This article contains opinion.
Consider this article a State of the Union address to all of Steelers Nation.
The season is not gone, but it appears all hope from the fan base is.
For as long as I can remember, the Steelers have always been playoff contenders. The hire of Bill Cowher as head coach was the second most revolutionary acquisition in franchise history, behind only the 1974 draft class. So as far as I am concerned, the Steelers have been spoiling us all for three straight decades.
From the aggressive strategy from Cowher’s glory to his dominant defense throughout the 2000’s decade, all the way into the Killer Bees era, we have never known what it’s like to be a bottom-of-the-barrel team.
We have also never had to worry about being the worst in the division, because it was guaranteed just about every year that feat could only be achieved by the Cleveland Browns. Not to mention, it’s a real confidence booster getting to play the Cincinnati Bengals twice a year, too.
Now that I am done dreaming about the Steelers’ prestige, let’s fast forward to the present day. Not only is our franchise quarterback out for the year, but his replacement has been seeing stars for a week straight now. This leaves us with undrafted rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges.
This is where things get interesting, because as Steelers fans, we’ve never had to worry about bandwagon fans, because there was never a convenient point in time to hop off the bandwagon. Life has been great to us in Steelers Nation. But now that the Steelers sit with a gut-wrenching 1–4 record and are starting a quarterback whose nickname is “Duck Dynasty,” this would be that convenient time to hop right off of the bandwagon for many.
But how can you turn your back on a franchise that has treated us so well for such a long time? Imagine being a fan of a team like the Cleveland Browns or Buffalo Bills.
The Browns haven’t even been to the postseason since 2002. I admire those fans for their loyalty and dedication, but life has got to be miserable for them. And Steelers fans want to act all miserable and calling for players’ and faculty’s heads after one bad season.
With Ben getting hurt, what did you expect? We all hoped Mason Rudolph would come in surprise the world and take us to a Super Bowl. But that was never going to be a real possibility; only in our sweetest dreams.
Kevin Colbert has been the one consistent puzzle piece over time. He has made some questionable decisions at times, but probably at Art Rooney Jr.’s request. If he’s showed us anything, even since March alone, he’s willing to make moves. This is something we rarely ever see. The additions of Devin Bush, Steven Nelson and Minkah Fitzpatrick are all great confidence boosters for us fans.
If you take anything away from this address, I ask that you trust the process in Pittsburgh. With the defense we have now, we can be contenders any year, in exception to this one. It is an exciting time in Pittsburgh with change right around the corner. It is satisfying knowing that there’s a general manager in the front office willing to make moves to keep the Steelers the contenders we all know and love.
There are still many questions to be answered in Pittsburgh. How long can we expect Tomlin to stay on our sideline? What’s next after Roethlisberger? Time holds all answers, but for the meantime, enjoy watching the Steelers every Sunday, crack an Iron City and be a civil yinzer, whether you’re at Heinz Field or on your couch.