It must be annoying to see how often Steelers fans take over opposing stadiums during road games.
It has to be especially infuriating to see so many black-and-gold-clad faithful whooping it up and waving those Terrible Towels when a less-than-mediocre Steelers team comes to town to take on the home squad.
It might be annoying and infuriating, but is it ever surprising? It shouldn’t be. This is what Steelers fans do. This is what they’ve been doing for decades.
And when your home football team represents a transient city, such as Atlanta—affectionately known as the ATL (how appropriate since that particular Atlanta nickname is the result of its famous airport)—you better watch out. You better find a way to buy up as many tickets as possible so as to prevent thousands of Steelers fans from catching a flight to the ATL and then descending upon your stadium—but not before they descend upon your bars and other such “lubricating” establishments—and turning your home team’s stadium into, at best, a neutral site.
Heck, you might not even be able to prevent the sale of Falcons tickets from going to buyers with 412 or 724 area codes. Why? The buyer might be calling from a 678, 470, 943, 404 or 770 area code (I just looked that up). In other words, the call might be coming from inside your house. That’s right, while the popular refrain has always been that Steelers fans travel well—and they certainly do—it’s a little more accurate to point out that they just happen to live everywhere around the United States of America and the entire world.
When one of those parts of the world happens to be a transient city such as Phoenix, Washington D.C. or the ATL, you damn well better believe your stadium won’t be able to prevent a black-and-gold invasion.
OK, maybe if your team is really, really good. Unfortunately, that doesn’t describe the 2022 Atlanta Falcons, a team that went into Sunday’s game with a 5-7 mark. Wait a minute, if the Falcons couldn’t sell out with a 5-7 record (understandable), why did so many Steelers fans fill the seats despite their team coming into the day with a 4-7 record? They’re nuts, that’s why. OK, they’re just very passionate, and going to games for them is often too much to pass up, even during a down year.
Everyone is laughing at the fact that the Falcons were forced to use a silent count on several occasions and that their offensive linemen were called for multiple false starts, but I wasn’t surprised one bit.
I expected it.
I remember when the Washington Commanders had to go to a silent count during a game at FedEx Field way back in 2008.
I recall how the Chargers tried to "rickroll" the many Steelers fans in attendance during a Sunday Night Football game between the two teams in 2019 and had them believing they were about to play Renegade, before switching to the famous Rich Astley song. I suppose it worked well enough, but the point is this: There were so many Steelers fans in attendance at Dignity Health Sports Park, a 27,000-seat venue that was the Chargers’ home for three years, that the Chargers felt the need to troll them.
Is Charlotte considered to be a transient city? I think so. Yikes. The Steelers play the Panthers in their next road game on December 18, and that can only mean one thing: Bank of America Stadium will morph into Acrisure Stadium, at least for one day.
Quarterback P.J. Walker better work on that silent count.