If I had the ability to do so, I would go to the Twitter account of Adam Schein, some guy who talks sports at a bunch of different places (you can look it up—I had to), and post one of those “Here’s the attention you were looking for” memes.
Why? Much like in February, when he mocked Steelers fans for their excitement over that big tub of lard of a quarterback of theirs, Ben Roethlisberger, posting a quick video showing him throwing a football for the first time since having season-ending elbow surgery early in the 2019 regular season, Schein took to Twitter on Tuesday to do some more post-hype video mocking:
“Steelers used to be about Lombardi trophies in February. Now it’s haircuts and hype videos in May. This is what happens when you miss the playoffs in back to back years and Baltimore is loaded and Cleveland oozes talent and has real head coach.”
OK, that was more like shaming. Either way, it was mean.
Schein, of course, was referring to the video Roethlisberger and the Steelers posted to their social media accounts on Monday of the veteran quarterback throwing “legit NFL passes” in a workout session with JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner and Ryan Switzer.
The video was huge news. How huge? So huge, the quick cut to Roethlisberger getting his Big Beard trimmed by his barber buddy became the “Envelope-gate” of haircuts, as many people weighed in on that alone on Tuesday.
But I don’t want to talk about beards and barbers. I want to put the shine back on Schein.
Was it a hype video? Yes. Does that mean the Steelers aren’t about Lombardi trophies any longer?
What’s that phrase I always bring up that I don’t understand? I’ll try and use it in a sentence: The Steelers can post hype videos in May and still be about winning Lombardi trophies in February—the two things aren’t mutually exclusive.
Did I nail it? If not, well, you know what I mean.
The Steelers whole reason for the season is the Lombardi trophy. That’s always been the motivation since they started winning them in 1974.
One might say it was their motivation even last year, after Roethlisberger was lost for the season with the aforementioned elbow injury. If they weren’t trying to stay relevant after the kind of season-ending injury that normally cripples most teams with a quarterback of Roethlisberger’s caliber, why trade their 2020 first-round pick to the Dolphins in exchange for safety Minkah Fitzpatrick?
The Steelers were 0-2 at the time. They could have easily tanked it for Tua (or Joe Burrow, as it turned out). Instead, they added Fitzpatrick to an improving defense and made it better—elite, in fact. Pittsburgh rode that defense all the way to an 8-5 record, before ultimately collapsing down the stretch under the weight of some very inexperienced quarterback play.
The play by the young quarterbacks the Steelers employed in Roethlisberger’s absence in 2019—Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges—was spotty, at best, even during an 8-2 stretch that took them from 0-3 to 8-5 and the inside track for the fifth seed by mid-December.
But even when it looked like the Steelers were actually going to make the playoffs, most felt like they simply didn’t have the offensive firepower to do much more than go one and done.
It didn’t matter. They went for it, anyway. Why? That’s what champions do. That’s what organizations who are all about winning do. They never go down without a fight.
Schein’s logic is so flawed, I don’t even know where to begin. Yes, the Steelers missed the playoffs in back to back years. But the reason they missed the postseason last season was because they were without their best player. Isn’t it understandable that a team that seems to be one really good quarterback away from becoming a contender would hype the apparent return to good health of its Hall of Fame passer?
Yes, Baltimore is loaded. It has an MVP quarterback, a great running game, some good receivers and an excellent defense. With all of that talent, maybe 2020 will be the year the Ravens finally win their first playoff game since 2014. As for the Browns, a team that is oozing with talent and finally has a real head coach in Kevin “I’ve Never Been a Real Head Coach Before” Stefanski? Maybe they’ll finally win their first postseason game since 1994—or back when the Ravens were the OG Browns.
The Steelers have always been about Lombardi trophies, so much so, even Mike Tomlin is on the hot seat—at least with the fans.
That’s right, Steelers fans, like their favorite football team, are merely distracted by hype videos in May. They still want results in February.
It might be a favorite pastime for many in the national media to take shots at Pittsburgh, these days, but the Steelers pastime has and always will remain the same: Winning the next Lombardi trophy.