There are a lot of different ways a football team can lose football games. To start, there can be a glaring lack of talent. Think historically bad teams, like the 2008 Detroit Lions. There can be a lack of proper scheming, which has cost the Pittsburgh Steelers games before. These issues are easily fixed by a change in personnel, but there is a way to lose that is hard to cure. That issue is the issue of a losing culture, and that is the issue looming over Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Steelers Social Media Problem
The glaring sign that points to a losing culture taking over Pittsburgh is the issue of social media. Back in the simpler days, Pittsburgh’s biggest issue with Antonio Brown was Facebook Live. It seemed harmless then, just “AB being AB.” In retrospect, it was the beginning of an epidemic, much like foot-and-mouth disease. Now, the Steelers can’t help but fire off from the keyboard at media, fans or even teammates. Unlike drafting new players or hiring new coaches, it is difficult to rid of a losing culture. The first step for the Steelers is to fix the social media issue.
The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is a problem, to begin with. After the Facebook Live incident involving Brown, the social media insanity hasn’t stopped. Le’Veon Bell has been all over social media seemingly mocking the Steelers since the beginning of the season. After a bad game, Bud Dupree got into a dispute with a fan on Twitter. Roosevelt Nix has been sending off tweets since the season ended as if his team did not vastly underperform. The “kicker” (literally) was L.J. Fort’s recent tweet taking a shot at Pittsburgh’s own kicking situation.
To make matters worse, Art Rooney II refused to call out the culture of losing and internet idiocy. Last week, Rooney II stated that he does not believe the team has a culture problem. This was a misstep by ownership, an attempt to show unwavering loyalty to the coach. The issue with that is, there is a culture problem, and Mike Tomlin is responsible.
Had Rooney II come out and identified that, I believe Tomlin would have fixed the issue. I don’t always agree with Tomlin, but I believe he is a good enough of a coach to figure it out with pressure from ownership. But by continuing to pretend there is no problem, it looks as if no end is in sight to the losing culture in Pittsburgh.
Fixing the Issue
The first thing that should have happened was condemnation from ownership and the coaching staff. These guys are NFL players. No one can tell them they cannot be on social media. But when players are using platforms inappropriately, there needs to be swift action taken. If higher-ups will not at least admit there is an issue, it needs to happen within the locker room. Adult humans should not act like this on social media, let alone NFL players. Be better, Pittsburgh Steelers, be better.