Let me start out by saying I've never really had anything against Steelers fans. I've never particularly cared one way or the other about the Steelers, or their fans, actually. I have friends who follow the team and I shrug my shoulders and continue to pointedly not care.
Broncos fans always seem to try to reside on some ethereal plane of existence where only themselves and bicyclists can reside, trying hard to look down on everyone else. Chiefs fans are insufferable when their team is doing well but are quiet and hide in the shadows like mutated hyenas waiting for their team to be relevant again before yammering. Radiers fans are insufferable whether they win or lose. They have this bizarre ability to point to championships won 30 years ago and insulate themselves by saying they're still good and there is no amount of evidence anyone can produce to convince them otherwise. Lose Lose or get obliterated the Raiders fans always feel like they can bring out their Commitment to Excellence from 1984 like the defenders of Constantinople dragging out the bodies of dead Saints to preserve their city from the Turks. It didn't work for them then and most of the thinking world is aware it's not working now. Raiders fans are to be pitied and marginalized and I do. But Steelers fans? I've never given them another thought.
However, the level of vitriol spewed by the Steelers fans since the penalty that wasn't on Sunday has reached a fevered pitch and I can completely understand their gripe. To a point. With this article over at Behind the Steel Curtain I have reached my limit of understanding.
I have spoken (reluctantly) to one of my Steelers fan friends and after the first pleasantries such as "how is the wife." "Sorry your dog ate the baby's pajamas and had to have emergency surgery." the attack began. "How about that penalty that wasn't called Sunday?" "Your team doesn't deserve to be in the playoffs, we should be." "You know we're the better team." And so on and on and on and on.
My response is this: Firstly, it's not "my" team. I do not own them, or play for them, or have any affiliation with the Chargers at all except I am a fan. Likewise, the Steelers are not "your" team. Secondly, penalties get called or not called all the time. The team has no control over it. I won't engage in tit for tat in this regard. Penalties are what they are. Every team has been screwed by penalties and every team has caught a break. It's the nature of the beast. The Chargers deserve to be in the playoffs because that's where they are. The Steelers deserve to be sitting at home because that's where they are. There is no discussion beyond this point except to say that if the Steelers are so much better than, as the article on BTSC so eloquently puts it, the Punk Ass Chargers, why did they need the Ravens and Dolphins and Chargers to lose so they could wander into the playoffs?
I refuse to troll their boards, it's the Raider thing to do, not becoming of a Chargers fan, but my opinion of Steelers fans who cling to those arguments has dropped considerably. If you want to be in the Playoffs, win more. If you can't win more, at least show a modicum of class. Go polish your Lombardis and cry in the dark about the refs until next year and then prove you are elite. Until then, you should probably shut it.