The tone was set early last night, shortly before kickoff. I was riding the southeast escalator - known by many as the Lscalator - when a many made a proclamation to his buddies that he came to Paul Brown Stadium to "beat some ass," promising them that no matter what, he'd fight someone.
We were all warned.
I don't know what became of this man last night. Maybe he delivered on his promise, or perhaps he found that the football game was entertaining enough, but even if he didn't come to blows with someone, others did.
A section over from where I sit, three men were ejected for fighting. Over football, I suppose.
In the concourse, a man darted away from yellow jacket-wearing security personnel nursing a huge, bleeding wound on his head.
There was also the two guys that had a stare-down in the tunnel leading to their seats. It resulted in two ejections, which on security guys told us was a pretty frequent occurrence.
And then there were these two guys simulating a pass-blocking drill while a woman and two kids looked on in awe.
And there were these guys.
Bengals/Steelers games do tend to bring out the worst in fans, especially when the game is played in prime time, and the overwhelming majority of fans in attendance found it in themselves to not add to the on-field brutality by mixing it up in the stands, but when the topic of lackluster Bengals attendance comes up again, think of how many people have stopped going, or refuse to go, to Bengals games because, well, some fans come to the game only so they can beat some ass.