Marco Materrazi should be proud of Vontaze Burfict.

The Cincinnati Bengals linebacker baited Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith into a penalty Sunday during the teams’ AFC North matchup at M&T Bank Stadium. Burfict (legally) knocked Smith to the turf in a first-quarter, off-the-ball collision.

Smith rose to his feet and sent Burfict flying with a retaliation hit. At least, that’s how the referees saw it.

The referees penalized Smith for unnecessary roughness. Smith understandably was incredulous, because a replay showed Burfict flopped pretty hard.

Zinedine Zidane infamously head-butted Materazzi in the 2006 FIFA World Cup final. Materazzi’s reaction earned Zidane a red card in the world’s biggest soccer game and a place in the hall of shame.

We doubt Smith will join Zidane in the annals of infamy, but many are encouraging Burfict to test himself in the acting world. Anything to prevent him from dealing out more dirty hits.

Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images