Ask any Steeler fan and they will tell you that this season has been a tad bit like a relentless episode of The Twilight Zone. Simply stated, winning teams aren’t supposed to lose. Loss is a foreign feeling to Steeler Nation and the team is suddenly leaving droves of Steeler fans irritated and frustrated. Fans want that 7th ring…or at this point, at least a spot in the Playoffs.
Well, you aren’t alone fans. But truth be told, your frustration is hardly comparable to the frustration lingering over the players. I don’t need to tell you that these guys take tremendous pride in representing Pittsburgh. Yet somehow, in the end (unfortunately), the fans, the media, the public…they all need someone to blame.
Am I the only one who has forgotten that a team isn’t made up of one person? Football is not an individual sport last time I checked. Not to mention everyone has a bad day at work, and I guarantee your bad day isn’t nationally televised. Regardless, doesn’t it always seem there is one player that absorbs the blame for a loss? Last week’s Titans tragedy left not just the team, but veteran CB Ike Taylor in particular, taking the brunt of the loss. Always assigned to cover top receivers, and in fairness, often doing so quite well during his 10-year tenure, Taylor’s performance was picked apart.
The CB is a very unforgiving position. But in true Taylor nature, he spoke out to the media, taking responsibility for his errors, something that shows his true character and dedication to his Steeler uniform. With three visits to the Super Bowl inclusive of two wins, Taylor may have had a bad night or two on the field as of late, but his history and stats prove he is far from a flop.
Has the universe forgotten that there are 11 players on defense? Football fans, as well as the seemingly unforgiving media, need to remember this as they so easily mix facts with opinion. You don’t have to like the result of a game, but at least point blame over the entire team. It’s only fair.
Moving forward Taylor has the challenge this week with Bengals’ No. 1 WR A.J. Green. A challenge he openly accepts and believes that he and his defensive line can handle. Taylor has referred to Green as a top-three receiver in the league and said he will most likely shadow him Sunday night in Cincinnati. He also indicated that he won’t be expecting or asking for safety help.
So Steeler fans, all of that being said, going into Sunday’s game at 2-3, facing Cincinnati (3-3), how about standing behind your ENTIRE team? Forget what has come before and focus on the here and now. True fans support a team win or lose…and something tells me the black and gold will prove to be out of their on-the-road slump this Sunday with no chance of a blame game hitting the post game airwaves.
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