Some people are fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. This 2013 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the 2013 NFL previews so far right here.
Your team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Your 2012 record: 8-8. And I resent that America was forced to watch a team this relentlessly average five times in primetime last season. You will not find another franchise in all of sport that has won so many titles while simultaneously participating in so many ugly, listless, uninspired games. If the Steelers could find a way to beat Cleveland 2-1, they would. And the worst part is that their fans brag about the Steelers' propensity for winning unwatchable football games. DURRR THAT'S JUST STEELER FOOTBALL WINNING UGLY BECAUSE WE'RE ALL UGLY TOO DURRRRR...
Your coach: Mike Tomlin, whom Steelers fans will find a way to bitch about even though he's won a Super Bowl and gone to the playoffs four of six years during his tenure. (What have you done for the Yinzers lately, Mike?) Tomlin also kept Todd Haley around for a second straight season.
The best part of having Todd Haley around is trying to figure out jussssst how much Big Ben hates his fucking guts:
He brought it in and (said) 'Here's my stuff, here's what we're going to do.' So it was hard for us to say, 'Hey, we were pretty doggone good last year, what were we 12-4?'” Roethlisberger said Saturday on the first practice day of Steelers training camp. “We would say, 'Oh, we know this play, it's the same thing we had, but it's called completely different.' So why not call it the same thing? So there was a lot of frustration with that.”
That's so perfect. Haley is like the real-life Ted Lasso. You queerbaits are gonna learn the Todd Haley system and start winning some REAL football games now! You can hear Big Ben straining to sound positive about being stuck with Haley for yet another year (the Steelers' offense dropped from 12th to 21st overall under Haley and the team lost four more games). WE'RE UP TEMPO NOW! We suck, but we suck FAST.
Your quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger, still down to fuck after all these years! Yes, it's another season of Big Ben getting sacked three dozen times after holding the ball for 50 seconds or more. The best part is when they show Big Ben walking through the stadium garage before the game and he looks like he weighs 70,000 pounds. How much Xanax do they stuff in that guy's face to keep him from groping the PR staff? I say half a bottle a day. Big Ben is the only human being on Earth who thinks more clearly when he's concussed.
By the way, despite the fact that Big Ben has won two Super Bowls, there are still plenty of Steelers fans out there who feel as if he still needs to prove something to them. Sure, he won two Super Bowls, but he wasn't lunchpaily enough! If you win a Super Bowl in this town, it does nothing to keep the fans from complaining. They make Alabama fans look reasonable by comparison. There's some kind of mythical unicorn Steelers quarterback these people are looking for, who wins six titles, puts in Ironman time at defensive end, and can build a new patio with his bare hands because DURRR WE'RE HARD WORKIN' FOLK DURRRRRR.
Your one fantasy player everyone will hate: Roethlisberger. He's infuriating. No other big-name QB is more likely to throw for 126 yards and no touchdowns, then turn around and hang up five touchdowns the second you bench him. His fantasy value is exactly as reliable as his intellect.
Why your team sucks: The offensive line is still full of holes. None of the running backs can hold onto the fucking ball. Mike Wallace is gone, which means the team's remaining receivers will get smothered to death. The safeties are a combined 160 years old. But even if those issues somehow resolve themselves this season, I promise you that Steelers fans will still find something to bitch about. These are, hands down, the most grossly spoiled fans in the NFL. Steelers fans want it both ways. They want to lord their six rings over you, while at the same time maintaining the illusion that they're somehow the scrappy underdog. The Ravens are criminals, the Patriots are cheaters, but somehow their darling Steelers are football's version of Sir fucking Galahad. It's crap.
Because they play in a division that's home to two of the NFL's most star-crossed franchises (Bengals, Browns), Steelers fans are always trying to co-opt a bit of those fanbases' self-pity for their own. These people bitched about having Bruce Arians as their offensive coordinator for YEARS, and all Arians did was help win them a fucking Super Bowl. No one cares about your nitpicks, Pittsburgh fans. You are not the little team that could. You are the EVIL EMPIRE OF GRITITUDE. You are a fanbase riddled with Cowboys-style bandwagoners and people who treat the local sports bar like it's their personal litter box, and you deserve nothing but misery. Die.
Why your team doesn't suck: As always, the Steelers will magically find a way to possess two outside linebackers who can rack up 30 sacks between them. Annoying.
The nine worst Steelers ever (NOTE: Rankings according to Steelers fans if you ask them):
1. Terry Bradshaw
3. Kordell, again. They REALLY want you to know how much they hated Kordell. Also, they suspect that he might have been, YOU KNOW...
4. Neil O'Donnell. All he did was get them to a Super Bowl. GOTTA WIN IT IN THIS TOWN, FELLA. Every Steelers fan will tell you how much that Larry Brown in Super Bowl XXX pick haunts them. You'll excuse me if I have absolutely no sympathy for you.
5. Bubby Brister
6. Bubby Brister, again. Seriously, they were there during the Brister years so they KNOW SUFFERING!
7. Troy Edwards
8. Huey Richardson
9. Limas Sweed. Oh, you had a second round pick fizzle out? Welcome to the rest of the NFL's world, you spoiled little shits.
Emails from Steelers fans:
Because fuck our fans.
There are fanbases that would literally kill to win two Super Bowls and appear in another within eight years. If God appeared in the sky and told the city of Cleveland that they could have a 9-win season if every citizen killed one homeless man, how long would it be before they cleansed their downtown of vagrants? O/U 10 Minutes?
Yet we slack-jawed hillbillies from Pittsburgh, the Paris of Appalachia, can't wait to get to get into an AM Radio daisy chain after any loss, made worse by the racist codewords that call into question our coach's ability to lead. I used to say that Mike Tomlin did more for race relations in the 412 than Martin Luther King, Jr., but apparently 63 wins in 6 seasons isn't good enough for the black-and-gold-and-drunk-and-jobless. When Cowher was screaming on the sidelines, we goat-bangers lit into him every year for failing to win the big game. Now that he's been replaced by a black man, you'd think ol' Bill was the unholy lovechild of Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry—made possible by some Satanic ritual in the Rooney's mansion (subsidized by Allegheny County)—by the way we rapist-worshippers pine for the Jawful One's return.
I think every sports talk show host in Western PA must have the same cue card for when they become flustered by QB Lennie's recent decision to thump a mouse before throwing yet another game-ending interception. Tomlin wins? It's still Cowher's team. Tomlin loses? It's time to call the Klan.
Why are Pittsburgh fans spread out all the way across the country? Because Pittsburgh is the only city in the country that has to use Cleveland, Detroit, and Buffalo to feel better about itself. Everybody born here who can get a decent job gets the fuck outta town as soon as they can afford the gas. If not, they chuck themselves into the nearby rivers and hope to wash ashore somewhere better. The weather sucks, everybody's poor, and everybody's ugly. I say this as an exceptionally ugly man myself, born and raised in the area, and a proud Steelers fan. This is all we have. We got nowhere else to go.
I have to pretend I'm a legal expert so I can save (ugly) face when I'm defending probable-rapist-and-man-with-a-head-shaped-like-a-peanut Ben Rofflecopter's passing abilities against his dubious record with the ladies.
The team's fucked this year, we all know it. But if we accept it, then we'll all be suicidal. They HAVE to do better than 8/8, otherwise the rivers will run with our blood. And the world would probably be a better place.
I'm sure you're getting a million emails saying the same thing. Anyway, take it easy on the Steelers. They carry a miserable city and tri-state area on their shoulder pads.
This is a fan base that is famous for turning their back on their stars - Terry Bradshaw wanted nothing to do with the team for decades after his retirement. We booed Jerome Bettis when he struggled and tried to replace him with Amos Zereoue (who?) and Duce Staley.
Our starting safeties cover the pass about as well as Aaron Hernandez covers up a murder. The only reason there are Steelers fan across the nation is because Pittsburgh is the worst city in America to live in. I'd rather carry a suitcase full of benjamins around Detroit than live in Pittsburgh. "Blue collar, tough, and gritty" are just adjectives for fat, drunk, and trashy. Seriously, if there was a headquarters for the Northern Redneck Society, Pittsburgh would be its home.
The Steelers will start the season 6-2 and the chodes of the type II diabetes fan base will be in full erection. Half of the team will either be hurt or just start to suck and they'll finish 9-7 and just miss the playoffs, which will then lead to a Steelers player saying other teams are happy they missed the playoffs because they're "scared" of Pittsburgh.
These people are all upper middle class paper pushers who try to live out the “Steel City, blue collar” mentality and use Steelers tailgates as a platform to do it. I understand this is the class of people that can afford NFL tickets, but only Steelers fans act like they are poor, blue collar grinders. These are guys that think they are real men because they drive a truck to their accounting job. They take said truck to a mechanic to change the oil. They talk about the one or two times in their life they have worked hard. “Remember when we helped Joey move. I carried his dinette set up two whole flights of stairs.”
We are an awful wasteland of humanity. Take me. I'm not even from Pittsburgh. I grew up in LA and when the Raiders moved back to Oakland I chose to switch to my favorite player, Rod Woodson's, team. The only time I've spent in Pittsburgh is a 2-hour layover drinking Yuengling and Jameson.
I go to college in Pittsburgh, and this summer my friends and I went to a sports bar to watch Game 5 or 6 of the NBA finals this year. Only they didn't show the game. Instead, they were showing a replay of the 2009 Super Bowl win over the Cardinals. They're still celebrating beating the goddamn Cardinals, four years later, during the best NBA finals in years.
It's because all these fucking yinzers only have the brain power to watch Pittsburgh teams. Other teams that have passionate fan bases usually have fans that are generally knowledgeable about the sport. Not Stillers fans. They could tell you the kicker from three years ago used to like bourbon before games, but they couldn't tell you who Aldon Smith is.
There is nothing worse than meeting another Steelers fan. I would rather watch the game with fucking Eagles fans. Steelers fans are incredibly embarrassing to listen to and be seen with.
After winning two Super Bowls in my lifetime, I'm to the point of apathy where I just hope the Ravens don't win another one. That's how emotionally invested I am in this team nowadays. And I suspect most Steeler fans living outside Pittsburgh (read: most Steeler fans) are in that same camp. Nothing's worse than a fanbase that's losing interest because they've become complacent.
This is the first time in awhile that we’re looking at having to rebuild over the next 2 or 3 years instead of seriously compete for a title. Something tells me the diehards in our fanbase is not going to react very well, given that last year was also one of those years and most of them still thought we had a legitimate chance of making the playoffs.
Also, is Todd Haley still our OC? I haven't even been paying attention enough to this offseason to know if he got fired like he should have or not.
1) Down by 24 with :13 left in the game? Hell yeah, we’ve got a shot! We’ll just get an onside kick!
2) You think the J-E-T-S chant is stupid… Here we go…bum, badadadum (off-key and FLAT)
3) Did you know that 200,000 people were in attendance for the Immaculate Reception? They were ALL there!
4) They loved Myron Cope…did you ever hear that guy? Axl Rose has a smoother voice. Worst Play-by-play guy in the world.
Aside from that…The Super Bowl is a birthright dammit…and if Tomlin can’t get the job done, them he’s a bum!
The rational among us recognize that victory runs don't last forever and are ready for the patience required in the upcoming rebuilding phase, but I know already we will be the tiny minority in a sea of Rust Belt herpderpers who are already calling for the heads of everyone managing the organization, particularly Tomlin. These worst-of-yinzers have no idea that dozens of teams would Peter North themselves the second Tomlin were available, but most of our fanbase understands nothing beyond "FAHR THAT JAGOFF TOMLIN, HE'S A GARBEEGE COOCH", "BIG BEN JUST GOT HISSELF MIXED UP WITH DEM SLUTS DAHN ERE" and "PICKSBURGH'S GOIN' TO NA SUPER BOWEWL".
We shit the bed on draft day from 2006-2009 and we shit it HARD. Only four players (yes, only four, the Pittsburghish Pittsburgh Steelers didn't draft very Steeler-like in doing things the Steeler Way) have stayed with the team from those drafts. There are FIVE players from the 2002-2005 draft classes still on the team. What this means is that we have no young veterans, which is the core of any great team. We have a bunch of green-ass rookies that weren't alive when Reagan was in office and a bunch of old-ass veterans that are old enough to have voted for Jimmy Carter.
We spent roughly 38 of our last 40 draft picks on offensive linemen, but it looks like we took a bunch of injury-prone fuckers that break their collar bones patting themselves on the back.
Our average age on defense is death.
We forced, like, two turnovers the last three seasons and I think both of those were Blaine Gabbert just fumbling the ball for no reason.
Our franchise quarterback is going to get pummeled and our backup plan is Charlie Batch's corpse and something called a Gradkowski.
Our fans are the worst. Seriously. We're insufferable, arrogant twats and we deserve every angry stare and derisive comment.
The fans are the worst. Sundays during the fall should be named Get Shit-Faced And Act Like An Asshole Day. Many yinzer fans are all about the Steelers but don't know anything about the game. Listening to the fans around makes me want to donkey punch them. Or at the very least smack them with a rolled up paper. And don't get me started on Pittsburgh sports talk radio.
The only fun game, as far as the crowd goes, is the Ravens home game. You are due for at least 2-3 fights, at least around my section, with at least one person falling down stairs. Happens every year and I don't care which fan of which team is doing the falling.
The only thing I look forward to on Sunday Home games is watching a game live and delicious Peppi's subs. I truly hope 99% of our fans fall down in a drunken stupor before the game and never make it in.
1 - Because one of my early introductions to attending an NFL game was a Steelers-Browns tilt in the early 90's. I remember walking into the game, and seeing a BMW with a cracked windshield surrounded by a small group of black-and-gold wearing morons throwing beer bottles, cans and other trash all over it. Why? Because there was a small Browns decal on the back, and no yinzer in that parking lot could ever afford to buy a BMW.
2 - Because every year from 2002-2005, I really believed that Jerome Bettis showed up at camp in the best shape of his life. Because I now believe Troy Polamalu continues to show up at camp in the best shape of his life.
3 - Because Heath Miller continues to be the most underrated tight end in the NFL. Just ask any color commentator who brings this up during every....single....broadcast.
4 - Because every time the Steelers play a 1-5 Browns/Chiefs/Titans team on Sunday or Thursday in prime time, the score is always 10-6 Steelers, with the sole Pittsburgh touchdown coming in the first 5 minutes, leading you to think you'll be in bed by 11:00, tops. The game will never end before 12:15AM—you can look that up, it's a fact.
5 - Because nothing can ruin a perfectly horrible Sunday post-Thanksgiving commute home from Philadelphia, not to mention a playoff berth, like the Steelers fumbling eight times against the Browns. EIGHT FUMBLES. In perfect weather.
6 - Because you could take a typical yinzer season ticket holder's household budget and it would look a lot like the official McDonald's employee planning budget with a couple minor tweaks. Just swap out 'savings', 'rent', 'car payment' and 'car insurance' for 'STEELERS SEASON TICKET HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE GO'. Also add 'Spoiler for '93 Camaro - $300'. Food and gasoline stay at zero.
7 - Because the City of Bridges can't afford to fix said bridges, all structurally deficient. Meanwhile St. Rooney wants to hit the public up for some more financing to develop the area around Heinz Field. Those new Tilted Kilt and Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants will still look amazing when the Liberty Bridge collapses into the Monongahela.
8 - Because of that yinzer next to me at the 2012 Steelers-Bengals game who dissected why the Bengals coverage scheme was completely wrong, and how the passing game would be wide open ALL DAY LONG, BABY. This analysis was given credence when he told me "I actually coach some middle school football....." Two plays later Roethlisberger throws a pick-six to Leon Hall.
The Steelers are full of assholes.
Our best player was TWICE accused of raping someone. Coincidentally, soon after the second one he managed to get married and had a son within a year. This wasn’t done for PR reasons at all (sigh). Our entire defense has AARP cards. Our defensive coordinator IS IN HIS 80’s. Our likely starter at RB when to freaking Bowie State. Our o-line couldn’t block a community college defensive line. Not to mention our two-time Super Bowl winning rapist best player recently came in on Jaws' QB rankings BEHIND a quarterback with a 1-4 playoff record, and another quarterback who lost to Charlie Batch…..at home.
You do have to hand it to the Steeler organization. In every NFL stadium, the teams hand out the annoying rally towels for free. But the Steelers somehow get every last one of their dumbshit fans to spend $12 on that hilariously stupid terrible towel. And on top of that, they psychotically brag about these fucking towels. Dumbest most insufferable fanbase ever.
Fuck Todd Haley.
Our fans are so dumb drunk during the game 83% of them couldn't tell you the score an hour after the game. But they can grope some Coors Light girls on Gateway Clipper.
According to our fan base, nobody else is allowed to win anything, ever. There were actually Steelers fans, in Pittsburgh, who wanted the Ravens to win the Super Bowl so that the 49ers didn't tie the NFL record for the most Super Bowls. I couldn't believe what the fuck I was hearing from these people. The most narcissistic fan base in the world. Right on par with Lakers and Cowboys fans.
The worst goddamn fans I've ever watched a game with. They bitch about Mike Tomlin in every way possible without slipping on a klan mask, say "Here we go Steelers, here we go" after every first down, and generally try to be as insufferable as possible by reminding themselves and each other that they cheer for the most upstanding franchise in the NFL.
Hell is other Steelers fans.
Not only is Rick Santorum a Steelers fan, but I imagine he's smarter than most.
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