Category Archives: Steeler Nation

Dancing With the Stars Week 4: All That Jazz

Week 4Things are getting a bit tense in Antonio’s world. The six o’clock news had a short segment yesterday evening showing some clips from rehearsal and asking some questions.

One of the questions—does he take the judges’ criticisms personally—was answered in the negative, with AB indicating that as long as Sharna is happy with what he’s doing he doesn’t worry too much about the judges.

But it sounded a bit like whistling in the dark to me, because after all it is the judges who ultimately make the decision. Steeler Nation may be turning out in force and making sure there isn’t an early exit for the couple, but in the end it is a judges’ decision. And you just know that it has to stick in AB’s craw, because he is such a fierce competitor. Whether he has been focusing his  legendary work ethic on the task at hand is a question, of course, and one I can’t answer. I noted he seems to have a lot of other things going on as well, and perhaps he overestimated how quickly he could learn. Or perhaps it’s just a lot harder than he thought.   Read more

Surviving the Off Season, Part 5: Trashing Tomlin

via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/Matt Freed photo

by Ivan Cole

In Part 4 Ivan gave us the background. Here’s the explanation:

The black box

This is a term that has been associated with behavioral psychology, a branch of the discipline that didn’t concern itself with describing the mechanisms that were at work driving human behavior. Something happened in that black box and behaviors came out. What happened in the box was anyone’s guess.

It’s just like coaching in the NFL.

Criticizing a head coach becomes an easy eye-of-the-beholder exercise because few really have a clue as to what precisely goes on in the black box that is team preparation.

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Surviving the Off Season, Part 4: Someone’s Got to Pay

via ABNews Press/ Mike Tomlin, AFC North Head Coach of the Year

by Ivan Cole

The propagation of the Bust Mentality, as described in Part 2, doesn’t end with the players. Those who say that success has many fathers while failure is an orphan apparently have no familiarity with Steeler Nation. More to the point, there is no shortage of suspects as to whom will be held accountable when the Lombardi does not arrive.

While many rotate through the roster of the constellation of shame when it comes to the Steelers’ perceived shortcomings, there is one fixed star—Head Coach Mike Tomlin.

I would suspect Tomlin might be the first to admit that this is part of the job. Unless you are among the most feckless of fans, the experience pretty much guarantees disappointment. It is a matter of record that Steelers fans experience the highs and lows more acutely than others, so the desire to identify a scapegoat is irresistible.

Assigning blame is, of course, easy. As to whether it is valid is another matter entirely.

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The Good Guys: Roxanna Firehall tackles the receivers

This week, I tackle the wide receivers. Through the seasons, the Steelers have been blessed with wideouts who are winners in the game of life and have what it takes to earn a spot on Going Deep’s Good Guys:

(5). Sammie Coates.

Yes, I know. Sammie Coates has caught one ball in the NFL. His resume as a player is shorter Danny Woodhead standing in a sinkhole. You know what, I don’t care. I love this kid. The whole point of this series is to celebrate the character, the characters and the great players who have impressed me as men.  Sammie is a man of character.

Sammie was a third round draft choice in the 2015 draft. He is fast and appears to be motivated to get better. He’s worked hard, both at the college level and now with the Steelers. But that, my friends, just scratches the surface. Read more

The Best Steelers Museum in the World


photo Joe Robbins/Getty Images—Some future Hall of Famers at Dick LeBeau’s ceremony

by Roxanna Firehall

My wife and I (you may know her as Little Darlin’) visited the Hall of Fame last week, in between catching the Steelers in St. Louis and last Thursday’s game against the Ravens.

I was excited to make my first trip to the Hall of Fame.  I became a Steelers fan in 1972.  Unknown to me, it would prove the best year ever to join Steelers Nation (even though I’m pretty sure we we not yet a nation).  1972 was  the first time the Steelers made the playoffs in ten years.   Prior to that, the Steelers went fifteen years without making the playoffs.  I can’t even imagine twenty five years and only two playoff appearances.  

Since 1972, the Steelers went four years without a playoff appearance only once (’85 – ’88) and three years once (’98 – ’00).  Those were the only two stretches in the last 43 seasons when the Black and Gold went more than two years without making the playoffs.  

The Steelers made the playoffs 27 times in the past 43 years.  During this stretch, we’ve had three head coaches.  No other team in the NFL has had such stability.  Read more

Staying Out of 2nd and 98

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Peter Diana photo

Steeler Nation, viewed as a whole, could be said to be bi-polar. One week we’re going to the Super Bowl—the next week we are going to be just bad enough to miss the playoffs and still not get a top-of-the-first-round draft pick.

But when you begin talking to individual fans the general attitude varies tremendously, from the “Black and Gold colored glasses” wearers to the Bob Labriola “I live in my fears” type of fan. Some fans even appear to be downright annoyed when their alleged team does well, disappearing from the commenting flow when there isn’t enough to gripe about.

Steeler fans aren’t any different than any other fans this way, of course. As many of you know I also follow the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the gloom and doom on BucsDugout is palpable as it seems about 97% of the commenters there are convinced the Pirates can’t possibly beat the Cubs in a one-game elimination match, assuming Jake Arrieta pitches it. And you can bet that he will, unless some of his major organs shut down between now and tomorrow evening. Read more

The Little Darlin’/Roxanna Firehall Football Jamboree, Part 5

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/Peter Diana photo

  Day 8 – Roxanna Firehall enters the Hall of Fame

Little Darlin’ and I left our campground in East Sparta, Kentucky . . .er Ohio, and drove twenty minutes into Canton to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What a cool place! The exhibits tell the story of professional football from the days of Jim Thorpe and Red Grange to the players of today.

The HOF has tons of memorabilia from every era, multimedia presentations, exhibits, statues and of course, the bust of every player ever inducted. We spent about three hours, But one could easily spend more time. There are exhibits on the history of the game, the Super Bowls and of course, the great owners, players and coaches who have made pro football the game we love. Read more

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