What The Game Looked Like Through Cincinnati's Collective Eye - By Neal Coolong

Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial

It was a travesty toward mankind.

Kimo Von OelhoffenCommitting a crime graver than the assassination of President Kennedy, Steelers defensive end Kimo Von Oelhoffen pulled out a .45 and shot off the kneecap of Bengals franchise player, father of the city, future President of the United States and model of the world's first cloned race of people, Carson Palmer.

The team and city was so shaken by Von Oelhoffen's blatant disregard for the sanctity that is Palmer Incorporated, they decided to not play the rest of the game.

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory declared a city-wide day of mourning Monday, and with good reason.

"I ask everyone in the city, regardless of religion, to pray for the life of Carson Palmer," Mallory said through a news release. "If he falls, who knows what direction the world might spin."

Football experts, fans and people in Cincinnati all know the Bengals won the AFC North title by virtue of a tie-breaker with the Steelers, therefore, they didn't need to show up to Paul Brown Stadium. They need to save their precious time and effort for things like coming up with touchdown celebration dances and making D-list rap videos produced by D-Lishus and Snow.

Bengals players insisted after the game the loss had nothing to do with their defense giving up 24 straight points, or how their offense wasn't able to muster a point in the second half.

Cincinnati had placed an emergency call to NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue requesting the game be postponed until Palmer was able to play.

"It threw our game off," wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said. "We aren't pouting, but we aren't going to play if our messiah isn't able to go. It's just that simple."

Houshmandzadeh and Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson were both escorted from the post-game press conference in tears.

The Steelers wasted no time rubbing the win in the faces of Cincinnati, making bold statements like "they lost a good player, no doubt, but that's how the NFL works. You still have to play," and, even more offensive, "we wanted to dominate this game offensively, we feel we succeeded."

Nevermind that Palmer doesn't play on the defensive side of the ball, just the mere intimidation of the sight of the one-time Pro Bowler on the sideline would have been enough to make the Steelers - a team which has already defeated the Bengals with Palmer under center - shake in their Nikes.

Johnson was issued a gag-order by coach Marvin Lewis during the last week of practice. It worked perfectly, as Johnson had nothing to say all game. He was held scoreless by the Steelers for the third straight meeting. In those games, Johnson amassed 13 catches for 207 yards, an average of four catches for 69 yards a game.

It comes as a shock to Cincinnati fans that a Steelers team - who's only rightful claim to dominance is four Super Bowl wins to their credit and seven AFC North and Central titles in the last 10 years - could possibly have defeated the 2005 Bengals, who lost two in a row entering the game. It's even stranger considering the Steelers had defeated the Bengals three of the last four games. It's widely accepted that the better team didn't win two of the three games this year, and if Von Oelhoffen wasn't hiding behind the excuse "I'm just doing my job," and "they pay me to sack the quarterback," and "I was blocked into him and couldn't stop my momentum from falling forward because I have to obey the laws of gravity," the people of the world might have been entitled to seeing the real winner.

Because we all know the outcome of this game couldn't possibly have been decided by Pittsburgh being the better team.

I may even get locked up for mentioning that.