Pittsburgh Steelers’ Safety Ryan Clark recently said that he feels the team is ‘spoiled’ and ‘entitled’ and this is contributing to the team’s poor performance over the last two weeks. Some on Twitter have suggested that the fan base is no different. We are spoiled by our success and we’ve become whiners who complain about every little thing that doesn’t go our way.
Well ya know what? They’re absolutely right. We are spoiled and entitled and I wouldn’t change it for a damn second. I am the Pittsburgh Steelers just like you are. I expect that no matter who we put on the field each week that we are going to win. I don’t care if it’s Charlie Batch or Charlie freaking Brown, I expect to win!
Would you rather be a Detroit Lions’ fan or a (gulp!) Cleveland Browns’ fan? You’ve never been to a Super Bowl despite having a wonderful, rich history of pro football and you’re team seemingly disappoints year in and year out. It’s so bad at times that you’re already talking about the draft and it is even October yet.
If being spoiled means that I expect the Pittsburgh Steelers field a competitive, exciting team each year then I’ll take it. If being entitled means I expect our team to do things in a certain way that is different from all other NFL teams then I’ll take it.
Being spoiled and entitled doesn’t mean we can’t have expectations and it doesn’t mean we can’t both praise and criticize when necessary. If Mike Tomlin has a crappy game, I’m going to say so. If Dick LeBeau calls a terrible game, I’m going to say so. If Mike Wallace has a great game then I can praise him.
If you’re one of these Steelers’ fans that think we’re entitled and spoiled then I suggest you walk a mile in the shoes of a Seahawks’ fan or a Jaguars’ fan. Success breeds contempt from those that lack it. Maybe Ryan Clark is right about the players. Perhaps there are some guys who expect to just show up and win games because of the color of their jerseys but I guarantee there aren’t many and it’s up to Clark and the veterans to straighten them out.
The stress of being a fan comes not when you are successful but when you are struggling. Feel free to hop off the bandwagon should the Steelers lose a third straight game Sunday. I have a permanent seat and I know millions of others who do too, but we are allowed to feel any way we want. We will ride with the good times and the bad and if our criticism comes off as ‘entitled’ and/or ‘spoiled’ then that’s your problem.
I have expectations because of what this organization has accomplished and I guarantee there are numerous other NFL fan bases who would die to be in our shoes so if you don’t like your seat then you’re free to get off. I will stay right here and will continue to have the same high expectations that our head coach does whether I agree with him or not.
Marc Uhlmann writes and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.