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The recent Olympics have made me question my Steelers loyalty

Michael Phelps, the 23-time Olympic Gold medalist, hates the Steelers and loves the Ravens. Does this mean I’m disloyal for rooting for him? How about those other celebrities that cheer on teams like the Raiders, Jets, Dolphins or even the Patriots? Should I just give up watching TV/movies?

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Legendary swimmer Michael Phelps, the 23-time Olympic Gold medalist, called out a reporter who was wearing Steelers gear at a press conference during the just concluded Summer Games:

“Is that a Steelers...oh man, golly,” Phelps said in mock disgust.

Then, Phelps, a Baltimore native, spotted some purple in the crowd, “There’s some Ravens...woof. Football season’s back.”

Then Phelps went on to talk about the great Steelers/Ravens rivalry or whatever.

Anyway, I know what you’re going to say: “Yawn. This is old news! Must be nothing better to write about.”

Yes, it is old news, and no, there isn’t anything better to write about (at least not as far as I’m concerned). And you know why? I just know, four summers from now, when I’m at some bar watching Phelps go for more gold medals during the 2020 Summer Olympic Games (you know he’s coming back and trying for 30), some random Steelers fan standing next to me is going to say, “I can’t stand that guy!”

And I’ll go, “Why? Because of all the hype?”


“Because of the weed?”

“No, that’s not it. It’s because he loves those Rat birds!”

“Well, Phelps is from Baltimore, so.....”

“Steeler Nation is world-wide!”

“Yeah, I don’t think that’s an official thing.”


You might think I’m overreacting with my concern about this: “Come on, Tony. Phelps was only joking. Football fans aren’t that serious.”

Oh yeah, ever been on the Internet?

It’s a good thing the Internet didn’t exist in the 1970s. Did you know the late James Garner, he of The Rockford Files fame, was a huge Raiders fan and even stood on the sidelines at many of their games?

Do you hate him now? Maybe you’re old enough to remember this slight against the Steelers (Rockford must have hated Pittsburgh and probably did bad things to The Terrible Towel if he was irreverent enough to love the Silver and Black). Did you switch your private detective/cop show drama allegiances to Cannon?

Maybe even Hunter? Oh well, gotta support the team, for me.

I miss the good old days when you didn’t know that a celebrity such as Fergie fergalicious was a Dolphins fan, or Kevin James was a Jets supporter.

I mean, I want to see Fergalicious go boom, boom, boom; that’s good stuff, but how can I without betraying my Steelers loyalty? I like King of Queens, too; can I even watch it now without someone telling me to go to hell?

This is all just so stressful.

It’s bad enough Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and John Krasinski are all Patriots fans, but to find out they also implicated themselves in the Tom Brady deflated footballs scandal?

What’s the point of even watching movies or television anymore?

Should I just sell off my entire collection of Burn Notice DVDs?

I wish I could live in a world where Michael Phelps represented both the United States of America as well as the Baltimore Ravens—while at the same time hating the Steelers—but I don’t think I’ll ever see that day.

I guess all I’m saying is give peace a chance—there’s just too much at stake (and too many gold medals and great TV shows/movies) not to.

Go Steelers!.....Go Fergie!