letters to people who won't write back, sports

Dear Pittsburgh Steelers Fans,

First of all, congratulations are in order. You backed what was clearly the best team in the NFL this year. Last night’s dramatic, come-from-behind victory will go down as a Super Bowl classic. Santonio Holmes has become the new Dwight Clark. James Harrison rumblin’, bumblin’ and stumblin’ 100 yards for a touchdown just before the half resulted in him, and us, needing oxygen to recover. Former University of Pittsburgh star Larry Fitzgerald had a phenomenal game but was polite enough not to steal the show. Your coach Mike Tomlin, the youngest coach to ever win a Super Bowl, sure seems like a classy guy. And of course your franchise now has more Super Bowl rings than any other NFL team. So, again, congrats.

This doesn’t change the fact you are the most obnoxious people on the face of the earth. It pains me to say this because many of you are in fact close friends of mine. I have lived among you. I have listened to the bleating of Myron Cope on many a Steelers broadcast. You are, individually speaking, extraordinary people of good humor and sound judgment.

When you get together and start waving your terrible towels though, I cannot express just how much I hate you. You mirror the cocky, unsportsmanlike behavior of your team. Your local media champions are smug (Ron Cook), loony (Gene Collier), or reprehensible (Mark Madden, thankfully now fired). Even in the Bubby Brister years, you could not stop talking about the 70s and the Steel Curtain. And they’re called the Bengals, not the Bungles. At least have the decency to call an inferior opponent by its name.

You have every right to gloat. What other team has accomplished what you have? And you are still near and dear to my heart, Pittsburgh. You are a good city. So I implore you to claim the spoils of victory in a spirit of humility and gratitude. Yinz have offered Western culture such valuable things as steel, pierogies and Pittsburghese. When the year 2029 rolls around and the second coming of Neil O’Donnell has led your team to a 3-13 season and you’re banking all your hopes on Kordell Stewart’s third cousin resuscitating your lagging franchise, you don’t have to blather on about Ben Roethlisberger taking such vaunted NFC opponents as Arizona and Seattle behind the Super Bowl woodshed. Please, put down those towels and your Iron City and demonstrate the class which all western Pennsylvanians are capable of n’at.

I know you won’t. But I had to ask.


Ben Vore



20 thoughts on “Dear Pittsburgh Steelers Fans,

  1. You’re asking too much Ben- these people are maniacs- and you forgot to mention how they rejoiced at seeing the Bungle’s QB brutally taken out in that infamous playoff game…never to be forgotten by BENGALS fans!

  2. Come on now Christy if I remember correctly that was not only a legal hit but Kimo also apologized to Palmer (not that he was obligated to). Football is a tough sport, and the fact that most teams can’t keep up with the physical play of the Steelers doesn’t make us unsportsmanlike. Don’t hate us because we can turn virtually any away game into a home game. Steeler Nation Rocks!!! SIX PACK N’AT BABY!!!

  3. No post on this blog has struck me as more true. I could not have expressed my feelings any better. Any fan base that feels the need to wave a stupid yellow towel in an effort to terrorize the opponent is pretty lame.

    A friend sent me a text last night that sums it all up, “The Steelers are the champs… and the Bengals STILL suck… it doesn’t get any worse than this.”

  4. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Steelers in the past day. Part of me thinks I would love it if the Bengals had a tough receiver who threw blocks like Hines Ward or a defensive player with half the balls of anyone on the Steelers defense. And I always want to see Ben do well. And I think Mike Tomlin is so cool I want him to pick out my clothes. And I have to admit I’m extremely jealous that a small market, family run team in the Midwest only a few hours from Cincinnati can be consistently good while the Bengals consistently crap the bed.

    But the Steelers are the most loathsome team I can think of. They are constantly the chippiest bunch of assholes I’ve ever seen. So Kimo apologized. That was nice of of him to apologize for laying an almost career-ending cheap ass chop block on Carson. Sometimes things don’t get called, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dirty. ESPN has been spouting all this crap about how the Steelers are America’s team and they “won the right way.” Bullshit. James Harrison PUNCHED ANOTHER PLAYER IN THE EFFING KIDNEY.

    As much as I loathe the team, the fans are even worse. Every Steelers fan I have met talks shit like they have personally contributed to the teams success. I think Bret Hart said it best when he said if you were going to give America and enema, Pittsburgh is where you would stick the hose.

    I think I just crapped my pants ranting.

  5. This rant is the authoritative word on the subject. Its language and poetry should resonate in our hearts and minds no less than The Gettysburg Address.

    Also, I have skull indentations from the number of times ESPN’s idiot bloviators have made me smash my head against the wall. If the Steelers are America’s team then chalk one up for the terrorists.

  6. Ben, thank you for this post. It is a sad day indeed when an Ohio State alum wins the championship for Pittspuke.

    And the fans?

    They’re hicks, Rita.

  7. This Post-Gazette article captures perfectly the pompousness of the Steelers fan, for whom every other sports fan is merely an insufferable fairweather yuppie who has not bled and wept real, true fan tears, and who needs to be punished with a kidney-punching cheap shot of black and gold megalomania:

    “We really wanted to beat them,” Steelers fan Jeff Grove said. “Their fans are a bunch of bandwagon-jumpers, and to give it to them was freaking awesome.”

    Steelers fans: Our joy isn’t complete without your life-ending despair.

  8. I mean I guess I understand where you guys are are coming from, if I was unfortunate enough to hail from a state that consistently produced two of the worst teams in the NFL I’d probably be bitter too. Luckily I’m not…

  9. I think I side a little bit with Embo here. Sure, Steeler fans are assholes, but have you ever been to an NFL game where 70% of the stadium wasn’t filled with drunken, obnoxious assholes? I really can not imagine what PBS would be like if the Bengals were actually good, their fans are so insufferable as it is. The Steelers are America’s team of 2008, in a year that the Patriots’s fans and their national media weren’t around to ruin it even more for the rest of us. Cincinnati has a real inferior complex to Pittsburgh, and until Mike Brown kicks the can, it’s not going to be any better. Don’t hate on the Steelers and their fans b/c your franchise is a pile of smoldering manure and your fans let Steeler fans take over half your stadium every season.

    That said, as annoying as Who Dey is, We Dey is ten times worse.

  10. Here is the thing about Bengals fans. They are like nerds in high school. Both are socially awkward, constantly picked on, and don’t know how to act in public. Some nerds/Bengals fans accept their social position and keep to themselves so they don’t get picked on more. Some nerds/Bengals fans have no awareness or don’t care and act out their nerdiness. Of course the nerds are going to roll over and die when the bully comes around.

    Now, imagine a nerd/Bengals fan finally gets invited to the cool kids party/2005 playoffs. They’re going to go nuts and be ridiculous. They’re going to get drunk and throw up on someone’s bed/yell Who-dey. Bengals fans are like nerds and deserve our sympathy, even when they’re obnoxious. Research has shown that bullies/Steelers fans do not deserve sympathy.

    Also, congratulations on your contributions to the Steelers Super Bowl victory, Embo. I’m sure James Harrison couldn’t have run back that touchdown or punched that guy in the back without your help.

  11. I’m with Bradley D on this one.

    As much as I dislike Steelers fans for their arrogance and “real America” mentality, nothing can overtake my hatred of Who Dey Nation.

    And everyone knows the Cowboys are America’s Team. That Romo and his dimples!

  12. Steelers fans have reason to gloat now. But my hatred of them was born in the 80s, when they had absolutely no reason to gloat but still did, relentlessly, because NFL fans everywhere didn’t watch the Immaculate Reception on a daily basis and pray to a black and gold deity named Rooneyuddha.

  13. As much as several of you would like to set this up as a simple binary (you either accept the Steelers as the dominant franchise in modern sport, or you are a disillusioned, sad sack Bengals / Ohio football fan), I would like to point out that I a) live in Kansas, b) identify myself mostly as a Bears fan, and yet I c) hate the Steelers and their fans with a white hot hatred.

    So you can’t paint me as a bitter Bangles fan.

    It just don’t like mullets, pleated pants and cheap shots like Steelers fans do. Sorry.

  14. Touche on the mullets and pleated pants. You forgot to mention Starter jackets though. If there is one thing Steelers fans love it’s their Starter jackets in cold weather.

    Cashmere- thank you, I’m sure that if I hadn’t made the same pot of chili, worn the same outfit, and sat on the same spot on the couch the Cards would have been victorious. I’m always proud to do my part.

    On the Harrison punch: it was a cheap shot and totally uncalled for. If he’s fined for it he’ll deserve it. I also yelled at him and told him he should have known better. I’m sure he heard me through the TV.

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