“Yeah! Screw those bleeping haters!”
That was me early in the 2005 regular season, shortly after Jeff Reed kicked a game-winning field goal in the final seconds to help the Steelers beat the Chargers on a Monday night in San Diego.
I was 33 and very passionate about what everyone had to say about the Steelers. If a network did a roundtable thing where the studio experts picked who they thought was going to win that day’s game between Pittsburgh and some opponent, I would take it very personally if my team wasn’t properly respected in terms of votes.
Respect is a rather valuable commodity in all walks of society. When it comes to the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers, their respect has been lacking nationally since the moment Ben Roethlisberger threw his first post-surgical pass in that gym in California, and Adam what’s his face was like, “What’s all the fuss about this fat, bearded has-been, Steelers fans?”
Every pundit with a tongue, from Adam Schein to Colin Cowherd, just loves to disrespect the Steelers.
Take Cowherd, for example. Didn’t he say the Steelers were going to be a sub-500 team in the offseason? Now that they officially can’t be a sub-.500 team and are true contenders, he’s going back to his old faithful: He’s questioning whether Pittsburgh has what it takes to measure up to the real titans of the NFL. One such team may, in fact, be the Titans, but there is no doubt that the Chiefs have now replaced the Patriots in the “buttoned-up” category, a team that, in his eyes, is vastly superior to a Pittsburgh franchise that just has everything flapping in the wind.
As for Schein, his latest schtick is dissing T.J. Watt’s credentials for Defensive Player of the Year to prop up those of Aaron Donald.
Boy, I tell ya’, these Steelers get no respect. No respect. Why, they went to the doctor the other day, and he told them they have six weeks to live before they die in the playoffs. The Steelers said they wanted a second opinion. He said, “OK, you’re ugly, too.”
No respect, I tell ya’.
This kind of national disrespect works well on Steelers fans because they’re just so passionate about their favorite team, but I kind of figured out a long time ago that all this is from these people is schtick. I’m not saying a few don’t have personal vendettas against the Steelers and some of their coaches and players—namely head coach Mike Tomlin and Roethlisberger—but basically what they’re doing is trying to get a rise out of you--you know, for Schitts and giggles.
They just sit back and smoke their cigars and laugh as we lash out, react and SpEaK LiKe ThIs to try and get our point across about how clueless they are about our Steelers.
Heck, this even happens locally with a sports talk show host named Mark Madden—maybe you’ve heard of him. He talked about how overrated the undefeated Steelers were up until the moment they lost their first game. Since then, it’s been all about the receivers, their drops and how TikTok and Twitter are causing them to lose focus.
Madden was waiting for this week to come. Why? As he likes to say, when the Steelers lose, that’s what’s best for business. He’s not wrong, either. As a writer, I can tell you that it’s much more likely that people will react to the negative than they will the positive, and what’s more negative than spending an entire week talking about how unfocused and undisciplined the 11-1 Steelers are after their first loss of the season?
I’ve come a long way since that night in 2005. I saw that Cowherd posted a video of himself on social media the other day, smoking a cigar and bragging about how right he was about the Steelers. However, I didn’t even give it a second of my time. I knew what he was doing. He was playing the Ric Flair to my 1987 wrestling fan who required security to prevent him from rushing the ring.
Don’t be that late-80s wrestling fan when these so-called experts try to get a rise out of you.
What do folks like to say when an undesirable comes into an online comment section looking for trouble? “Don’t feed the trolls.”
If you ignore them, they will go away. Better yet, if the Steelers win the Super Bowl, the joke will be on them.