With the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers facing off on Sunday in a rematch of a game defined by an on-field brawl, there are concerns about the "noise" taking center stage instead of the actual play. This appears to have been the case after Browns coach Freddie Kitchens was spotted in a "Pittsburgh started it" shirt. In response, Steelers cornerback, Cameron Sutton arrived for Sunday's game wearing a crude anti-Browns sweater.
As a photo posted on Sunday showed, Sutton was wearing a white sweater that showed a figure in Steelers gear urinating on another in a Browns uniform. To make the point very clear, there was text underneath that said "Pittsburgh" and "Cleveland."
After an investigation, some football fans tracked down the sweater online. They also discovered that it was available in multiple styles for men, women, and children alike.
"The petty wars have begun," one user on Twitter wrote in response to this photo. Another said that there wouldn't even be a game on Sunday as initially planned. Instead, the two teams would just line up and start fighting at the opening whistle.
In their minds, this game between the Steelers and the Browns was less about football and more about the surrounding drama. It didn't even matter that three of the figures from the previous game (Myles Garrett, Maurkice Pouncey, Larry Ogunjobi) would all be absent due to serving a suspension while the fourth player (Mason Rudolph) had been benched for poor play. Their altercation from the previous game would still be taking center stage on Sunday.
This was so much of a concern that Kitchens even told reporters during a conference call that he wanted the members of the team to avoid any "fluff" that would distract them from performing at their best and sweeping the Steelers for the first time since 1988.
"I want them to go in with one thing and one thing only on their minds, and that is to do their job, and anything that overshadows that in any way is not acceptable and it is not the best for the team," Kitchens said during a conference call with reporters. "I want guys to show up ready to do their job. All of that other stuff is just fluff. It is just fluff to give people things to talk about leading up to Sunday."
With kickoff moments away, it appears that the "fluff" is taking center stage once again. At least, the various clothing options are dominating this conversation.
Photo Credit: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty