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No way the Bengals stop me from buying folks AFC North Champions gear for Christmas

Sorry, Bengals, but a Steelers AFC North Champions’ gift is a nice little trinket that will make a great present this Christmas. No way will I let you ruin my gift ideas by beating the Steelers on Monday Night Football.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

I’m writing an article that totally discounts and disrespects the Bengals. Do you know what that means? The Steelers are about to take on their AFC North rivals at Paul Brown Stadium on Monday Night Football (btw, it could have been a Sunday, Thursday or a COVID-related Wednesday-afternoon game, and it still would have meant the same thing).

This particular match-up between the Steelers and Cincinnati is doubly-meaningful for me in a “No way they lose to those losers sense.” For one thing, it allows me to continue my recent theme of: “Hey, ingrates, appreciate the small things.” Also, it’s almost Christmas, which means I need some last-second and totally thoughtless ideas for what to buy my relatives/friends before Friday.

Do I go all out like I normally do and buy everyone gift cards just before getting in line at the Market District Giant Eagle in Robinson, or do I scale things back this holiday season, a holiday season compromised by the ongoing pandemic?

I know what you’re going to say, “Tony, no need to be so thoughtful this time around. Why, under the circumstances, I’m sure whatever gift you give your relatives/friends will be greatly appreciated. After all, it is the thought that counts.”

I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I see no way that, with the AFC North title on the line, Pittsburgh loses to the Bengals, a down on their luck franchise (what else is new?) that won’t even be quarterbacked by 2019 Heisman Trophy winner, Joe Burrow. Instead, Cincinnati’s quarterback for Monday’s match-up will be someone named What’s His Face, a player who was likely never a strong candidate for the Heisman.

The Steelers need to wrap up the division title by Christmas, or I’ll be forced to really be thoughtful and buy my family and friends gift cards to some restaurant/fast-food chain (it would be a fast-food chain). I can’t make that kind of effort, not when just buying everyone AFC North Champions t-shirts and caps would be so much easier.

Would they be great gifts? Of course not. After all, who celebrates division championships? Because a division title is the sports equivalent to an alarm clock from the local drug store, I’m hearing that the Steelers have decided on a special theme this time around, something that will really speak to their faithful. That’s right, instead of “We Run the North,” the Steelers 2020 AFC North Champions memorabilia will read: “We Run the North? Really? That’s What We’re Celebrating, These Days? That’s The Standard?” I realize any memorabilia involving the Steelers winning the AFC North will be akin to a gag gift, but 2020 has been a trying year. Efficiency is what I’m after. Something quick and easy.

No way will the Bengals ruin that for me, not this year.