Cincinnati mayor dispenses with trash talk in announcing AFC title game rematch

Cincinnati mayor Aftab Pureval won’t poke the Kansas City Chiefs again.

On New Year’s Eve, the Cincinnati Bengals will make the trip to Arrowhead Stadium for a rematch of the 2022 AFC Championship Game, the NFL announced Wednesday. As part of the announcement, Bengals offensive tackle and former Chief Orlando Brown Jr. made sure Pureval didn’t engage in trash talk again.

“The Bengals play the Chiefs Week 17,” Pureval said in a video posted by the Bengals on Twitter. “And I’ve got nothing else to add.”

“Annnnd cut,” Brown replied.

“How was that?” Pureval asked.

“Yeah, I think that was better than the last time,” Brown answered.

That “last time” was when Pureval made a proclamation that the AFC Championship Game was “They Gotta Play Us Day.” While the name seemed innocuous, the minute-long video that Pureval made for the proclamation wasn’t. The Cincinnati mayor took multiple jabs at Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, even saying that Joe Burrow had been “asked by officials to take a paternity test to confirm whether or not he’s [Mahomes’] father.”

Before the Chiefs’ 23-20 victory in the AFC title game, Burrow had won all three prior matchups against Mahomes and the Chiefs, including the 2021 AFC Championship Game. Burrow’s success against the Chiefs led the Cincinnati mayor and even some players on the Bengals to call Arrowhead Stadium “Burrowhead” because of the QB’s success against them.

But the Chiefs got the last laugh in that game, and they made sure to respond to Pureval. 

During a postgame interview involving Mahomes, star tight end Travis Kelce interrupted and said, “Burrowhead my ass.” 

Later, Kelce directly called out Pureval. 

“I’ve got some wise words for that Cincinnati mayor: Know your role and shut your mouth, you jabroni,” Kelce said during the Chiefs’ trophy presentation. 

Brown also got into the mix following the Chiefs’ title game win. 

“One of the greatest,” Brown said of Mahomes, interrupting the quarterback’s postgame interview. “Give ‘em his respect. Stamp ’em.”

Pureval ate his words after the game.

“Yeah. Deserved that,” Pureval wrote in a tweet congratulating the Chiefs on their win.

The matchups between the Chiefs and Bengals have been some of the NFL’s best over the past two seasons. All four games have been decided by one score, with the Bengals defeating the Chiefs in overtime to win the 2021 AFC Championship Game while Kansas City won the 2022 AFC Championship Game on a last-second field goal.

The date of the rematch of last season’s conference title game was one of eight games the NFL unveiled on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s full schedule release for the 2023 season. The league announced the five games that will take place in England and Germany. It also announced that the Philadelphia Eagles will host the New York Giants on Christmas Day, with that game airing on FOX. The first Black Friday game in the league’s history was also shared as the New York Jets will host the Miami Dolphins the day after Thanksgiving. 

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