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More “We” ball and less “Me” ball

I think the majority of Steeler fans would agree when I say I have more optimism and excitement about the upcoming season than I have felt in many years. While the changes have been numerous and at times surprising, the organization never felt like it was in turmoil or floundering with indecision. The team finally has a pro level offensive coordinator, a wide receivers coach that isn’t afraid to play the “bad cop” role demanding effort on every down, and the front office somehow managed to get not one but both of the quarterbacks most fans were hoping they could add to the roster. The team also wasted no time sending away players that didn’t want to be here or seemed to play more “me” ball than “we” ball.

Then I see stories pop up on national sports media and social media when I reluctantly look for a brief second. The results are confusing at best. The major websites and shows will run a story saying how good the Steelers look only to follow it up with how the team will be drafting in the top ten next year and have no chance of making the playoffs. I saw an ESPN Analytics graphic predicting of all the 2023 playoff teams, the Steelers only had a 34% chance to make the postseason again, only above the Browns. On First Things First, that show had a tier ranking of all the teams, and they had the Steelers in the “Offseason too weird” category, ranking them below teams like the Rams and Bears. In contrast, later in the programming those same outlets will praise the Steelers as if it were 1978 all over again.

I’m starting to wonder if the food nutrition folks all were fired from their jobs and took over sports reporting. You know, the ones responsible for saying eggs will kill you one week, then saying no, eggs are the healthiest food on the planet the next. Don’t even think about drinking coffee unless you have a death wish…wait…drink four cups a day if you want to live!

That’s why I only watch or read those national media sources after I’m completely caught up on the SCN podcasts and articles. The strengths and weaknesses of the team are covered here with accuracy and a level headed approach, not the extreme declaration of absolutes other sources peddle. Even then, I usually have the national shows on mute, and only turn the sound up when I see a Steelers story pop up. It helps greatly with the irritation factor that comes with hearing grown men pretend to yell at each other over made up sports arguments.

What caused me no irritation at all was watching the sit down interviews with Roman Wilson and Payton Wilson on the NFL app. Both of these young men spoke like five year vets already, mature beyond their years. Roman and Payton both exude a confidence and desire to prove themselves without being arrogant or cocky, and their team first mentality is evident. That’s why I am so excited about this season. I need to like the players I’m watching, and this entire rookie class looks like an easy bunch to root for as they learn their way. The Steeler Way is a real thing. There is a sense of it shifting back to the days when character meant something, and it always produces better results on the field. That’s a metric the national analytics people will never rank, but those of us that follow the team day in and day out understand it might be the most important metric of all.


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