk topic - the Kimo von Oelhoffen collision that tore ligaments in Carson Palmer's knee during the teams' 2005 AFC wild-card game - and it's easy to understand the mutual dislike."Pittsburgh is home to nasty, horrible, classless fans - which makes an away win on their (field) even sweeter," Sharonville resident Jason Diegmueller said in an e-mail. "I never had more F-bombs lobbed at me in a three-hour period as I did last year in Heinz Field, and I've never felt more threatened (physically) as when I'm in the men's room there. Why do it again? Because there's just something exciting about representing your team on the road. We wear our Bengals jerseys proudly, an out-of-place orange in a sea of yellow and black."The Enquirer asked fans via the Bengals blog at Cincinnati.Com to weigh in on their experiences in Pittsburgh. Most who replied had experiences and opinions similar to Diegmueller.Will Kladakis said his trips to Pittsburgh have been filled with insults, criticisms and challenges to fight, usually by alcohol-drinking fans. A Steelers fan once poured beer on him. Another blew smoke into the faces of Kladakis and his uncle."I've never gone to a place where fans go out of their way to make your life a living hell," said Kladakis, a Columbia Tusculum resident.He considers every Pittsburgh excursion a business trip. He never smiles. He never laughs. Beating Pittsburgh is serious business.The Bengals have delivered of late, defeating the Steelers in their last two trips to Heinz Field. They've won three of the last four in Pittsburgh.Most Bengals fans who responded would consider this season a success if the Bengals won again before the Steelers' home crowd.The problem with the Steelers, some said, is that they have five Super Bowl rings and their fans aren't afraid to brag. It would be easier to spar verbally if the Bengals boasted something comparable, Kladakis said."When you win every year, it just gives you confidence," Diegmueller said.There seemed to be plenty of confidence Oct. 28 when Steelers fans came to Cincinnati. Bengals fans razzed Steelers fans wearing Ben Roethlisberger jerseys and waved orange towels that said "Pittsburgh Sucks."Some Pittsburgh fans complained people threw things at them, disrespected their property, and incessantly chanted "Who Dey."But Karl Kauffman said he has received more abuse from Steelers fans at Paul Brown Stadium than in Pittsburgh. His girlfriend Karolyn is a Steelers fan, and he recently got seats in a Steelers section at the Bengals' home game. It wasn't exactly a great place to wear a Palmer jersey, the Hyde Park resident said.In Pittsburgh, Kauffman hasn't been treated worse for wearing the same garment."I was a little surprised I didn't get a lot more abuse than I did," Kauffman said of his last trip to Heinz Field.Colerain resident Justin Jerdon admits he has been on the taunting end of Bengals-Steelers chants. He angered Steelers fans in 2005 by chanting "Who Dey" atop a 15-foot snow bank in Pittsburgh. They pelted him with snow balls and beer bottles.The experience wasn't all bad. Jerdon met his girlfriend, Michelle, while tailgating. She was, and is, a Steelers fan."I respect the Steelers," Jerdon said. "But I can't stand them."http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art...0402/1066/rss07 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.