After the Steelers made people angry by trying to avoid making people angry when they decided to stay in the tunnel for the national anthem before kicking off their Week-3 clash with the Bears at Soldier Field on September 24, there were threats of boycotts from many of their so-called long-time, loyal fans.
The grousing by some persisted through Weeks 4 and 5 (at least on social media), and one wondered just how these threats of self-imposed disinterest would affect the ratings for Pittsburgh's Week-6 matchup against the undefeated Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium this past Sunday.
I must say, as I sat there in front of my TV on Sunday and watched a totally full stadium of mostly Chiefs fans do their annoying tomahawk chop, I thought, "Man, this football boycott is really spreading."
But, it wasn't until the next day, when I found out that the Steelers/Chiefs contest drew the highest NFL ratings for any CBS broadcast so far this season (and the highest for any network in Week 6), that I finally realized the magnitude of a Steelers (and NFL) boycott.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not naive enough to think the NFL doesn't have a bit of a ratings problem, and that the anthem protests, first started by Colin Kaepernick in 2016, are part of it.
But if you were one of the people who started threatening to burn anything you owned that was Steelers-related about three weeks ago, I'll bet you would have never thought their first national broadcast of 2017 would do so darned well in the ratings (the Steelers-Chiefs matchup was available to 86 percent of the country).
So, when it comes to boycotting the Steelers, you’ve really got a lot of work to do, Steelers boycotters.
I'm sure glad these boycotters weren't the plumbers who responded to my bathroom flood about a month ago because I might have had to type this article sitting in a dinghy in my living room.
If a Steelers boycotter had worked on my abscessed tooth back in the spring, let's just say there's a pretty good chance I'd be siting here with one kidney right about now.
If the Steelers boycotters were the antibiotics I was given for that aforementioned tooth abscess, instead of reducing the swelling in my jaw, I might have looked like Will Smith's character after he had an allergic reaction to some seafood in the movie Hitch.
In fact, if your typical Steelers boycotter was a dentist, it would probably be that fifth one that never recommends anything.
If a Steelers boycotter was the attorney who represented O.J. Simpson back in 1995, he probably would have said, "The glove really fits, so I must quit!"
If Steelers boycotters were in charge of drafting for the Colts back in 1998, they would have selected Ryan Leaf.
If the Steelers boycotters were given a choice between starring in the movie Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and the CBS television show Magnum P.I., let's just say, they would have selected the latter (okay, I'll give you that one—Magnum rocks).
Finally, to paraphrase the late, great Bob Hope in the movie Spies Like Us, "Boycotter, boycotter, glad I don't hold a grudge against the Steelers."
Steelers boycotters—you REALLY need to work on your boycotting.