Thanks to the ongoing NFL controversy over that thing I'm afraid to mention (it sort of rhymes with handsome armrest), it's hard to go on any Steelers social media-related page without seeing at least a few people screaming for an (well, it kind of rhymes with ROFL toy bot).
It's basically the main football-centric topic I argue with people about nowadays, and I'm so used to that battle that—when a true heel Steelers fan posts a comment such as, "Mike DUMLIN needs to be fired!"—I don't really know how to react.
I used to get visibly angry at such statements and retort with statistics of Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin's overall record.
But, now, I just appreciate the passion and loyalty to the team.
It's sort of like how I felt while watching the Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho WCW match during the heyday of the NWO "invasion" back in the mid-90's. Sure, one was a babyface and the other was a heel, but at least I knew they were both representing the brand.
OK, maybe Jericho stole the WCW Cruiserweight belt from Guerrero after he loosened the turnbuckle padding when the referee had his back turned arguing with Bobby "The Brain" Heenan at ringside, but I took comfort in the thought that all four participants in the match were loyal to their company.
Besides, you just knew—at any moment—some NWO guys were going to rush down to the ring and attack people with baseball bats and chairs, and everyone involved with WCW was going to have to stand together and fight these "Outsiders."
Much like WCW's fight against the NWO some 20 years ago, the Steelers need every fan—the rational and the irrational—to come together right now.
Even a jobber heel Steelers fan who doesn't know the difference between an epic playoff battle and the first preseason game ("WHERE'S THE DAMN GAME-PLAN, HALEY!!!!!!!"), I'm going to be cheering you on next August.
And this newfound appreciation for Steelers fans who love the team but are very irrational about it isn't just limited to social media, either.
Those two guys wearing Steelers jerseys who I saw punching the daylights out of one another outside of Three Rivers Stadium back in 1994, I hope you're both well and ready to cheer on your team next Sunday in Indianapolis.
To that kid who, just five minutes into the very first regular season game following the Steelers 27-23 win over the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, stood up in Section 520 of Heinz Field and screamed, "This is why I BLEEPING HATE ARIANS!"—you, sir, are my brother.
Yes, whether in real life or on social media, I welcome all the Steelers "support" my hazel eyes can take in these days.
The good news is, the Steelers are 6-2 and co-leaders in the AFC. On the other hand, they've gotten there while losing to the Bears and Jaguars. Therefore, I'm spotting more and more comments like, "Yeah, but they should be 8-0!!!!!!!!!!!" and, "Big Ben is done!!!!!” or “TIME TO SEE WHAT LANDRY JONES CAN DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Even the "Who cares?" person, a staple of social media—Facebook, in-particular—if you follow that up with, "I won't care about this team until it stands for the handsome!" I want to introduce you to Mr. or Mrs. "I WILL NOT CARE ABOUT THIS TEAM UNTIL IT FIRES TOMLIN AND RE-HIRES BILL COWHER, WHOSE PLAYERS TOMLIN HAS BEEN WINNING WITH SINCE 2007!!!!!"
And if you think that's bad, just wait until the playoff races start heating up, and that Ric Flair-level heel Steelers fan comes online and really takes over with his epic rants:
"This team sucks! Woooooooo! THEY ARE 14-2, BUT THEY SHOULD BE 16-0! WOOOOO! THEY NEED A NEW QUARTERBACK! WOOOOOOO! I'VE BEEN A SEASON TICKET HOLDER SINCE 1972 AND I'VE NEVER SEEN A TEAM LESS PREPARED! WOOOOOO!!!!!! FIRE TOMLIN! WOOOOOOO! FIRE HALEY! WOOOOOOOOO! BRING BACK COWHER!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOO! SMASHMOUTH FOOTBALLL!!!! WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Prepare yourselves, ROFL toy botters, you ain't seen no loyalty like Steelers loyalty.