Some people are fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. This 2015 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Your 2014 record: 11-5
Your coach: Mike Tomlin, who looks like an angry frog.
I keep waiting for Tomlin to whip out a forked tongue ribbon and eat a fly on live television. Anyway, the Steelers tried to force Dick LeBeau into retirement this offseason. He kindly responded by taking a job with the Titans. Your new defensive coordinator is Keith Butler, who looks like a UPS driver. SIGN HERE, PLEASE.
Your quarterback: Ben “No More” Roethlisberger, seen here working through his daily broken jaw injury:
I wonder if Big Ben is sitting at home relieved that he got all his alleged raping in under the wire. Imagine if he had faced those same accusations in 2015, with America slowly grasping the whole “Raping Is Bad” concept and Roger Goodell determined to hold military tribunals for every last player in football. You’d never see Big Ben again. Goodell would have locked him inside “the box.” Ol’ Ben timed his rape allegations PERFECTLY. Phew!
Anyway, last time we left Big Ben, he was getting his brains mashed in by the Ravens in the Wild Card round. Let’s have a look!
Roethlisberger left that game for a grand total of three snaps before the Steelers cleared him to play and trotted his dazed ass back out onto the field to throw the inevitable, decisive interception. Roethlisberger probably thought he was throwing the ball to a unicorn. The Steelers then explained that Roethlisberger had suffered whiplash, and not a concussion. IT’S OKAY! HE JUST BROKE HIS NECK IS ALL! Despite their ongoing façade of classiness, this is the shadiest fucking team in football.
Oh, and Mike Vick might be coming to town, too! Pittsburgh is your designated halfway house for disgraced quarterbacks now. Set an insurance fire? LET’S GET YOU TO PITTSBURGH. THEY’LL SET YOU RIGHT.
What’s new that sucks: The defense lost aging defenders Ike Taylor, Troy Polamalu, and Jason Worrrrrrrrruuuhhhhhlds all to retirement this offseason. Why now? Why not five years ago? The attrition on defense means that this team will be ever more reliant on Big Ben trying to throw for 500 yards a game while having his chin shattered. Good thing Maurkice Pouncey is already probably lost for the season! Todd Haley would hate to see Big Ben enjoy the luxury of consistent pass protection.
What has always sucked: You know who didn’t retire this offseason? DO YOU KNOW WHO DIDN’T PUSS OUT ON THE STEELERS?! That’s right! It’s this man:
You won’t find James Harrison throwing himself a retirement party. When he retires, he will punish himself with gassers for surrendering to age like a coward. NOTHING IS GIVEN! EVERYTHING IS EARNED! GRRRRRRRR STILLER FOOTBALL GRRRRRRRR! Oh, how Pittsburgh fans loved this man for trashing his kids’ participation trophies. Really drove home the blue collar work ethic of that shitass town.
Now, here is where the shady stuff comes in. You already know that Harrison was once accused of beating up his girlfriend. Here is a brief recap of the incident from ESPN.
Harrison told police he and Beth Tibbott were arguing on March 8, and then he broke through her bedroom door, slapped her in the face and snapped her cell phone in half. The Steelers have said the couple were arguing about whether to baptize Harrison’s son.
Here’s where it gets fucked up: Remember When Dan Rooney (oh, I’m sorry, it’s MISTER ROONEY, because the Steelers are just as obnoxiously patrician as the Skins but do a better job of hiding it) basically justified Harrison smacking his girlfriend in the face because it was over a baptism? We do. Here’s the money quote:
“What Jimmy Harrison was doing and how the incident occurred, what he was trying to do was really well worth it. He was doing something that was good, wanted to take his son to get baptized where he lived and things like that. She said she didn’t want to do it.”
This is your standard-bearer for the NFL, everyone. This supposedly the classiest organization in football. What a fucking load of shit. The Rooney family is garbage. The NFL trots them out on every possible occasion as exemplars of doing things the right way. Meanwhile, this franchise has been stuffed full of drugs for years. They employ a “cleaner” as head of security to whitewash any and all player misconduct. Roger Goodell jams a hand up Art Rooney’s ass any time he needs someone to vouch for dogshit like the Mueller Report. And then there’s the quote from Dan Rooney above. Fuck this family.
And fuck the fans who gladly ignore all this and try co-opt a bit of the Rooney sheen while being complete and utter pigs themselves. These fucking people. Any bar that has Steelers fans in it is a bar ruined. These fans are all fat, unemployable losers. That’s why they pollute your local tavern every Sunday. They have nowhere else to go. And they have nothing better to do than wave a stupid towel and scream SIXBURGH at any unfortunate bystander. When Jeff Reed got booted from the Hall of Fame Game this summer, he was basically going native. No amount of Super Bowl titles would ever be worth aligning yourself with these troglodytes. They drink sausage grease by the pint. The only participation trophies they’ve had to throw away came from pie-eating contests. God, I hate the Steelers. May they burn in Hell forever.
Also: the defense is bad and the field is about as well-maintained as Fury Road.
What might not suck: This receiving corps is unreal, which means that Big Ben will post a six-TD game the moment you bench him in fantasy. Also, DeAngelo Williams is here to sub for Le’Veon Bell whenever Bell gets hurt and/or openly smokes a blunt while sticking his head out of a moon roof.
Hear it from Steelers fans!
Last year, a few friends and I went to down to Pittsburgh for the game against the Saints. At our tailgate (which was under a freeway underpass), the couple next to us (who were certainly Steelers fans) asked us if we had “heard of that Ferguson thing” (we’re from Canada). He then proceeded to enlighten us that “the next race war” would be between “the whites and the blacks”. It was a little bit awkward when our black and Indian friends rolled in about a half hour later.
We cry about the Patriots cheating as though our whole legacy from the 70’s doesn’t rest on rampant steroid abuse, and we don’t seem to understand that crying about the Patriots only underscores that our guys have never, EVER beaten Tom Brady with anything on the line. And we never will. And fuck Joe Flacco with an ice axe.
My cousin is a plumber and got called to a house that he figured out was Todd Haley’s to install a urinal in the master bathroom.
Roethlisberger has a history of mistreating damn near everyone he meets in Pittsburgh, needlessly creating drama by airing his grievances in public, and just generally being a bad teammate and otherwise dicktastic human being.
The fans love to talk about “The Steeler Way” as if the team is above scrutiny. We’re more than happy to bury Tom Brady and Ray Rice, despite the fact that the ‘70s dynasty was built mostly because the Steelers figured out the value of steroids before everybody else. Also, in 1973 Ernie Holmes LITERALLY SHOT AT A POLICE HELICOPTER ON THE HIGHWAY and all he got was probation. Can you imagine if that happened today? The Ginger Hammer would need a transfusion to keep from passing out from all the blood rushing to his boner just thinking about punishing that. So many pizzas would go uneaten.
Our fans are old and bad and they don’t like new and good things. The song that gets us fired up is Renegade by Styx.
-Our moronic fans can’t leave Western PA without packing their goddamn Terrible Towels so they can take pictures with them at various landmarks. If you’re at the Great Wall of China or the fuckin Eiffel Tower, enjoy the view and put the towel away. There was actually a slideshow of this on the Post Gazette’s website.
-Watch our fans struggle to not utter an n-bomb when Antonio Brown does an end zone dance after scoring a TD.
-The cognitive dissonance of listening to fans wearing Big Ben jerseys while making fun of the criminal past of Ray Lewis, Suggs, and Ray Rice.
-I’ve actually talked myself into liking Todd Haley. I hate myself for it.
-Steelers (and Pens) fans have enabled human troll Mark Madden to stay on the radio for 15 years.
Every time I think about Neil O’Donnell, it ruins my day.
There was a study by a couple of Emory University professors that stated the Steelers were nowhere near the best fanbase in the NFL. The yinzers promptly flipped out over it, since they weren’t near the top of the list. (). Ever see a game at Heinz Field when the Steelers are losing? There will be a ton of empty seats in the stadium before the end of third quarter. They’ll lord over the NFL, talking about their loyalty and undying dedication to the team. That is, until they start losing, then they’ll start trashing everything about the goddamn team. This team could reincarnate the 1970’s Steelers in their primes and the yinzers would be foaming at the mouth for Chuck Noll to be fired out of a trebuchet.
The front office is utterly terrible at player development and personnel decisions. They let Keenan Lewis, a cornerback beginning to reach his prime, go without a reasonable contract offer to the Saints, then promptly panic when they realize their secondary sucks. So they decide to pre-emptively sign Cortez Allen to a large contract extension for no reason whatsoever. Cortez Allen promptly becomes complete and utter goatshit and is benched in favor of several undrafted journeymen. They refuse to play their young talent and see what they have in favor of washed-up retreads. Oh, hey, maybe they’ll actually play guys like Shamarko Thomas and Stephon Tuitt and let them develop into serviceable playe... NOPE! BRING BACK DA BEARD BRETT KEISEL. They’d rather see the worthless pylon known as Cam Thomas play before a rookie due to the “intricacies” of the 3-4 defense. Did I mention the Steelers are also paying 10% of our salary cap space in dead money?
Ben Roethlisberger got signed to a massive contract extension this offseason. It’s going to be too bad when his legs fall off because the Steelers can’t develop any offensive linemen for shit as he gets sacked to oblivion and he’s too portly to scramble away from the pocket anymore.
My wife submitted me to the news station. I have relaxed a bit.
Only in Pittsburgh could Andrew Carnegie dispatch Henry Clay Frick to essentially beat his own striking workers into submission in the infamous 1892 Homestead Strike. Our city was kind enough to honor the 7 striking workers slain by Frick’s thugs by naming our largest municipal preserve Frick Park.
Has anyone mentioned the whole rape thing yet?
I pretty much hate our entire fan base.
Also, a few months ago, a colleague of mine tripped in front of Ben Roethlisberger and he laughed.
Mike Tomlin could win every Super Bowl 1000-0 from now until the day he dies and Steelers fans/closeted racists will still go on Facebook and demand they bring back “Bill Cower”.
They are poised to have one of the league’s most prolific passing offenses this year, but instead of pleasing them, this will almost certainly make their fans angry. THAT’S NOT STILLERS FOOBAW!
Also, when I was in college I used a frat bros “Terrible Towel” to dry off my grundle after a run. You would’ve thought I pissed in a family member’s urn.
This is 90% of the fanbase. This is most of us:
This team won 11 games with the worst Steelers defense of my lifetime and people were still blaming Roethlisberger for some reason. There’s at least 4-5000 no shows every game because our old ass fans won’t give up their tickets but there too old to sit outside for 3 hours. Every loss is the fault of Ben or Tomlin regardless of what actually happened.
You want entertainment? Listen to Yinzers call into the local radio station after a Steelers loss. You won’t be disappointed. F our fans. Ungrateful, frontrunning, despicable, inbred, racist, crap stains.
The Steelers have maybe three good players, and they are all on offense. Every other piece of this team lands somewhere on the spectrum from “Amusingly Subpar” to “Neutron Star Made of Densely Packed Turds.” The roster of no-name wild cards and septuagenarian holdovers is dwarfed in incompetence only by the oligarch ownership, the cap-clueless front office, and a coaching staff made entirely of dull platitudes. The Steelers seem to have a three-part strategy: (1) restructure every contract into a cap-consuming ouroboros; (2) have Antonio Brown; (3) close your eyes and hope the AFC North is bad enough that we get to lose another playoff game.
And through it all, the organization remains a fountain of utter bullshit, spouting retreads of the same “Steelers Football” brand language that rang true when it was a well-run perennial contender but is a bit hard to swallow in the wake of overlooked quarterback sex crimes, rampant personnel mismanagement, and perennial underachievement. But Steelers fans live by every word of it, because Steelers fans are the fucking worst.
Pick three insufferable fanbases. Let’s say a Boston fan, a Philly fan, and a New York fan. I’d rather hang out with those three chumps than with three random Steelers fans. In the latter case, I wouldn’t expect to make it five minutes before their constant complaints about Mike Tomlin descended into the ever-popular “I’m not racist, but...” format. I guess in defense of Steelers fans, having black men in charge of both our country and our football team is too much for their tiny Stegosaurus brains to process. If you ever get into a fight with a Steelers fan, just say “Obama is a great president, like Kordell Stewart was a great quarterback,” and their head will literally explode.
The Steelers will not be good this year. But they will be infinitely better than these garbage fans deserve. And the worst part is, they’ll probably still be decent enough that we won’t notice what a gutter-traipsing sewer belch our team is. My strongest memory of the first Steelers game I ever attended (1996, age 9, against the Houston Oilers) is of the men’s room at Three Rivers Stadium — loud, drunk yinzers peeing in troughs, in sinks, on themselves, chanting “Here we go, Steelers” and “If you shake it more than once, you’re playing with it.” That image will always represent this fanbase perfectly to me.
I love my city and I’m thankful for the sports successes we’ve had, but it embarrasses me every day to be associated with this seething latrine of a football community. An organization with a pretend moral compass that makes claim a proper way of doing things, and racist fans who eat up the bullshit and regurgitate it loudly to the masses, oblivious to their own terribleness...
You see where this is going, don’t you? That’s right. The Steelers are the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL.
Except the Cardinals field nine players on defense, and I don’t think the Steelers have that many.
Everyone here either works in a bank and doesn’t give a shit about football, or works in McDonalds with Steelers neck and ear tattoos.
Nothing brings the train of dipshits together like the Steelers. I remember back when MTV did the “True Life: I’m an NFL rookie” and they followed Plaxico Burress during his awful rookie season. During the show they were interviewing all these drunken Yinzers in the parking lot outside of the games. One guy in a drunken stupor goes “Plaxeeco Burress just needs ta pick up da YARRRR. Ya know? Da Yarrs after da reception” My fucking head almost exploded.
You cannot walk down the street in any neighborhood here without running into someone wearing Steeler pajama pants and eating a french fry sandwich.
This is the only team in the entire NFL who has 47 year old men call off an entire week of work to attend training camp, get shit faced off Iron City (essentially piss in a can), and get in shoving matches with 14 year old fans on make-a-wish trips over who gets the first autograph from Ben. Yinzers. Fuck Yinzers.
Also, Pouncey has rubber bands for ligaments.
If I hear “The standard is the standard” one more time I’m going to plant a Bam Morris-amount of marijuana in Le’Veon Bell’s car. Fuck this humorless organization with a Primanti sandwich.
Submissions for the 2015 NFL previews are now closed. Next up: the Detroit Lions.