By Bryan Chai January 28, 2023 at 1:56pm
The NFL playoffs are rapidly approaching their conclusion, with the Super Bowl a few, scant weeks away.
Barreling toward the end of the NFL season always brings out a torrent of emotions: Fans are sad that the season is ending, fans are mad at the way their team was either eliminated from or didn’t make the playoffs, players whose teams are still alive are anxious to see if they can live to play another game, players whose teams have since been eliminated from the playoffs are likely just frustrated.
The NFL playoffs can also bring about vindictive pettiness in the form of trash talk. That’s hardly noteworthy when coming from players, or even coaches.
But when a mayor of a city gets in on the action? That’s when things can get a little cringeworthy.
The Cincinnati Bengals will travel to Kansas City for a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game against the Chiefs, and there is no love lost between the two teams — or cities.
Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval took to Twitter to post a positively viral (the video sat at over 4 million views as of early Saturday afternoon) Twitter clip, in which he skewered the Chiefs and their star quarterback.
Take a look:
A WHO DEY proclamation from the Mayor: @Bengals pic.twitter.com/W1tCqupdTw
— Aftab Pureval (@AftabPureval) January 27, 2023
“Good afternoon Cincinnati,” Pureval begins. “I have a proclamation from the desk of the mayor.
Have you watched the NFL Playoffs this year?
“Be it proclaimed: Whereas the Cincinnati Bengals are headed to Burrowhead Stadium for their second consecutive AFC Championship game. Whereas last year’s game, the Bengals scored more points than the Chiefs, resulting in a Bengals victory and a Chiefs loss. Whereas Joseph Lee Burrow, who’s 3-0 against (Chiefs quarterback Patrick) Mahomes, has been asked by officials to take a paternity test, to confirm whether or not he’s his father.”
Burn … I guess?
Look, Pureval delivers this joke with all the conviction of a Bengal tiger trying to speak Chinese. And while the delivery left much to be desired, so too did the material.
First of all, wins and losses are not quarterback stats. Attributing a 3-0 record to a single player, even one who plays a position as important as quarterback, is almost offensive to the rest of the squad. Wins and losses are team stats, not individual ones.
Secondly, this whole “Burrowhead” joke (a play on “Arrowhead Stadium,” which is where the Chiefs play, and Burrow’s own name) is a bit premature, given that Burrow has played exactly three games against the Chiefs. Maybe once he has helped lead his team to a 32-3 record (like Tom Brady on the New England Patriots vs. the Buffalo Bills), you can make those jokes. For now, it’s all a bit premature.
Finally, are we really doing the “who’s your daddy?” joke in 2023? Maybe it’s making a comeback in the cultural zeitgeist, but it comes as painfully lazy. Remember, Burrow and his Bengals may have never lost a game to the Chiefs, but the Chiefs have also experienced Super Bowl wins. Two of them, in fact, which are two more than the total number of Super Bowls the Bengals have won.
Granted, the Bengals do have a Super Bowl loss on their ledger, which at least puts them ahead of the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans. Those four teams have the ignominious NFL distinction of being the only four franchises to never even play in a Super Bowl.
But Pureval’s trash talk wasn’t aimed at the Browns, Lions, Jags or Texans. It was aimed at a team that has won two Super Bowls, and deploys a quarterback who might actually have a shot to supplant Tom Brady as the greatest quarterback of all time.
“Whereas all season long, Cincinnati has been on a path of destiny, fighting it out to overcome anyone who stands between them and a Super Bowl win. And, whereas Kansas City is named after its neighboring state … which is, you know … just kind of weird.
“Now therefore, I, Aftab Pureval, mayor of the city of Cincinnati, do hereby proclaim January 29, 2023, as “Dey Gotta Play Us” Day in Cincinnati. Thank you.”
The Bengals, who often use the phrase “Who Dey” as a rallying cry, and Mayor Pureval obviously drew the ire of Chiefs fans with this viral stunt.
— Aftab Pureval (@AftabPureval) January 27, 2023
In fact, Mahomes’s wife, Brittany Mahomes, blasted Pureval on Twitter for the stunt.
“WEAK. & embarrassing,” she tweeted out in response.
WEAK. & embarrassing. https://t.co/rOXixjtKgL
— Brittany Mahomes (@BrittanyLynne) January 27, 2023
“I hear the mayor of Cincinnati has tried to bring some smoke that’s weak as hell,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said, according to the New York Post. “No need to respond. KC’s got class. Cincinnati has Jerry Springer and no rings. See them Sunday.”
Apparently, it wasn’t just Chiefs supporters who didn’t like this stunt. Bengals fans also didn’t appreciate the insults, with many echoing that the video was either A.) cringe (undoubtedly true) or B.) providing unnecessary bulletin board material for the Chiefs (likely true.)
Pureval actually apologized for his rejected SNL skit, citing his “competitive juices” for the meme-worthy video.
Bengals nation, Lol. I hear you. My competitive juices and love for cincy got the best of me. My bad. Staying hungry and humble. See you Sunday. Who Dey baby!
— Aftab Pureval (@AftabPureval) January 28, 2023
The Chiefs vs. Bengals will be the late game on Championship Sunday.
In the earlier game, the San Francisco 49ers will travel to play the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game.