“Oh Mama, I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law...”
Preceded by a blank screen on the Jumbotron, these lyrics have inspired Steelers fans to twirl their terrible towels with the centripetal acceleration which is multiple times to that of gravity.
Alright, enough of the nerd talk. This is a pop-culture story.
When Steelers fans partake in a game at Heinz Field, one of the most memorable experiences is when the song “Renegade” by Styx is played to help fire up the crowd and inspire the defense to get a key stop. While not every game has the opportunity with the correct commercial break to play the song, it is very rare with the video board operator at Heinz Field is unable to cue up the fight song. In some circumstances, fans even get to experience a “Double Renegade“ in order to fire up the defense yet again.
The use of Renegade by the Steelers at Heinz Field is definitely noticed among other teams around the league. Going into the Steelers Week 5 games against the Baltimore Ravens, Lamar Jackson took a shot at Steelers fans by saying, “they play their little song and wave their little towels.”
Knowing full well the Steelers crowd would most likely outnumber Charger fans in Los Angeles Sunday night, those responsible for content on the Jumbotron in Los Angeles attempted to take a shot at the Steelers at a key point in the game. Needless to say, it did not go over well.
After scoring a touchdown and needing a defensive stop, the Chargers decided to fade their screen to black and begin playing the opening lines to the Styx hit. Both fans and players on each side were confused only to find out moments later it was the Chargers attempt at comedy as they “Rick Rolled” the Steelers.
So what is Rick Rolling? Whatever you do, do not ask BTSC’s Jeff Hartman or Lance Williams as they seemed to have no idea what was going on. If you were to ask Brian Anthony Davis, he would probably go on with an extensive soliloquy about the 1987 hit by Rick Astley “Never Gonna Give You Up,” where it placed on the charts, the history behind the lyrics, and every time it’s been performed since its release.
In short, Rick Rolling appeared sometime in or around 2007. It is a “trolling” joke on the user where someone is given a video to watch where eventually it breaks into the music video for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Other examples I have seen have been term papers submitted in college classes with the first letter of each line spelling out the lyrics to the song. It was made more popular with children in the end credit scene of Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet when they appear to be showing a trailer for Frozen 2 when it breaks into Ralph’s rendition of the 80’s classic.
So this was what the Chargers were trying to do. At a point in the game where their defense was going to need a big stop, they tried to make a joke against the Steelers. Instead, it merely reminded the Chargers that, unlike when they were in San Diego, they never really play in front of a home crowd.
Chargers guard Forrest Lamp: “We’re used to not having any fans here. It does suck, though, when they’re playing their music in the fourth quarter. We’re the ones at home. I don’t know who’s in charge of that but they probably should be fired.” #Steelers https://t.co/wSMn4zosLM— Blitzburgh (@Steel_Curtain4) October 14, 2019
It also caught many in attendance from the Steelers by surprise.
Will some stadium employee for the Chargers lose their job over this? Probably. I don’t think it was very inspiring for the Chargers defense. So while it was a shot at the Steelers, it did not help in the overall cause.
For those of you who are curious, here is a small glimpse of what it looked like in the stadium.
Chargers pull off a Rick-Roll on the Steelers crowd after playing “Renegade” pic.twitter.com/DErEQAhYSz— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) October 14, 2019
The Chargers did their best to pull one over on Steelers fans, but it was the Steelers who had the last laugh.
24-17. Enough said.