It’s Thanksgiving Weekend, and with that in mind, here are 11 words, quotes, actions and phrases I wish Steelers and NFL fans would stuff away forever:
As in, “I’m tired of all the haters” or “What do the haters have to say now?” Who are haters? Are haters people who hate the Steelers or your favorite players, or are they people just pointing out negative performances by the Steelers and/or your favorite players? Don’t get me wrong, I think haters (trolls) do exist in the world (mostly the social media world), but not everyone that is critical of something or someone is a hater. Besides all of that, “haters” sounds like something a teenager would say (or, possibly a 40-something mom on Facebook).
“I’m sick of all of the negativity”
Then you have the wrong hobby, my friend. Negativity comes along with being a sports fan. I was at the Raiders/Steelers Week 2 game at Heinz Field way back in 2002. Maybe you remember that game, but if you don’t, it was the one in which Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon threw 851 times—mostly all three-yard out passes out of the spread formation—and the guy sitting next to my brother and me repeatedly said, “See? That is open every time.” I mean, the dude said it like 851 times. The moral of the story? I think we can all agree that negativity is much more prevalent than ever before thanks to social media. Therefore, if I could make it through four quarters of nail-on-the-chalkboard “See?” negativity while sitting next to someone at Heinz Field nearly two decades ago (the guy was right, btw), you can make it through an entire game-day thread on BTSC, today.
Speaking of which...
“That is why I avoid the open thread on game day”
Really? That’s the only reason you avoid BTSC’s open thread during every Steelers game? I can name six better reasons. I think the best reason is the game being broadcast on my television set. Okay, maybe you’re located in a part of Steeler Nation that doesn't carry the game very often. Fine, but just listen to it on the radio or the Internet. I’m sure you can stream the radio broadcast of it somewhere. If you don’t want to do that, well, just keep refreshing the score on Google; that’s what I do when I can’t see a broadcast. I don’t want to deal with an open thread during any live game. If I wanted to watch people say, “YESSSSSSS!” and “F*************K!” every few seconds, I’d just visit my nephew’s YouTube channel where he posts videos of himself playing Madden or whatever. Besides all of that, I don’t know what anyone expects when they visit an open thread during a live game. Expecting there not to be negativity in that type of raw, emotional environment is like expecting there not to be pushing and shoving at Walmart on Black Friday.
Stupid takes by opposing fans after losses
I know this isn’t a specific word, quote or phrase, but it’s clearly an annoying action. For example, why do Steelers fans brag about the team’s six Super Bowls moments after some team just won its very first one? Nobody cares about resumes at that point. That also goes for you Yankees fans and your team’s 27 World Series titles. The Braves just don’t care.
I kid you not, a few weeks ago, after Pittsburgh’s 15-10 win over the Browns at First Energy Stadium, some Browns fan tweeted, “I don’t know why Steelers fans are so happy after their win. Their team has no future.” I get that a loss sucks, but a take like that is the equivalent of smacking yourself in the face or breaking your flat screen television—you’re only hurting yourself.
“And nobody was there to see it”
This one pertains to Penn State football fans and their constant obsession with the attendance at Heinz Field for Pitt games. This is a way to demean the football program, of course. In case you don’t know which program I’m talking about, it’s the one that just clinched the ACC’s Coastal Division and will be playing in the ACC Championship Game in a couple of weeks. It’s also the football program that a lot of Nittany Lions fans supposedly no longer even worry about because, you know, “they aren’t our rivals.” Anyway, I’m no football expert, but I don’t believe a college team gets docked any points for attendance—and it certainly doesn’t earn any when 100,000 show up at Happy Valley to see Temple.
“T.J. Watt has played in fewer games than Myles Garrett!”
I get it, Watt should be ranked higher than Garrett in the “number of sacks” category because he’s played in fewer games in 2021 due to injury. Unfortunately, math doesn’t work that way, and after one more check, yep, Garrett still has 13 sacks compared to T.J.’s 12.5. I know you think Watt is totally underrated, but he’s not. Everyone knows who T.J. Watt is; he’s a Watt brother, which is like being a Manning brother but only on the defensive side (I realize Derek plays offense, but he never touches the ball, so...). The pay isn’t nearly as good, but $80 million is better than nothing.
“I still say the Steelers should have addressed their offensive line in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft”
With who, Alex Leatherwood? Come on, how can you still be harping on what the Steelers did in the 2021 NFL Draft? Even if you disagreed with the selection of running back Najee Harris in the first round at the time, how could you possibly not love him right now? He’s a Pittsburgh Steeler, damn it! And what about Pat Freiermuth and his Travis Kelce-like talent? The Steelers also have two rookie draft picks starting on the offensive line. Isaiahh Loudermilk is showing promise for a controversial fifth-round pick. Tre Norwood and Pressley Harvin, the team’s two seventh-round picks, are also playing major roles in their rookie seasons. These Steelers rookies are your children now. Treat them as such.
“Win or lose, I’ll be a Steelers fan until the day I die”
Good point, but I just spent 10 minutes talking about the Steelers' depth on my podcast and asked if there were any questions about it. You don’t have to use that phrase as a catchall for everything. I get it, we’re all fanatical and will likely be that way until our last breath, but I was looking for more of an analytical response about the whole depth issue.
ThIs KiNd Of SpElLiNg WhEn MaKiNg FuN Of An IrRaTiOnAl TaKe
Look, I’m not saying sports fans aren’t prone to irrational reactions, but does anyone ever type like that when they’re being all crazy with their takes? If so, that’s pretty impressive—it took me five hours to write that category header.
“Why are you writing so many articles about the fans?”
I get that a lot whenever I write one of these articles. Like the fans/readers are off-limits and must be left alone to procreate like those last two panda bears. Why do I write so many articles about the fans? Because I want to, that’s why.
“Settle this debate: Sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie?”
First of all, you’re never going to settle the debate. Second of all, they’re both damn good (I actually can’t tell the difference).