A Cincinnati radio station went old-school with its trash-talk this week, mocking Steelers QB Ben Roethlistberger's past sexual assault allegations.
This fake news alert aired on 700 WLW in Cincinnati. "The Steelers quarterback has been spotted in the downtown Cincinnati area," the report says. "All females ages 18-40 are to use extreme caution, especially if heavily consuming alcohol. Males should also be on the lookout, just in case."
It also states: "If you see Big Ben and he flashes Little Ben, you are asked to report it to authorities immediately."
The Steelers and Bengals face off in the Wild Card round Saturday in Cincinnati. The AFC North rivals split the season series, each winning on the road.
The originator of the joke is Garrett Sabelhaus, a host and producer at WLW. The station actually ran a similar bit before a Steelers-Bengals game three years ago. With the playoff showdown looming this weekend, Sabelhaus updated the spoof. The old version is no longer in WLW's system, so Sabelhaus rewrote what he could and added in some new lines.
"I wouldn't have imagined it would have gotten this big," Sabelhaus tells ThePostGame. "It didn't three years ago. It's funny. I thought people around here will laugh and go on to the next day and that'll be it. I didn't think there'd be any response like this."
Roethlisberger was accused in 2008 and 2010 of sexual assault incidents in Nevada and Georgia. He was not charged on either occasion, but was suspended the first four games of the 2010 season for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
"Of course I want the Bengals to win on Saturday," Sabelhaus says. "It's nothing personal. It's just a joke. It's something to laugh about. So many people get so uptight. There's always going to be that group that doesn't like it and finds it offensive. I've seen some things that it's making fun of rape and rape is hilarious. That's 100 percent not what I'm trying to do. This is not meant to make fun of rape. It's just about this rivalry. It's nothing personal."
When asked if the differing response from three years ago is the result of a more viral Internet, Sabelhaus said he believes social media was similar three years ago. He attributes the reaction to this comedic bit airing on The Big Show with Bill Cunningham on WLW.
"Bill Cunningham, in my opinion, is the greatest radio host in the country," Sabelhaus says.
As for the game itself, Sabelhaus says he would feel more confident about the Bengals with Andy Dalton in the lineup, but Cincinnati still can win at home.
"It's a toss up…I'll go on record saying the Bengals will win. Why not."
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.