The difficulty of coping with losses as a Steelers fan | Steel City Underground

Steel City Underground

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown focuses in the locker room before facing the Los Angeles Chargers at Heinz Field on Dec. 2, 2018

I learned something last week: it’s really hard to write about or discuss your favorite team after they have had a tough loss. The loss against the Denver Broncos was tough primarily because I know the Pittsburgh Steelers are a better team than the Broncos. We have a better record, a better defense and more offensive weapons. But to the credit of Denver, they found a way to win.

I went through the week kind of blah and it wasn't until late Thursday that I figured out why. We had enjoyed a great Thanksgiving with our grandkids that culminated with watching our yearly rivalry game against FSU. The Florida Gators won decisively and we were looking forward to watching the Steelers continue their win streak in the game against the Broncos. And then the wheels came off with that loss.

The Steelers couldn't find a rhythm and looked flat while the Broncos looked determined to win, especially running back Phillip Lindsay who rushed for 110 yards. But the four turnovers are what made the difference. In my opinion, the Steelers beat themselves.

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So, this week's game was crucial to get that game behind them and show what this team is about. And unfortunately, the Steelers blew it. Sunday night, I think I heard Al Michaels say the Steelers have never lost a home game where they were up by 14 or more points. Well, they have now.

What went wrong? I'm not entirely sure. The Steelers stats don't look that bad. There were some very bad calls by the officials that probably cost us points. But I never want to blame a loss on bad officiating. It's never that simple. I said earlier that the Broncos found a way to win that game in Denver. In Sunday night's game, Pittsburgh found a way to lose to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Both losses are difficult to handle, especially in light of the fact that they still have to play the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints this season. I have to believe that the coaching staff and the team will find a way to fix what is wrong with this team that is loaded with talent and opportunities. I can't point to any reason why I believe this other than to say I'm a Steeler fan for life and I simply have faith.

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  1. It’s getting hard to watch the big 4 sports because of the officiating, but I don’t completely blame the officials. The rules are just way too subjective. It’s impossible to correctly determine pass interference or holding on most plays.

    • Joe Kuzma says:

      Those are judgement calls and yes, subjective. Was there inadequate force hand-fighting or did a player gain an advantage with a small tug of the jersey… I can live with those ebs and flows. However, offsides and false starts aren’t subjective penalties. They are called if they happen. A few others like that are clearly black and white, like delay of game. I can even see allowing some leeway and letting the book bend, but it’s really hard to swallow the false start TD, an obvious shove in the back on the punt return which is right in the path of the returner (i.e. not out of the field of vision for the officials who should be watching the ball) and then the field goal attempts, where I don’t know how video replay isn’t involved in a situation which ultimately determines a winner more often than not (that is, running the clock down for a last-second field goal attempt).

      I think the NFL is going to have to revisit instant replay again to include any line of scrimmage infractions. The reason they probably did not do so already is because of what I already mentioned about those calls being cut and dry occurrences of “did it happen or not?” I also believe they probably do not want coaches being able to challenge the officials decisions on EVERY decision, which is somewhat understandable in one aspect, but preposterous when the zebras don’t do their job properly!

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