I am an active member on social media. I enjoy the interaction with fans on Twitter and Facebook, keeping a pulse on the fans' perspective on anything and everything Pittsburgh Steelers, and I was shocked to see the uproar from the fan base when the 2015 NFL Schedule was released this past Tuesday.
Fans were incredibly angry with Roger Goodell and company for giving the Steelers' such a difficult schedule. I am the last person on the planet to defend Mr. Goodell, but in this instance, you can't blame him. Were he and his cohorts responsible for the Steelers opening the season against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots? Yes, but can you blame him for wanting a Ben Roethlisberger vs. Tom Brady opener? Ratings equal money, and Steelers vs. Patriots will equal huge ratings.
Angry at the rest of the schedule and the killer final six-game stretch? You shouldn't be. The NFL released the 2015 opponents shortly after the 2014 season ended. Fans had the chance to know they were going to have to travel to play the Seattle Seahawks, the San Diego Chargers and Patriots. Fans had the chance to know the Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos would all be making voyages to Heinz Field in 2015.
What am I saying here? Simple. The schedule shouldn't have shocked anyone. The opponents were decided, simply had to be put down on paper. That isn't to say there weren't aspects of the schedule release to look forward to.
The anticipation of which games Le'Veon Bell would miss due to his 3-game suspension surely was a cause for concern, when the team would be granted their annual bye week, their West coast road games and the beloved prime time games. However, the opponents on the schedule never changed.
So the murderer's row the Steelers now face in 2015 is complete with a 17-week synopsis for all fans to stare at until the season starts on September 10th. Be worried, nervous or downright scared if you want, but the one thing you can't be is angry at the NFL for the schedule being made. Just remember, the last time the Steelers had the toughest schedule in the NFL was 2008, and the season ended in a Super Bowl victory.