Do me a favor, go to your Facebook page and read the comments of some article/video/news snippet on one of the various Steelers sites you follow, such as Behind The Steel Curtain or Steelers.com (Behind the Steel Curtain, preferably, because—full disclosure—I write for that site).
What do you see? A plethora of posts like “#FireTomlin,” right? It doesn’t matter what news item is posted, either. It could be an article that discusses the team’s preseason schedule for this summer, and literally within the first two comments, you’ll have a “#FireTomlin” thrown in that gets like 19,000 replies, with 14,000 of them also stating that they, too, want Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the team since 2007, to be fired.
What is it with these so-called fans? What kind of person who claims to love a team walks around with one negative note playing inside of his or her head over and over again? What kind of fan is super-obsessed with something like wanting the head coach fired? What kind of fan thinks this, and only this, is the solution to the team’s problems? Furthermore, what kind of fan thinks the Steelers problems are so bad that only the firing of the head coach will allow them to sleep well at night?
What kind of fan of the Steelers, one who is well-aware of the way the Rooney family does business, actually thinks this will happen at any point in the immediate future? First of all, the Rooneys haven’t conducted business this way since before the 1970s, when they would do such things like select a player with their first-round draft pick simply because they liked a picture they saw of him. Second of all, it’s mid-April; since when do teams fire head coaches just days before the NFL Draft?
Do you really think Art Rooney II, the team’s president and majority owner, is really paying attention to you and your one-note sideshow comments, Mr. Guy Who Posts Foghorn Leghorn Memes All Day Long And Doesn’t Know The Difference Between Loose and Lose?
Anyway, this article isn’t necessarily about the merits of Tomlin—do you think he should be on the hot seat next season? Who cares? (Seriously, who focuses on that kind of stuff in mid-April?) It’s more about those toxic fans, the people who do nothing but post negative stuff on social media—mainly Facebook—day after day.
Why bother if the team makes you so grumpy? I know what you’re going to say, “Hey, I ain’t even a fan. These Steelers-related posts just keep appearing on my news feed.” OK, so you, a grown-up, don’t like something, and your way of dealing with this is to continuously write hashtag gibberish and other incoherent things that make you seem insane?
You may also say this, “Well, for your information, Tony, I’m a huge Steelers fan, and if you met me in person, you’d know that I’m actually pretty reasonable and rational.” First of all, I don’t want to meet you in person; you scare me. Second of all, reasonable and rational people don’t trash the comments section of an article about the Steelers giving to charity. Third of all, you fall for my April Fool’s articles every single time, which brings me back to you scaring me. Fourth of all, reasonable and rational fans aren’t obsessed with being negative about a sports franchise—they’re too busy enjoying the hell out of that franchise.
Speaking of enjoying a franchise (or just the opposite of that), ever investigate the Facebook pages of some of these so-called Steelers fans? If you actually do visit one of these pages, you may see a photo from 2016 of someone getting his picture taken with Mean Joe Greene. Another person may have posted a photo of her baby clad in black and gold the day of Pittsburgh’s big playoff game in 2015.
So, what suddenly went wrong? What made these people—people with very recent evidence of being super fans—snap?
Was it built up angst from not winning a Super Bowl for a decade? Is that the only thing that makes certain fans happy? How can you go from loving a team with all of your heart to trolling every Steeler-related site?
Sorry not sorry if this seems preachy, but if you’re not one of those people described in this article, you shouldn’t be offended. If you are, please, feel free to be offended. What do I care? You add no value to the fan experience. You add no intelligent discussion to any Steeler-related topic. You can’t possibly be a fan if you’re miserable about the team 24/7.
Finally, if you think Mike Tomlin is on the hot seat for 2019, I got news for you. He’s the head coach of a popular NFL team. When he’s not doing that, he’s giving his free time to worthwhile causes and bringing awareness to human trafficking. All you do all day is post “#FireTomlin” on any Steelers-related news-item that pops up on your Facebook page.
You do know your boss can probably see that, right? I’d say you’re more likely to be fired in 2019 than Mike Tomlin is.