That was a Tweet from Steelers tackle Zach Banner on Saturday directed toward someone on social media who, believe it or not, had a problem with Banner’s Flashdance parody video. Why? Because the Steelers used to have class back in the day which, of course, was why they won.
Did you see Banner’s video? If not, I’m sure you will. I’m not saying it’s going to win an Oscar, Emmy or Grammy for Video of the Year, but it’s pretty creative for a guy who plays football for a living.
And there’s the rub as it pertains to why Banner had to school that Twitter dude and his sunglasses.
You see, Banner plays football for the Steelers, and if you play football for the Steelers, there is no way you can make a parody video without it ultimately preventing the team from winning a Super Bowl.
And isn’t that what it’s all about? It is for so many. If a player isn’t constantly giving off the vibe that he’s working 24/7/365 toward the goal of winning a championship and/or being the very best he can be, it’s open season on him and his dedication to his craft and team.
Anyway, this article isn’t about that or whether or not the Steelers of yesterday would have ever acted this way—even if they did film a commercial where they fought tires. This article is about trolling Banner on social media and whether or not it’s a good idea.
It’s probably not a good idea.
Oh, sure, you may get a few good ones in, but he’ll likely come right back at you with even better slights. Have a questionable looking beard? Banner may compare your facial hair to that of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s.......(it rhymes with cubes).
Have a profile picture of you and your girlfriend in the nosebleed section? Banner may point that out and make your lady question why she’s with a man who can’t afford club seats.
Is this the kind of social media activity you want to see from an offensive lineman who may or may not win a starting job in, this, his fourth NFL season? I say it is. Why should professional athletes—even ones who haven’t established themselves quite yet—put up with abuse on social media just because they’re professional athletes?
Why do they have to take it all the time? Since when did that become part of the job description? I say, if you have the chops to give as good (or better) than you get, do it. If the fans don’t like that sort of thing, there’s a really easy cure for it: Don’t be jerks on social media. I realize this is hard, but it can be done.
Have you seen Banner interact with Mark Madden, the local shock-jock sports talk radio host who likes to go out of his way to pick feuds with certain Steelers players?
Banner has drawn Madden’s attention recently because, like a lot of fans, Double M is of the opinion that a player with Banner’s resume should be seen and not heard. If you’ve witnessed these Twitter encounters, you know Banner has more than held his own. In fact, it kind of reminds me of the HHH/Shawn Michaels-era DX feud with Sargent Slaughter back in the late-’90s. HHH and Michaels were the new, hip breed of heel wrestlers by that point, while Slaughter’s 1980s “maggots” act just seemed old and out of touch.
Players like Banner have grown up with social media. They’re familiar with the terrain. If they must troll, some are really proficient at it.
While most players, even in the social media age, will ignore fans and media members who criticize them, some will decide they don’t have to sit quietly and take it. And if they have the skill to really dish it out, well, it’s going to leave a lot of people wondering why a player could pick on innocent little fans and reporters.
Back in the old days, players just had to deal with the nasty snail-mail letters they got from fans and could really do nothing about it.
Those days have been over for quite some time.
Just to be clear, Banner isn’t malicious with his barbs, but he is quite the effective troll.
If he can learn to school pass-rushers like he schools folks on social media, Banner will be a Pro Bowl player for many years to come.
Finally, if you decide to step into the social media octagon with Zach Banner, leave all of your sharp objects outside.
He ain’t afraid to use them on you.