Photo: Keith Srakocic (AP)

Some people are fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. This 2019 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: Pittsburgh Steelers.

Your 2018 record: 9-6-1. You thought they made the playoffs last year, right? So did they, amigo, so did they. Last year I wondered out loud if the Steelers were ever on the same page. 2018 proved that they were not. In fact, 2018 proved that the Steelers all hate each other FAR more than they hate any given opponent. They let Le’Veon Bell hold out for the entire season, just to teach him a lesson. They looted his locker. Their chosen union reps, who in theory would offer support for Bell, did the precise opposite and openly dumped on him in public. Unions are for pussies... at least in our world. The kind of manly-man bullshit that the towel-eaters in the stands prize more than their own offspring. Only in Pittsburgh would the union reps be cops. The bag of pus they pay to throw passes openly dumped on OTHER members of the team, plus his own OC, and then bragged that he was entitled to do so. They even feuded with the line of scrimmage.

I wish that were the end of it. I really do. We could ALL use a break from this team’s seemingly endless reserve of bullshit. Alas, they keep ladling it out like they’re working a soup kitchen line. This is the most aggressively stupid team in the whole sport. They forgot that a safety punt is a live ball. They blew a game to Jon Gruden because their kicker apparently wore bowling shoes onto the field. They called a fullback dive on a fake punt (it did not work). They lost a road game to the Broncos because they are statistically unable to ever win a single game after flying due west. Their defensive coordinator game-planned for Tyler Eifert despite the fact that Eifert broke his ankle months prior. They beat the Patriots in December and couldn’t make hay of it. And, of course, their best player skipped what would turn out to be his final game with the team because he couldn’t stand being around the quarterback one second longer. Can’t argue with him there.

This is how a 7-2-1 start collapses into irrelevance. This is how a Super Bowl contender idles itself into fraudulence. This is how fans who choke pregnant ladies in the stands end up with a team built in their own, pathetic self-image. You will not find a drop of shame anywhere within a 400-mile radius of this team’s stadium. That’s why the Steelers will fuck up in the EXACT same way at all the EXACT same times all over again, and again and again and again. They’ve got a process now.

Your coach: Mike Tomlin, who should really quit. For real. Just leave, man. Get the fuck out of there. Save yourself. Take a sabbatical and go botch fourth down calls for Florida or something for a year to refresh your soul. Because this is only getting worse. These trash fans will never accept Tomlin as the equal to CAHER or Chuck Noll, and these players will never stop bitching each other out. Tomlin has already proven to be a poor manager of outsized personalities, and it doesn’t help that his breathtaking fuckhead of a boss, GM Kevin Colbert, undercuts him by saying shit like this:

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How are you supposed to coach a team when the man upstairs says one player you’re in charge of is more equal than the others? This is a dysfunctional franchise, absolutely devoid of anything resembling professionalism, and it’s been that way for a while. Paint fucking Bengal stripes on them already. At least it’ll show everyone their real identity.

Your quarterback: GO AWAY.

[Stormy Daniels] says he asked her for a “good night kiss.” She refused. She says he pushed lightly on her door as they stood outside her hotel room.

“I was terrified. I am rarely terrified,” Daniels wrote, saying (Ben) Roethlisberger responded, saying, “‘Come on.’”

She closed the door and writes that Roethlisberger “stood outside, not leaving” while knocking at her door for several minutes but eventually left.

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This is your captain. Big Ben is the man who thinks the best way to lead your team is by systematically alienating anyone else who might dare take the shine off him. Oh but everyone ELSE is a diva. Sure, yes, that’s it. Not only have the Steelers stood by Football Kobe while he’s menaced porn actresses outside hotel rooms, run off vital colleagues, led the league in picks, and threatened to retire whenever the training table isn’t to his liking. No, they went and extended his ass anyway. I feel like Trump just got re-elected.

The Steelers would follow Big Ben and his gray dick to the ends of the Earth but they’ll be damned if one of the guys he throws to gets another buck out of them. Both Ben and the Steelers are fucked in the head. I hope he gets decapitated by a boomerang.

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What’s new that sucks: Great news: Megabucks GLORY BOY Antonio Brown was finally shipped off to Oakland, and you didn’t even get a first-rounder for it. But on the bright side, you don’t have to worry about THAT guy destroying team chemistry by catching 120 balls for 1,600 yards ever again. FINALLY. That was a real burden for you guys! Now Big Ben can just sit back, relax, stuff a Primanti Brothers hoagie into his lower lip, and fling off passes to AB’s replacement: Donte Moncrief. Yes, THAT Donte Moncrief. Huge upgrade. JuJu Smith-Schuster is also back. Everything that the Steelers have done to Le’Veon and Antonio Brown, they’re going to do again to JuJu in 2020. Ben Roethlisberger already has a PowerPoint deck ready that outlines the plan in full.

Elsewhere, the team stuck with tradition and brought in 37 extra linebackers. Here’s Mark Barron, fresh from the Rams. Here’s first-round pick Devin Bush. And here, in an item that’s roughly as heartwarming as when CNN tweets out some ratio-worthy puff piece about 500 kids raising money to buy their school pencils, is another year of linebacker Ryan Shazier.

By tolling Shazier, the Steelers will pay him for the season, enable him to receive his regular medical insurance and count the season toward his players’ pension.

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That is genuinely nice. The right thing to do. The only thing to do, far as I’m concerned. I assume Maurkice Pouncey will protest this somehow. WE ONLY WANT GUYS HERE WHO CAN BE HERE. I hope the Steelers don’t turn Shazier into some tragically injured mascot, but they already got started on that project ages ago.

What has always sucked: The Steelers’ record this year won’t matter at all to these fans, who only want to make sure that Bell and Brown both get their respective comeuppances. For a city that loves to portray itself as blue-collar and industrious they sure do hate collective action by black guys. It’ll just be a four-month stretch of them bleating I TOLD YOU SO anytime AB drops a pass:

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I know Dave and I like Dave, but this kind of take is ALL OVER Steeler Nation. They’re a bunch of clammy rubes who just witnessed a historically good offense get disassembled thanks to needless acrimony, and they could not be happier about it. Their team is now an ashen heap of failure and they’re fucking BEAMING with pride. Finally, their boys can get back to Stiller Footbaw! Watch in horny excitement as James Conner runs for 3.7 yards per carry for 500 carries! Throw a kegger anytime a talented player you used to cheer for gets horribly injured elsewhere! Nod in approval at the $21M hole trading Antonio Brown blew through your cap space! That’ll prove all the doubters wrong!

I swear to God, if this team was owned by Dan Snyder and not a band of reticent inbreds, nothing would be different. Nothing. It’s an unremarkable football team built atop a foundation of surly defensiveness. Nothing you say to these clods will lure them back within mere lightyears of rationality. Not even having a guy pretty much lose his ability to walk has made the Steelers likable. They’re all hired goons, and all eager to turn on one another like a low-level bank heist crew after a job gone wrong. You should ALL be embarrassed for yourselves, but self-awareness left this town sometime back in 1906. This team should be contracted. It says a lot about today’s NFL that this plane crash counts as one of the more respected franchises.

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Also, enough with the towels. That’s college team horseshit. We all know you use those things as napkins anyhow. French fries belong on the side of a sandwich. Bill Cowher’s wife once had to hold a press conference to dispute rumors Cowher had impregnated his secretary. You can all get fucked.

What might not suck: The great news just keeps coming for you!

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HEAR IT FROM STEELERS FANS!

Doug:

Heinz Field should be fumigated before letting the crowd out.

Matt:

Troy Polamalu is a first ballot hall of fame player and an even better person and the bloviating shitheads in the Pittsburgh media are stating he shouldn’t be in the team’s hall of honor until he apologizes to the Steelers for retiring early with his health and brain intact.

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Daniel:

We just handed away the two most volcanic offensive skill players in franchise history. Awesome.

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Jim:

They got fleeced on the Antonio trade by Jon freaking Gruden. That’s like the US losing a ground war against the KISS Army.

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Jake:

The best running back and wide receiver in the NFL told the Steelers to get fucked in back-to-back offseasons and these clown-ass Stiller fans are still out here pretending they’re just ungrateful and we’re better off without them.

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Bud (not Dupree):

Not sure there’s another fanbase like ours that can watch our team get rid of a top-5 RB and probably THE top WR in the league, and somehow convince ourselves that we’re going to be BETTER now for having done it.

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FM:

Has any team, in any sport, ever thrown away two Hall of Fame players in the same year? And thrown them away for less?

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DH:

We let Brown and Bell go, presumably so we could continue to pander to an aging quarterback whose inability to read a defense is matched only by his unwillingness to seek consent.

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Jeff:

Between being from Pittsburgh and going to Penn State, there is not a single nice thing I’ll ever say about football fans ever again.

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Sam:

In a couple of years we are gonna suck badly and everyone will abandon this team.

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Chris:

It is one of the most difficult things as a fan to root for the team while this shitbag is there. It is especially difficult knowing that I am in the minority, and share that opinion with no more than 0.00001% of the entire fanbase. They cave to his will.

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Dan:

Every time I see the “will the Steelers be better without AB and LeVeon” argument show up on ESPN, I scream “YES!” at the TV. I’m a moron.

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Joe:

AB was probably the hardest worker in the league, and look what we did to him.

Justin:

JuJu Smith Schuster is the most likable player in the NFL. We will lose a primetime game at home to a winless Dolphins team, and that’s when Ben alienates him and our racist fanbase will want JuJu traded so Ryan Switzer can get more playing time.

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Chris:

When Chuck Noll “retired” in 1991, my dad and I were watching the local Pittsburgh news coverage about it. I cheered since the Steelers were losers during much of the 1980's. My dad said “STOP THAT, YOU ASSHOLE” and slammed the footrest down on his recliner and stomped out of the room. I was 13.

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Cody:

A few years ago, I was at a Steelers game when I inevitably had to piss. In line for the urinals, a fellow Steelers fan asked me what part of Pittsburgh I was from. I let him know I am actually not from Pittsburgh, but my dad was and he raised me on Pittsburgh sports. He proceeded to tell me that I can’t be a Steelers fan, because I am not from Pittsburgh. At first I thought he was joking, but the dickhead was dead serious. Someone a few people back overheard the conversation(?) and said “I am from Jersey and have been a fan my whole life, and you are saying I am not allowed to be one anymore?”. Things between the two escalated, and the Jersey guy said what I thought was the best trash talking line I have ever heard... “Listen, I beat the shit out guys like you on the way to a fight.”

Oh yeah, this took place in M&T Bank Stadium. Our fans are so bad, we can’t even get along while playing an away game with our biggest rival.

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Brandon:

Our current identity is a franchise that takes the most fun players in the NFL and accuses them of being locker room cancer. Where once the steel mills churned out the mighty bones of our nation’s skyscrapers, today we export disgruntled offensive talent like it’s a renewable resource.

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Amanda:

Kevin Colbert basically said in the offseason Ben Roethlisberger has free rein to do whatever he wants. Not sure why the GM feels the need to tell the media and fans that a man twice accused of rape is untouchable within the organization. As if we didn’t all get that message after rape accusation #2.

A large portion of the fanbase immediately began comparing first-round draft pick Devin Bush to Antonio Brown based entirely on the suit Bush wore to the draft.

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PZV:

I just can’t get over Ben never showing up to training camp looking like an athlete. All the trainers and chefs in the world and he’s still looks like an inflamed, overweight, stuttering drunk Drew Magary every single August.

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Aaron:

Really looking forward to our second to last game of the year against the Jets. I’m guessing LeVeon torches us for 3 TDs and 200 total yards in the game to put us at 8-7 and mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Then the next week I’m sure we’ll go out and have a worthless 45-7 win over Baltimore after which everyone will be talking about how Ben’s still got it and next year will be his year.

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Tim:

I don’t live in Pittsburgh anymore but going to a Steelers bar to watch games reminds me of all the reasons I left. Loud, fat, obnoxious fans who eat carbs stuffed with more carbs and pay $10 to drink Iron City, which is urine and Mon river water mixed together. We are watching the full collapse of the Steelers and all the team is doing is trotting out their military veteran so the MAGA fan base doesn’t boycott games. We are as villainous as the Patriots with a fraction of the modern success.

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Charlie:

Last season, my friends and I thought it would be fun to do a survivor pool for the first time. For week one, I knew I had a slam dunk: Steelers to beat the Browns in Cleveland. This was a no-brainer. The Browns hadn’t won a single game the whole season before. They somehow tie, I’m out of the pool in week one, and we begin a season where our best player is more concerned with advancing in the goddamn Masked Singer than making the playoffs.

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Justina:

I’ve only been to Pittsburgh once. The Primanti Bros sandwich with the fries on it? Trash. Iron City beer? I’d rather drink deer pee. The overall feel of the city is depressing at best. It makes me grateful to live in Indiana. Fucking Indiana.

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Harrison:

Everyone in Pittsburgh has all of a sudden decided that Antonio Brown is the worst piece of human scum on the planet. All he wanted to do was not get yelled at by creaky old Ben Roethlisberger any more.

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James:

Of course the Steelers miss the playoffs after finally beating the dreaded Patriots. Even tradeoff, right??

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John:

Ben Roethlisberger, that loathsome sentient potato, will be the quarterback of my favorite team for literally half of my life. Half of my life watching his stupid potato face fuck up wide receiver screens.

To celebrate when he retires, I’m going to take a hit, lie on the ground like I’m dead for twenty minutes, get stretchered off the field, hobble back to the sideline, reenter the game, lead the team down the field for the winning score, and throw a pick in the end zone against a random 3-11 team.

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Dave:

The fanbase does not bother to hide its racism in the slightest. You would think that Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell are comic book villains and Big Ben is basically the Pope mixed with Superman.

Half the crowd leaves the first time something bad happens, 1/4 of the crowd says something racist about Tomlin, and the rest still chant “Heath” whenever a white tight end catches the ball.

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William:

The fans, team management, and local media’s blind insistence on backing their fat, old, dumb, sexual assault-prone white QB while demonizing any black skill player who looks at him wrong was bad, if predictable.

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Sean:

My veteran father was running a “Welcome Home” for local Iraq/Afghan War vets. He reached out to the Steelers and asked players to attend and meet the veterans at the airport as a surprise. A lot of players agreed! Big Ben asked for a large sum of money, and then declined when the VA of Pittsburgh wouldn’t pay his demands.

A relative was part of the surgery team when he broke his already be-fucked nose in that bike crash. Before they applied anesthesia, he used his last conscious words to threaten everyone in the room with a lawsuit if he didn’t like the outcome.

I saw him at Marios on the Southside once and asked for a picture. He agreed but only if my girlfriend sat on his lap.

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Dan:

They built a fucking roller coaster based off the team, which is the greatest irony I’ve ever seen.*

* Is that actually irony? Fuck it, Pittsburgh Public Schools failed me.**

Amran:

Because the organization let two transcendent talents walk and tripled down on a 37-year old, MAGA-loving, rapist, racist ox with four active brain cells.

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Chris:

THIS IS OUR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR— THIS IS THE BEST WE COULD DO AND HE’S ON A STEELERSTHEMED ROLLER COASTER DAYDREAMING ABOUT LEGAL WEED.

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Fuck the Steelers and fuck Pittsburgh and its 300 days of rain a year with Neil O’Donnell’s asshole face.

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Andrew:

One time I decided to wear a Jason Bay shirt to Heinz Field. I have never been more verbally abused in a stadium, and I’ve been to Oakland coliseum.

A few years ago a buddy that’s also a Pennsylvania native & I went to San Diego to see a Monday Night game. The night before the game we went to the Gaslamp and found ourselves surrounded by people in Steelers gear. After a few drinks we started asking people where they were from. Not a single one of them had even set foot in Pittsburgh in their lives. They all had stories like, “My uncle used to lock me in his basement in Fresno while he watched the Steelers.” Once we were at the game we sat next to a Chargers fan in his early 20's that had the nerve to cheer loudly for his favorite team in its home stadium. Some trashy woman sitting behind us leaned forward and said, “Hey. Did you hear about that Ravens fan that got the shit beat out of him at Heinz Field last week?” I looked at her and said, “You can’t be serious.” She looked to her boyfriend for support. His response, “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

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Alex:

For the past entirely-too-many years we have hung onto this idiot mush-brained sexual assaulter of a shit-stirring-via-radio quarterback while shiny new prospects passed us by, and as soon as he retires and/or dies in a motorcycle accident we’re gonna be duking it out with the Bengals for third place for several years.

Every week I see a new post or news article about how great Shazier is doing! He’s practically a face of the organization for his “determination to get back in the game” and all I can think about is how lucky he is to be able to WALK.

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Charles:

Have a coach that goes 9-6-1 and has never had a losing season? FIRE HIM. A top-3 running back who wants to get paid in his only chance at a less than premium position? GET HIS ASS OUT OF TOWN. Have a WR who is upset that his quarterback can go on the local radio and bash him in public, all for non-guaranteed money? WE HOPE HE DIES ON HIS WAY TO OAKLAND. I am convinced there is no dumber fan base in the history of the world.

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Kyle:

Looking at the schedule this year, I see a prime time game against Miami at home, who seems to be doing everything they can to tank their season this year, and an away game in Arizona, which is basically Larry Fitzgerald and 52 other people, and all I can think is that the Steelers are absolutely going to lose at least one of those games.

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DW:

Two years ago I also said I had coworkers who were fellow Steelers fans. One got fired for being consistently drunk at work. The other got fired for being an abrasive rageaholic. Nothing is good. Existence is pain. When Donald Trump declares we’re nuking the sun, I’ll just wave a towel and laugh maniacally. Let it end.

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Grant:

I dread telling other Steelers fans that I want to fire Tomlin because almost all of them who agree with me do so for melanin-related reasons and not because we lose at least one inexplicable game a year, usually more.

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Eric:

I simply present you this five-dollar, unlicensed t-shirt found in the burgh’s strip district.

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Mickey:

This team has been owned lock, stock, and barrel by the Patriots since the day Brady was drafted. For the last several years, we have employed a triumvirate of elite, potential Hall Of Fame talent at the WR, RB, and QB spots. When frustrations bubbled over, when the money and spotlight became too much to spread between them, we decided to side with the most-expensive, least-talented, least-time-left of the three: a fat, immobile, white QB twice credibly accused of sexual assault and a proven shit leader of men.

Our head coach has overstayed his welcome by at least 5 years. He couldn’t motivate a starving dog to eat a steak.

In their twilight years, we treated team legends like Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward, James Harrison, Dick LeBeau, and more like disposable dog shit. Polamalu has yet to show his face at any team event since. The only franchise that has done less with the massive amount of talent that’s come through their locker room in the last 25 years is Green Bay. This team treads water like a fucking Olympic synchronized swimming team.

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Sean:

This picture is from a Trump rally in Monongahela, Pa. THIS is Steelers country.

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Jon:

The best wide receiver football started the season going AWOL in training camp because he was mad that he got usurped as the highest paid WR in the league. He did this one year after signing a five-year contract making him the highest paid WR in the league. He returned before week 1 pissed off, was an absolute psycho all season, alienated his teammates, got jealous that someone else on the team had the audacity to also catch balls well, and put a bow on his effort by quitting on the team before a win or go home week 17 game. He kept the momentum rolling into the offseason by openly shit talking his teammates, demanding a trade while at the same time sabotaging his own trade value by dying his mustache blonde and only tweeting in metaphors that even Kyrie Irving couldn’t decipher, while forcing his way the fucking Raiders.

Oh, and, that year-long spectacle ran concurrent with the other year-long spectacle of the dumbest running back in football turning down a gigantic extension to stay in Pittsburgh, sitting out all year because he expected to get major money in free agency, only to realize a week into free agency that the only goddamn team that wanted him was the fucking Jets, at a contract value way lower than what the Steelers originally offered. And now his new head coach doesn’t even want him on the team, and openly shopped him after he was hired. And what did he pay for the privilege? Only $15 million in guaranteed 2018 salary that he has no prayer of ever making back.

Fuck Jessie James. And fuck you Drew for cutting out the best part of my submission last year. I’m not over it.

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