Suddenly, a little child cried out, "But he's not wearing any clothes!" Soon, everyone was laughing and saying loudly, "The emperor isn't wearing any clothes!"
No one has posted on here in a long time, but I think if there was ever a night that deserved a rant, it is tonight.
Today, the Steelers suffered one of the team's most embarrassing losses in a long time. But, it got me wondering, should we all be surprised? This team has blown fourth-quarter leads all season. It has failed to get into the endzone once it gets inside the 20 yard line. Players get stupid personal foul penalties at clutch times. The list goes on and on. The fact is these are all traits of bad teams. So wouldn't that mean that the 2009 Steelers are a bad team?
I use the quote from The Emperor's New Clothes to start this post because I think that's what everyone following the Steelers has been doing this year. We've been talking ourselves into the fact that this team is good when all the evidence says it isn't. Plus, the image of some guy strutting down the street naked was always funny to me. Try to do that now, and you're political career is done, Mr. Emperor. You'll be labeled a pervert while you steal some of Tiger's headlines from TMZ.
I picked the picture from the Post Gazette of a Raider making a catch in front of Ike Taylor because I saw that happen a lot.
As Steelers fans we mock other teams when we see division in the locker room. Yet, two of the Steelers' biggest stars went at in the press over the course of the last week. We make fun of players who lose their heads and cost their teams wins. But I barely heard a peep when James Harrison decided to take a swing at a Bengal to give them a first and ten instead of a third and long. We make fun of meltdowns by coaches, and now we'll have to listen to, as well as dish out the "Unleash Hell" mockery that's going to follow Mike Tomlin for some time.
This Steelers team has lost to the Kansas City Chiefs and now the Oakland Raiders. Those are two of the worst teams in the league. The Raiders had five touchdown passes all season before Sunday. They had three in three drives, in the fourth quarter on Sunday. This Steelers team had trouble putting the Browns away earlier this year. Now they'll play the Browns on a short week. Do I expect the Steelers to lose this Thursday? No, I don't. But I wouldn't be shocked if they do.
This was a rough weekend for Pittsburgh sports. Pitt's heartbreaking loss to Cincinnati. The Penguins lost, and then the Steelers. The Penguins were the only team that didn't have its season hopes dashed.
I like to make fun of fans that take things too seriously. Heck, I love it. But today I found myself agreeing with them. "Fire everyone", I read from one guy commenting on the Post Gazzette. And why not? This team has failed at practically every level. It's my opinion that Bruce Arians is just Roethlisberger's yes man. That's not good. The defense is filled with older guys that have lost a step. Fire Colbert! (That's probably going too far.)
But the guy a lot of people seemed to be the most upset with is Mike Tomlin. Now people used to always shout, "Fire Cowher" after every big loss. I never bought into that, the guy had a great track record and you can't dump a coach who took the team to the playoffs almost every year. But Tomlin doesn't have the track record to lean back on, and a few more seasons like this, and I don't he'll survive the way Cowher did through the Kordell, Tomczak, Kent Graham years.
Am I over reacting? Probably. But this is not how this season should have been. It's so hard to think that the Steelers could fall back into the funk of the late 80's. But it could be on the way very soon. And while Penguins fans will have something else to look forward to, guys like me can't get excited about pitchers and catchers reporting to Bradenton anymore.