CINCINNATI - Many Cincinnati Bengals weren't even aware that their “Who Dey” cheer spurred another team to a Super Bowl title last season.
They are now.
During a team meeting Wednesday, coach Marvin Lewis played video of Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher leading the “Who Dey” cheer in the Steelers' locker room after their playoff victory at Paul Brown Stadium last January.
In the video, Cowher triumphantly asks “Who Dey?” - as in, “Who Dey Think Gonna Beat Dem Bengals?” - and Steelers players respond, “We Dey!” The video was shot in the locker room after that 31-17 win on Jan. 8, the one in which Carson Palmer's knee was shredded on his first pass by Steelers lineman Kimo von Oelhoffen.
Some Bengals watched the video and laughed. Others took offense.
“I didn't like it,” receiver Chad Johnson. “It was very rude.”
Of course, Johnson saw nothing wrong with using a Terrible Towel as a bib for interviews leading up to the Bengals' regular-season game in Pittsburgh last season, escalating the tit-for-tat nature of the rivalry.
Lewis' video session struck some veterans as a standard coaching ploy for their game Sunday in Pittsburgh. The Bengals won the AFC North last season, but the Steelers knocked them out of the playoffs and went on to win the Super Bowl.
“I've been around for 10 years,” defensive end Bryan Robinson said. “I guess for some guys, that's what you need to get going; then, that's all fine and dandy. Coaches will find different things like that to see what he can arouse out of that. I'm sure that got some guys going.
“I was laughing. They won that game and they had every right to say 'We Dey.' If we're going to say 'Who Dey?' they had every right to say that.”
Cowher knew it would come up.