I have a good friend who’s a lifelong Steeler fan and blogger, and in talking to him over the weekend, you really get a sense of what the Steelers are all about and how their fans buy into it.
He said that Bud Dupree is going to hit Tom Brady harder than he hit Matt Moore. I said, Oh you mean that illegal hit. He said Yup, he loves that stuff.
Now we all talk shit about opponents and it’s part of being a sports fan, but Steeler and Patriot fans have this blind obsession that goes beyond being a basic fan. And the NFL certainly fosters that. As I’ve said for the past month, there is no way that the NFL doesn’t help Pittsburgh along in the playoffs. They certainly need no help in beating the Dolphins, but then against the Chiefs, the refs handed them a win by calling the same “holding” that teams did to Cameron Wake all year long. It’s NOT a hold if you run yourself into a guy’s arm…unless you’re a Steeler.
Shoving a guy after a play? It’s just boys being boys and the refs let that stuff go during the playoffs. Except if your name is Jay Ajayi or Travis Kelce and you’re playing the Steelers.
Pittsburgh about to get beat by a red hot Bengal team in the playoffs a few years ago? Just send Kimo von Oelhoffen into Carson Palmer’s knee (low, and late, and dirty) and watch their fans claim it was a clean hit. And watch the refs NOT throw a flag. And then watch the bogus justification.
The Immaculate Reception? How far do we have to go back to see referee bias toward the Steelers? It’s like an immovable object that won’t ever change.
But now that immovable object is about to go up against an irresistible force: the New England Patriots and their own favoritism the league shows them. Yeah, they suspended Tom Brady. Big deal. They made up for it by overly protecting him. And he’s allowed to scream at refs and do whatever he wants, penalty-free. Roger Goodell’s head must be spinning. Which of his two mama’s boys does he protect this week?
Anyway, back to the fans. Spoiled, uneducated fans. I know a Patriot fan who once told me that “Of course Brady knew about the deflated balls. He got busted, paid his price, and we go back to loving him.” THAT I can live with. Sadly, however, he is the only Pat fan I ever met with that attitude. The rest of them–millions upon millions–still think he did nothing wrong. Still think he gets no special treatment. Still think the tuck rule had nothing to do with Brady’s success. (If not for the tuck rule, then Brady loses the playoff game to Oakland and Drew Bledsoe regains his starting job the next season, and Brady becomes a lifetime backup…thanks, NFL!).
Patriot fans will never admit fault with their team. They won’t admit luck. When David Tyree makes a miraculous catch, it’s luck. When the Texan DBs fall down all night long on their own the other night, it’s not luck. You can’t win with Patriot fans. Perhaps the most infuriating example is when Pete Carroll handed a free Super Bowl to the Patriots. The Seahawks needed two yards for the win. The Pats were unable to stop Marshawn Lynch all game long. One handoff = game over, right?
Pete Carroll, and perhaps my reader Karmatourer 😉 , were the only two people on the face of the earth who thought a pass play was a great idea. It was the worst call in NFL history, and yet Patriot fans still won’t thank Pete. Patriot fans actually think they deserved to win that game. By the way, notice how Seattle has not advanced since that loss. Talk about a coach’s stupid decision sucking the life out of an entire franchise forever.
Say what you want about Dolphins fans (and I always do), but we are realists. We are objective. I am the first one to point out and admit when we get lucky. The first one to observe how the refs helped us (rare, but it happens). The first one to rip my team or its coach for bad play and bad decisions. Try to find a Steeler fan or Patriot fan to do that. You’ll be looking far and wide for a long time. That’s why the world hates those teams and their fans so much.