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Why Your Team Sucks 2016: Pittsburgh Steelers

Illustration for article titled Why Your Team Sucks 2016: Pittsburgh Steelers

Some people are fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. This 2016 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here. And buy Drew’s new book here.

Your team: Pittsburgh Steelers.

Illustration for article titled Why Your Team Sucks 2016: Pittsburgh Steelers

Your 2015 record: 10-6. Let’s see how it ended.

Oh, that’s unfortunate. And by unfortunate, I mean fantastic. You dirty filthy rotten shitbags.

Your coach: Mike Tomlin. The Bullfrog! Old Tomlo! The Fourth Down Roulette Wheel! Not even Andy Reid makes more baffling fourth down choices than this man. Let’s take you back to October, when Tomlin made the following fourth down choices with barely over two minutes to go and then on into overtime…

  • 4th and 5: Missed 43-yard Josh Scobee kick
  • 4th and 4: Missed 41-yard Josh Scobee kick, Snoop Dogg very angry
  • 4th and 2: Stuffed QB sweep using a 900-year-old Mike Vick. With an empty backfield, no less. God I hate the empty backfield QB run. NO ONE IS EVER FOOLED
  • 4th and 1: Hilariously overthrown ball to Antonio Brown that deserves honorary status as a fade route

And while I admire Tomlin for going for two more often than any other head coach, he also mismanaged THAT in the playoffs, when a missed two-pointer allowed the Bengals to come all the way back from 15 down. The Steelers would have lost that game had Vontaze Burfict not turned into John Wayne Gacy at the end. As always, some other moron team comes drooling along to make the Steelers look good when what they really deserve to be thrown into a trash compactor. God, they’re insufferable.

But enough about Tomlin. Let’s talk about these assistant coaches. Here’s Mike Munchak, pulling dreadlocks with CLASS:


Oh, and look! It’s Joey Porter, heading onto the field because he’s just SO FIRED UP FOR STEELER NATION…

Remember when Joey Porter owned a pack of wild dogs that killed a miniature horse? Or when they killed a neighbor’s dog? I do. Fuck Joey Porter so, so hard. He and Munchak are perfect avatars for the Steelers franchise as a whole. This is a miserable band of cheap-shot artists who believe every team is dirty except for them. When a Steelers player aims low, that just means he WANTS IT MORE. Totally different than if a Ravens player does it.


Also, Keith Butler blows.

Your quarterback: Rapey McGreyPenis, who ends every season with a playoff loss because half his vital organs and joints have stopped working by January. You may not even get good numbers from a healthy Big Ben this season because half the goddamn offense has already been suspended for smoking weed. That’s Pittsburgh for you. Smoke some weed, lose a season. Take Gio Bernard’s goddamn head off, and the ref swallows his flag whole. This is an offense that is the best in football only in theory, because none of its best players are ever on the field at the same time. It’s Big Ben playing with 10 Josh Gordons.


By the way, watching Big Ben play gets more awkward by the year. He is the Nate Parker of Western PA. Oh, and he’s TOTALLY on board with Trump for President, even if someone with an IQ 100 points higher than him managed to talk him out of publicly endorsing the man.

What’s new that sucks: You already know that Le’Veon Bell (three games) and Martavis Bryant (whole season!) are suspended for violating the league drug policy and have already been forced to apologize for LETTING DOWN STEELER NATION, as if the Steelers faithful aren’t themselves hopped on meth-laced cups of Iron City 50 weeks a year. But the even bigger news is that Heath Miller is gone, which means these people can no longer scream out HEEEEEEEEATH whenever the old tight end catches a three-yard pass at the two. That’s a huge blow if you’re a 300-pound unemployed person who lives to twirl a urine-colored towel around your head every Sunday. Miller’s replacement is Ladarius Green, who apparently has CTE in his ankle.


What has always sucked: James Harrison. Yes, he’s still here, and he’s still the worst possible representative for speaking truth to power in the NFL. Under normal circumstances, it’s pretty easy to get me to side against Roger Goodell. But here we have a 38-year-old roid freak (strange how his football ability magically reappears whenever he goes back to the Steelers, who have a long and storied history of PED usage, eh?) who once allegedly smacked his girlfriend in the face (Steelers brass defended Harrison because he wanted to baptize his kid and the girlfriend didn’t), and who nearly had his kid eaten by his own dog. What is with this team and dogs? Can’t ONE guy on this team just buy a dachshund? James Harrison is the worst. When it comes to choosing between him and Goodell, I choose the asteroid.

Again, Harrison is the perfect example of a Steelers organization that has gotten away with being evil for so long that they believe they can do no wrong…that all of their thoughts and deeds deserved to be canonized. Look at Cody Wallace here:


Disgusting. Did you know the Steelers still employ Dr. Joseph Maroon, who said this about concussions?

There are more injuries to kids from falling off of bikes, scooters, falling in playgrounds, then there are in youth football.


No wonder Wallace has no problem headhunting out in the open. Keep in mind that Art Rooney II, himself a former prosecutor, is the one who signed off on this collection of wannabe prison guards and paid-off quacks. Earlier this year, Rooney backed the Chargers and Raiders proposal for moving to LA, only to lose out to the Rams and Stan Kroenke. Rooney then engaged in some very upright and private and formal tsk-tsking of the whole enterprise.

And why did Rooney support a little shit like Spanos? I’ll tell you why: Because Rooney is just another lucky asshole who had an NFL team fall into his lap by birthright. Of course he’s gonna support a fellow Tommy Boy who is looking to keep the gravy train going. Rooney is one of those repugnant NFL heirs who gets tagged with “Mister” everywhere he goes, cloaking his unfathomable lifetime advantages in a haze of bullshit classiness and billions of dollars. Wanna know why the NFL pushes that “Football Is Family” garbage on everyone? Rooney is why. Rooney has weaponized the term “Family” to obscure his glaring lack of intellectual and moral credibility, and his bologna-stuffed patrons have done likewise. Steeler Nation is a cruise ship you can never get off of. They all deserve to have cans of diced tomatoes hurled at their heads.


Also, Todd Haley is still here. And he still wears shorts to every practice because he’s a macho, Camaro-driving butthole.

What might not suck: Antonio Brown is a living god.

Let’s remember some Steelers:

  • Mike Merriweather
  • Eric Green
  • Levon Kirkland
  • Jon Witman
  • Dennis Dixon

Hear it from Steelers fans!


Vontaze Burfict is the best player on our team.


Rather than go nuts for the best wideout in the league (can’t imagine why not), these mouth-breathing, savaged-by-NAFTA subhumans spent the past decade saucing themselves over every reception by a pasty-ass tight end—a tight end who couldn’t get yards after the catch if he were matched up against Rudy Goddamn Reuttiger. HEATHHHHHHH. Heinz Field on Sundays is basically the stadium-wide equivalent of a recessive gene.



Fuck Neil O’Donnell.


On Friday, everyone with a DeVry level education and an un-important job wears their Big Ben or Heath jerseys and jeans that are four inches too small and talks about how much of a beat down the next opponent is. On Sundays, Giant Eagle is fucking packed in the morning, and you can’t go anywhere near downtown because people from the surrounding counties decided they could venture into the big city even when Kenny Chesney isn’t here to keep things ‘Murican. People drive around like maniacs, decked out in the jerseys they wore to church, and bitch about how Mike Tomlin isn’t the right guy for the job.

At least once per week, someone will call into the radio and suggest that Haley take over as head coach while Tomlin becomes the defensive coordinator. Already this summer, D’Angelo Williams has been told to stick to sports over the radio at least ten times, and I only hear the blather when I forget to change the station after a Pirates game is on in my car. It’s going to be a nightmare. Meanwhile, the Rooneys will ask taxpayers to pay for more seats or some shit like they always do. The Rooney Rule is their only real accomplishment. That and letting Christopher Nolan blow up the field.

But to get to the worst part. The team doctor, Dr. Joseph Maroon, was a CTE denying, and is now a CTE minimizing, quack, who was heavily relied upon by the league. He worked so hard to discredit Bennett Omalu that he drove him out of the state. Their continued association with Dr. Maroon is a disgrace and an insult, and it makes it really hard to give them $10 for a beer. I’ll still do it though, because I’m an asshole with no self control and the only way to tolerate Tom from Greensburg in the seat next to you is to drink.

At least we know we’ll go 11-5 and lose to the Patriots in the playoffs.




We don’t only have redneck fans! The Steelers also have douchebag corporate fans, just like the Bay Area teams! Folks feel bad for Pittsburgh because they think it’s the gutted remnant of a bygone steel industry. But do you know what replaced steel? BIG HEALTHCARE. Everyone fucking hates the healthcare industry. It’s like Silicon Valley for people without new ideas.



The Ravens went 5-11 last year. The Steelers lost to them - twice.


I attended a game between the Patriots and Steelers at Heinz Field. A drunk yinzer (redundant, I know) tried to fight another guy in a Steelers jersey...because the guy was from Boston.



The first thing that people see when they leave ALL of the terminals of our overbuilt, monotlithic, “dead mall” shithole of a poor excuse of an airport is a fucking statue of Franco Harris.

You might remember Franco Harris as the guy seen holding a cardboard cutout of Joe Paterno recently. Franco Harris is a total dickfaced fuckface, and he looks like Ernie from Sesame Street with an ISIS beard. So let’s ignore the fact that Franco Harris is a mentally deficient shit-troll (and that was before he was vociferously defending the guy that covered up serial child abuse for 36 years) and give him a statue. This will make the misery that is Pittsburgh’s Airport and region of the world all the more depressing.



The Pittsburgh Steelers. A franchise so used to success that anything less than the culmination of the Stairway to Seven turns us all into bitter, angry pricks hell bent on digging up even the most miniscule of dirt on our opponents to feel better about ourselves. These fans have blue collars shoved so far up their asses that despite the Steelers having one of the biggest fan bases in America, you actually aren’t a true fan unless you’re sucking back Roethlisburgers at Peppi’s every football Sunday.

We’re always down an integral piece of the puzzle come playoff time and I imagine we’ll be close-but-not-close-enough every January for the next 5 years. And that is the suckiest thing of all.



I only went to two games last year, and believe me, that was more than enough. My friend still has season tickets and when he has an extra, he calls me. The first one was Steelers vs Cincinnati: the ‘Lev Bell blew out his knee and we wear those terrible bumblebee unis once a season’ game. Two very loud and very drunk Yinzers sit behind us. They begin screaming at the top of their lungs during the National Anthem and don’t stop. How someone is that hammered at 1pm on a Sunday, I’ll never know.

Anyway, they scream throughout not only the game, but also during TV timeouts, during any stoppage in play and during halftime. I’m pretty sure that in the 500 level, NONE of the players can hear them, but they wanted to be sure. Finally, mid 3rd quarter, the guy of this couple starts yelling “Get loud, you assholes!” He was complaining to his girl all game about how no one was “loud enough” and how “only true fans stay loud.” After another “C’mon you pussies, get loud!” He then spilled his beer and fell. His girl, also drunk, decided that it was time to leave and the guy was booed on his way out.

The following week, a last second Steeler win vs. Oakland, we had the same two behind us again, this time, they were with a friend. The friend kept screaming “PUSH ‘EM BACK!” Nonstop, for about 45 minutes. The drunk couple left this game early, too. Fuck my life. Also, fuck Mike Tomlin’s clock management skills.



Lived in Pennsylvania for twenty-five years and Pittsburgh for seven of those years. I moved to Austin a year ago to get away from the bullshit winters and this bullshit fanbase.

I worked for a few hotels right near the stadium - players and coaches stayed there. Here are some recollections:

Ike Taylor nearly crashed his Jaguar into the front window and then yelled at a valet when the valet asked him to move his car off the sidewalk.

A 17-year-old Bieber look-alike in a pink tank-top came into the bar at 4pm on a Sunday night game-day and cold-cocked a girl in the mouth. The Steelers fans around him cheered.

A 150-year-old man turned a PT Cruiser into a mobile Steelers fan thing.

The night that Ben threw 6TD’s against the Colts in 2014, I was driving a shuttle full of drunk fans back to the hotel from the stadium. One of them said Andrew Luck looked like a pregnant Mel Gibson. I still don’t understand this comment.

LeGarrette Blount got high on our hotel terrace four nights a week.

The game when Brad Wing shanked a punt against the Bucs, allowing them to win the game, was on my birthday. Brad Wing told me to go to hell when I said “Good evening”.

Fuck the Rooney family for their faux-professionalism and fuck Mike Tomlin for that one time I saw him on a bus.



Re: the team

There is an offensive tackle playing quarterback.

Re: the city:

Pittsburgh is still a toilet straddling the dividing line between the midwest and the east coast. Culturally, it’s Kentucky.

Re: the fan base:

In typical Pittsburgh fashion, everything is Steelers related, even your fucking wedding.


Every year you can bet that Steelers will be crushed by some inferior opponent. I can’t imagine what Bill Belichick would accomplish with this kind of roster.



If there’s one game in Mike Tomlin’s tenure as the Steelers head coach that perfectly encapsulates the type of coach he is, it’s the Ravens game from this past December. I cannot and will not ever understand how this team is capable of putting up seven hundred-thousand points one week to an AFC title contender, and then committing seven hundred-thousand turnovers the next week against a 4-12 team.

Saying the Ravens got up for the rivalry game is not a valid excuse. They were absolute butt last season. We should have beaten them by thirty or more, Ryan Mallett was on the team for twelve fucking days before having to start against us. We play to the level of our competition every week, and have done it for the past seven years. Enough.



Nothing ties jean shorts, white New Balance kicks, and a mullet together like a Steelers jersey. I’m already sick of the fans and camp hasn’t even started yet.



95% of Steeler fans are just glad Big Ben’s alleged rapes happened before people started finally making a big deal about sexual assault.





I just got off the phone with my mother, a dyed-in-the-wool Steelers fan from birth, that reminds me why my team sucks. Here’s the rant she went on - this is near verbatim.

Mom: “There are a lot of rumors here that the Rooneys are shopping Le’veon Bell after the season. Getting busted twice for smoking weed and getting suspended in back-to-back seasons. That’s not the Steelers Way. As Mike Tomlin says, ‘The Standard is the Standard.’ The Bengals and Ravens can get away with that crap. But not the Steelers. “

Meanwhile, in reality


Roethlisberger’s weight fluctuates as if he’s gearing up to be a stand-in for whichever Christian Bale film is out this year.



The average Steelers fan’s cholesterol is higher than his or her credit score. The one exception might be the couple I saw wearing Polamalu and Roethlisberger jerseys in the Mona Lisa room at the Louvre. Either that, or they just won the post-wedding raffle down at the VFW Hall.



We’re the worst parts of American Exceptionalism personified in football form: We had nothing to do with any of the team’s successes, but we sure as hell won’t let any forget for one second that no one else has won more than 6 Super Bowl titles. Jesus fuck, if the Steelers win a seventh Super Bowl, the smug parade is going to remake the hole in the ozone layer.



75% of Steelers fans think that Bill Belichick colluded with LeGarrette Blount to steal theSteelers playbook and quit the team so he could sign with the Patriots and a season later told Matthew Slater to fuck up that coin toss in an effort to lose and keep the Steelers out of the playoffs. Can you believe that?

What the hell is wrong with the other 25%?


Antonio Brown makes an incredible play and has the AUDACITY to celebrate... so many hard R’s. Fans want Tomlin want fired after every loss. Every white person who catches the ball until the end of time will be showered with the sounds of HEEAATH.



Because a Troy Polamalu jersey tucked into jeans shorts with no belt, mid length plain white socks and white running shoes is considered perfectly acceptable attire 365 days a year in Pittsburgh.



The worst part about being a Steeler fan is encountering other Steeler fans. Prime example: I’m driving to the gym and get caught behind a school bus. Said bus stops at a shitty trailer, little kid runs off to greet her mother. This child’s mother (who easily weighs 300 plus pounds) is standing on the porch drinking a Keystone light pounder, smoking a Marlboro 1000 and wearing a worn out screen printed Big Ben jersey. On a Tuesday at 2 in the afternoon in May. This is the average Steeler fan.



Our fans are the absolute worst fair weather fans there are. Every fucking year one of our teams suck, the general response is, “Oh well, (insert sport here) season starts soon.” Jesus Christ I want to kick half of my fellow yinzers in the dick hole every time I hear that shit. Anything short of a championship and they’ll burn you at the stake.

Anyways, I have season tickets and sit in front of a dude who is the epitome of yinzer nation, you know, the ones who don’t shut the fuck up all game and continue to yell and scream even during timeouts. One game, he wasn’t even paying attention and kept yelling “Deeeefeeeeese.” After a few minutes, someone finally yelled, “We’re on offense, asshole,” to which he sat down and verbally consoled himself. Later at another game, I hear him say to his girlfriend, “If we score here, you’re giving me a blowjob later.”

This is Steelers Nation. Whatever. I love our city. I love our teams, but I fucking hate our fans.

Oh yeah, one final note. A friend of mine who lives in Wheeling, W.Va., and loves the Steelers likes to claim Wheeling is a “suburb of Pittsburgh.” It’s not. Fuck yourself, inbred.


Submissions for the Deadspin NFL previews are now closed. Next up: Seattle Seahawks.

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.

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