The Pittsburgh Steelers and their global fan base have been a patient bunch the past seven days. The excitement over a Week 12 game vs. the arch rival Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving night quickly turned to concern as they heard the news of the game being delayed to Sunday after a COVID-19 outbreak within the Ravens’ organization.
After the game was delayed a second time, this from Sunday to Tuesday, the consensus of the fan base was frustration, but still patience. After all, this is a global pandemic and one which shouldn’t be taken lightly.
However, when the NFL decided to push the game from Tuesday to Wednesday, the once patient fan base has lost anything resembling patience as it seems blatant there is some manipulation happening.
Before going further, it should be made abundantly clear the underlying variable throughout this equation is the Pittsburgh Steelers had nothing to do with this outbreak. With that said, it seems as if the National Football League is more concerned with a competitive balance than a team being punished for their own doing.
This wasn’t a situation where a Ravens player was riding public transportation, caught the coronavirus and brought it into the locker room. No, this was a coach who had a blatant disregard for any and all protocols set forth by the NFL. The Ravens also failed to enforce those protocols, yet it is the Ravens who are seemingly getting the benefit of the doubt.
To make matters worse, the reports on Monday evening of Ravens players threatening to not play the game Tuesday due to “player safety” might have just put Steelers fans over the edge.
And don’t think the Steelers organization is thrilled either. In case you haven’t noticed, the Steelers will be playing three games in twelve days after the Wednesday afternoon game in Week 12, a Monday night game in Week 13 and a Sunday night game in Week 14.
Talk about player safety.
Either way, the Ravens managed to get yet another postponement, this time for an additional 20 hours, and it seems as if, barring more positive tests out of Baltimore, Wednesday will be the day.
If at any point there was some sympathy for the Ravens’ plight, that sympathy is now gone. The Steelers who might have slightly overlooked the Ravens, and their JV-looking roster, you can think again before that happens.
While I, as a fan, feel like having a Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation rant right now about the Ravens, John Harbaugh, the NFL and Roger Goodell, I realize the players and Mike Tomlin will have a more level head.
They understand they have a say in how this all plays out, unlike the fan base who are invested, but forced to be just spectators. All we, as fans, can do is sit back on Wednesday at 3:40 p.m. ET and hope our favorite team beats the brakes off the Ravens at Heinz Field, putting a giant dagger into their playoff hopes.
In the meantime, stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Ravens at some point.