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A Letter to Steeler Nation

B. Clifton BurkeCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2009

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals is tackled during the NFL game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 24, 2006 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Bengals won the game 28-20.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Steeler Nation,

First off, congratulations on winning your sixth Super Bowl Championship. I trust it still rests comfortably atop your collective mind.

Secondly, I must say, I admire your obsession with your team. A Steeler fan seems always willing to display his or her loyalty anywhere in the world, at times creating awkward, even socially-damaging effects, yet one carries on undeterred.  

And, thirdly, it is impossible to call you a group made up largely of "bandwagoneers" because you're rarely absent from the playoffs, and it's hard to lose fan support when the team always wins. So, there you have it.

Now, with all pleasantries aside, it's time to speak of your team's identity. What the universe should agree upon is that the Steelers are made up of defense and a running game—any dumbbell knows that. 

However, let's not pretend that a central characteristic to your team's success is not deception. Within the past six years, the Steelers have been the experts at the "ol’ trickeration", often times at the Bengals' expensemost notably in the dreaded playoff game of the 2005 seasona play that sealed the fate of the Bengals' season and still causes the venom to rise in the mouths of bitter Who-Deyers today.

And your defense is run by a man who predicates his whole philosophy on the sleight-of-hand. One could produce an entire college thesis on the deceptive strategies of Dick LeBeau's defenses. He's always one step ahead of the league because he continues to trick everyone. 

My beef, Steeler Nation, is that you assume that what you see unfold every year is due to sheer strength and determination, when there is something more cunning there, more conniving. I'm not at all saying that you're dirty, I'm saying you're sneaky. You want a sheer muscle team who socks you in your mouth? Try Baltimore. Pittsburgh will outsmart the Ravens, yes, but that doesn’t mean you’re tougher.

A feeble Bengals' fan like myself has no defense to your many, many championships and your apparent sheer awesomeness. You need not even look in our direction when we simpletons from Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky exercise our underdeveloped vocal chords about how maybe you're the evil genius who wins in the end rather than the muscle-bounded hero everyone else was rooting for. 

That's why we don't like you, Steeler Nation; you're Iago, you're Gargamel, you're Skeletor. I'd rather not face it, either; I don't blame you, but you suck. You must at least acknowledge, someday, and hopefully soon, that you suck. 

Best of luck this season. Go jump off a cliff, just as soon as you can. I truly despise you. Hugs & Kisses.

Sincerely,

B. Clifton Burke

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