This isn’t something new to Steelers’ Nation. In fact, I know I’ve said it here at least once if not multiple times at Behind The Steel Curtain. As fans, there is a diverse group of opinions as to what would be best for our beloved franchise. Whether these opinions are coming week-to-week throughout the season or in the days leading up to the largest football game of the year which just happens to be one the Steelers haven’t played in for 10 years, we all believe we know exactly what the Steelers need to do for this team to win a championship. Some feel the answers are there for the championship to come in a mere 12 months from now while others believe it’s time to start the process which may take a couple seasons but ultimately net the Steelers multiple Lombardi‘s to their collection.
I’m not going to go to the well-known phrase of comparing opinions to a certain part of the human body. Bottom line is (see what I did there?), everybody has an opinion. There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion. It’s what makes us the fans we are. If we didn’t have an opinion about the Steelers, then how much do we truly care about our beloved Black & Gold?
Alright, it’s time to get to the point. Lately I found myself getting frustrated over hearing some of the opinions out there when it comes to the current state of the Pittsburgh Steelers and their decisions moving forward. Whether it be players to keep, players to release, who to draft, or what kind of trade to make, the opinions are flying out there both among the fan base and the so-called talking head “experts” about the Steelers’ path moving forward. Some I feel are completely ridiculous. Others I see as great ideas but not something the Steelers typically would or could do. Others are more realistic. Some are completely exhausting because the same person feels the need to share it every 45 seconds on social media or comment on every post about it.
Right now there are a multitude of opinions about the Steelers future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Some people think it’s time for Ben to move on while others look beyond the last game he played and saw what Roethlisberger can still bring to the Steelers. Some feel a new philosophy by a new offensive coordinator is a good time to make the change while others think the change would benefit Roethlisberger for at least one more season. There are plenty of good reasons on both sides.
So why am I growing frustrated. My frustration really comes down to one word:
The Steelers have to do this. The Steelers have to do that.
Actually, no they don’t.
Well, there are some things the Steelers have to do. They have to be salary cap compliant by the first day of the new league year. They have to fill out a 53-man roster for Week 1. They have to prepare for the draft one way or another. They do not have to move on from Ben Roethlisberger and they do not have to keep Ben Roethlisberger. They do not have to draft a particular player, they do not have to retain a certain free agent, and they do not have to move on from another.
Maybe they should do some of these things, but they don’t have to.
I love this team. I don’t always agree with what they do and I’m sure you don’t either. But it’s not going to change my fandom for the Steelers if they don’t do the things I think they should do.
At the end of the day, we have to give some trust to our favorite franchise. Although I have strong opinions on positions the Steelers should draft, players they should sign or move on from, and the way they handle contracts, my opinions don’t matter. What matters is what the Steelers ultimately decide is best for the franchise.
I know some fans feel like the trust factor with the Steelers is being broken somewhat as the team has not been playing in the final game of the season for a decade. Yes, our standards are higher. But it’s not like the Steelers are taking lessons from their next-door neighbor and aren’t even trying to build a championship team.
I’m sure I will use the word have with some of my opinions throughout the offseason. We all will. We just need to remember that although we are emotionally invested in this team, so are millions of others. We all have different opinions on what the Steelers should be doing.
So far, here at BTSC I have not seen crazy arguments between people of varying opinions. Perhaps I’m not looking hard enough and just haven’t seen them yet. But I am hoping that this wonderful community that you all have helped to build is the place were fans can come and have differing opinions about what the Steelers should do moving forward while still understanding that others may not feel the same way.
I guess my point is this: It’s fine to have opinions we feel strongly about, but we don’t have to be jerks about it. It’s also fine to disagree with those opinions, and we don’t have to be jerks about that either. Me included.
It’s okay that we don’t all have the same opinion of what is best for the Pittsburgh Steelers moving forward. Ultimately, we just need to respect each other and know that, regardless of what they do, we’re all going to be cheering just as hard for the same team this coming fall.