February 17, 2023 12:00pm

"A" for Effort, Except When It Comes to Aftab's Trash Talking

All the feelings about the Bengals' season, Mayor Aftab's taunting, Elon Musk's impact on Twitter and the end of the pandemic.

Photo of John Fox
Cincinnati, OH Correspondent
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While the shortest month can sometimes feel extra long thanks to Cincinnati's standard winter gray skies and nasty temps, February can also be a month for transitions. We're mourning the end of the Bengals' season, which shreeched to a halt one stop before the Super Bowl. Now that Joe Burrow and our team are winners, we wondered how fans would assess this year. Did they take a step back? Did they disappoint? Was it all Mayor Aftab Pureval's fault for taunting Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs before the AFC Championship game? Twitter users have been dealing with loads of transitions since Elon Musk took over the company and the platform. Have Power Poll members dropped their Twitter usage in protest or in frustration? And our old friend the COVID-19 pandemic is also transitioning now, with the Biden Administration about to officially downgrade it to a mild irritation in May. Do Cincinnati poll members agree with that decision?

Let's get to the results.

OK, Cincinnati is in love with the Bengals. Forget any sense of disappointment that the team didn't reach its second straight Super Bowl. After 30 years of wandering in the NFL wasteland, the Bengals have quickly become one of the league's premier teams thanks to Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase, Sam Hubbard, Zac Taylor and friends. Losing the AFC Championship to Kansas City in a nailbaiter just isn't fazing this fan base, who realize these are the good times.

It does rub a lot of us the wrong way, however, that after the game several Chiefs players referenced Mayor Aftab Pureval's taunting of QB Patrick Mahomes leading up to the AFC Championship and implied his trash talking fired up K.C. That group, which went on to beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, didn't need any advantage, perceived or otherwise, against the Bengals. As Chiefs tight end Travis Kelcey, a proud one-time Cincinnati Bearcat, said after the game, our mayor made himself out to be a jabroni. A lot of Power Poll members agree.

After billionaire Elon Musk took over Twitter last fall and either ruined it or saved it, depending on your point of view, users have been fleeing the site, while others who were once banned came back. Curious about how Musk's leadership has impacted Cincinnatians, we asked Power Poll members if they've dropped their Twitter handles now that Musk owns it. Not so much, it turns out.

Three years after COVID arrived in Cincinnati to turn our world upside down, we're beyond sick and tired of the disruption. The Biden Administration has announced that the federal government will officially end the national pandemic emergency on May 11, and we're hoping the little virus buggers pay attention and leave the country. Whether it's wishful thinking or not, poll respondents clearly are happy to back the idea that the pandemic is done. No one thought it would last three years (except the scientists), so good riddance!

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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