The Chiefs-Bengals rivalry had already reached a boiling point, but the AFC championship game this year might have blown the lid off.
After spending a week fielding questions about the health of his ankle and the background noise centered around “Burrowhead Stadium” in reference to the Bengals’ Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes let his play on the field do the talking. For those looking to find motivation, it seemed as if anointment of the Bengals as the AFC’s next big thing led Mahomes to take aim at Cincinnati during his postgame interview with Tracy Wolfson after the game.
“I don’t think we have any cigars, but we’ll be ready to go at the Super Bowl,” Mahomes said.
This was moments after Travis Kelce crashed his interview to yell “Burrowhead my ass.”
.@PatrickMahomes reacts to winning his 3rd AFC Championship! (via @NFLonCBS)@Chiefs pic.twitter.com/tvGvxiv2ed
— NFL (@NFL) January 30, 2023
Mahomes isn’t the only one to use postgame interviews to get a zinger or two in. Joe Burrow has had some good one liners, too.
After punching their ticket into the AFC championship game, Burrow ribbed the NFL for its presale of a potential neutral site contest between the Chiefs and Bills.
“Better send those refunds,” Burrow said with a smile on his face.
— sportsvids99 (@sportsvids991) January 22, 2023
The good news for Mahomes? His dad came prepared.
Pat Mahomes Sr. lighting a victory cigar after Chiefs W 😮💨
(via @BrittanyLynne) pic.twitter.com/Q8JGVTQeCq
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 30, 2023
And as it turns out, some of Mahomes’ teammates had cigars, too. And they chose to use their postgame live streams to go after Eli Apple.
“Eli Apple ima smoke one for you” pic.twitter.com/OGSLhMxubt
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) January 30, 2023
MORE: Mahomes, Chiefs heading to Super Bowl 57 after last-second win over Bengals
Burrow and the Bengals, of course, have made smoking on cigars part of their regular postgame celebrations. For Burrow, it dates back to his LSU days, and the Bengals have since adopted it.
Joe Burrow & Ja’Marr Chase’s dads smoked victory cigars after their sons made the Super Bowl last year.
Another iconic pic coming soon? 💨
(via djread, lahjay10_/IG) pic.twitter.com/hqThjXz8m3
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 28, 2023
For Mahomes it’s all competition, and he used the talk to fuel him, culminating in a tweet reminding everyone who he is after the game.
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) January 30, 2023
Joe Burrow and the Bengals are going to be around the AFC for a long time. That’s abundantly clear. But Mahomes clearly wants them to know he will be too.