Some might call me a traitor and a fair weather fan, but I am here to set the record straight.
After Pittsburgh's Kimo von Oelhoffen took out Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer in the opening play of the 2006 playoff game, I thought my hatred for the Steelers could never dissipate. They play dirty football and continually beat up on the poor defenseless Bengals.
The Steelers, the terrible towels, everything about that team brought up feelings of utter disgust. However, the course of this season has changed my mind.
Football is a contact sport. People get roughed up and carted off the field, it is part of the game. Therefore, I can no longer blame the Steelers for the Bengals' woes. The Bengals will disappoint year after year because it is in their nature.
After the 0-8 start to the 2008 season, I decided to abandon the Bengals. I'm not sure why I should be stuck supporting a team that stinks.
Yes, I'm from Cincinnati, but so what?
Why must I suffer along with the hometown team.
While I could have jumped on the bandwagon of any other team, I have chosen the Pittsburgh Steelers, formerly my arch-nemesis.
Why the Steelers you ask?
Here are my reasons.
The Steelers play football the way it was meant to be played. Troy Polamalu sits at the helm of their raging defense. Honestly, how can you not adore that guy? He has an insatiable hunger to win. He is a playmaker and a game changer.
On the offensive side, the Steelers are led by Big Ben.
Talk about a tough cookie.
Big Ben has had a number of concussions, but that doesn't keep him down.
He is a baller.
Then, they've got an All-Star player in Hines Ward. The guy seriously injured his knee during the AFC Championship game against the Ravens. He probably shouldn't play in the Super Bowl, but "probably" and "shouldn't" are two words Mr. Ward doesn't want to hear.
Ward will play on game day, and he'll be a major factor in their success as he has done throughout his career.
The Steelers are a fun team to watch. They execute exciting trick plays, embody a suffocating defense, and have a young, respectable head coach in Mike Tomlin.
The Steelers have it all.
Of course, I'll be rooting for my new team come Super Bowl Sunday, but I will also be rooting for a good game. If Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald put up some big numbers against the tough Steelers' defense I'll happily watch.
Yes, I am a Steelers fan, but more importantly I'm a fan of quality sports. The Bengals don't fit that label, so I have changed teams. At least the Steelers are a respectable franchise. The Bengals only legacy is of loss and disappointment.
February 1st here we come. May the best team win.