CINCINNATI — As soon as the Pittsburgh Steelers were mentioned, Carson Palmer’s mood changed. The Bengals quarterback went from light and lively to dark and serious during his news conference at Paul Brown Stadium on Thursday.
Palmer didn’t want the Steelers to win the Super Bowl, but they went ahead and won it anyway.
After the Bengals beat Pittsburgh at Heinz Field, 38-31, on Dec. 4, the Steelers reeled off eight straight victories, culminating with Super Bowl XL.
“It just pisses me off,” Palmer fumed. “I was watching them play, and kept going back in my head the last time we beat them at their stadium. I just wanted Seattle to win so bad, and was getting so mad at all the things that were going on in that game. I ended up not watching the rest of it once they were pulling away.
“They’re (the Steelers) the team that nobody in our locker room likes. They’re our rival, and you never want to see your rival win. It just gives us that much more motivation going into their stadium, or when they come into ours, to beat ‘em.
“Now they’re the top dog and they’ve got everybody gunning at ‘em. They’re going to get our best game twice a year. They’re going to get everybody’s best game because they’re the defending World Champs.”
Steelers coach Bill Cowher, who unleashed the Bengals’ “Who Dey” chant during the Steelers’ Super Bowl parade, admitted at the NFL Combine he’s “added way too much to (the rivalry),”
“That’s great,” Palmer said. “I love it. Rivalry games are the most fun games for the fans, the players ... you just can’t stand the guys that are on the other sideline. It brings out that much more emotion and makes the game that much more fun. So when (Cowher) started doing that, I was still (angry) that they won, but I just realized he might have said something he shouldn’t have said. Now it will just fuel our fire a little bit more and make us a little bit hungrier to beat ‘em.”