Dunlap: Burfict Can't Help Himself ... Just Watch

Bengals linebacker will do something dirty on Sunday

Colin Dunlap
October 10, 2018 - 1:37 pm

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Just watch. 

He can't help himself. He doesn't have it in him to walk the straight and narrow. He can't just play football.  

Just watch. 

He will do something dumb. He will do something dirty. He will do something that leaves everyone --- including those on his own team --- scratching their head. But his coach will bizarrely justify it postgame. 

Just watch. 

He will take a very cheap swipe at someone after the whistle. He will twist and turn someone's ankle as the bodies rest on each other in a pile. We have seen his act before where he kicks someone. He will do something like that again. Heck, maybe he'll cuss and carry on in NC-17 rated fashion in front of little kids at the coin toss as he's done before. Maybe a repeat performance of that is in order. Nothing like starting the day off with some swearing in front of a bunch of kids, right? 

Just watch. 

It will all happen again on Sunday. It's just about guaranteed. He will act crazy. He will do something that leaves us all saying, "why does the league tolerate this?" 

But they will. They will continue to. I guess, in this passion play that is the NFL, they need villains too. That's all I can think of.  

Just watch --- Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict just doesn't have it in him to go out and simply play a game of hard-hitting football against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead, he will try to goon it up. Check that, he will goon it up. He will go out in that field in the Queen City and not just step over the line of good taste, but he will take a few giant leaps over the line and, seemingly while he's doing it, flip everyone off with the double bird salute. 

As much as anything, that's what has marked this rivalry (if that's what you want to call it) between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals in recent seasons. It has been a case of fans dropping everything to tune in for the train wreck component --- to see if Burfict will finally do something incredibly crazy like punch Mike Tomlin, legwhip Joey Porter, attack the Steelers bench, body slam Ben Roethlisberger or try to give a Steelers running back a pile driver or suplex a receiver after the play. Or maybe all of them. Who knows? 

But there has been a bit of apprehension in Roethlisberger's words this week in the run-up to the game. His voice sounds different than other seasons. Perhaps Big Ben is just getting older and taking stock of everything differntly. It seems the antics of Burfict --- who has been fined or suspended a total of 12 times --- have finally become exhausting. 

“We are going to play this game like a normal football game; an AFC North physical football game," the Steelers quarterback said. "We can only control half of the players out there though."

Exactly. They can't control Vontaze Burfict. It might be safe to say, at this point, no one can. And if the past dictates anything moving forward in terms of Steelers/Bengals, one thing on Sunday is exceedingly predicable: Burfict will do something so totally out of line it will make you wonder why the NFL tolerates him in the league. 

Guess all the good movies need a bad guy. That's all I can think of.