So it looks like Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is at it again on Twitter. This time he’s not taking an entire nation of Americans to task thank goodness, but still, spouting off against the Steeler Nation isn’t going to gain him any brownie points in the minds of the Steeler faithful either.
Seriously, if you’re gonna talk trash about your team and everyone on it, don’t call yourself a fan. A fan is a supporter… — Rashard Mendenhall (@R_Mendenhall) October 12, 2012
You probably remember #34’s controversial tweets last May about what transpired with the United States military and a certain terrorist. No sense going down that road again with specifics but if you don’t remember it then you probably live under a rock so we’ll just move on.
Anyway, these types of things always bring up the question, how far should players go when it comes to the fans and social media. Do they have a right to openly criticize the ones helping to pay their paycheck? Being part of America; yes they do, however you can debate whether or not it’s a wise move to make.
To Mendenhall this appears to be a cut and dry situation; he’s right and we’re wrong. Now, generally I don’t put too much stock into players spouting off at the fans because many times they are reacting in a similar manner to what we are after something bad happens in a game. Oh sure it bothers me a little but I don’t often dwell on it.
That being said, I appreciate Mendenhall’s comments; making it clear what he thinks of us “so called fans”. Good thing everybody showed up and played a good game sir, thank you for that.
As a fan we have a right to be mad at our team when they lose in the manner that we’ve seen so far this year; it doesn’t make us bleed black and gold any less. We aren’t fair weather bandwagon jumpers here after all. Personally, I’ve been a Steelers fan since I was 10 years old; waving my Terrible Towel proudly through the lean years of he 80’s; the playoff disappointments of the 90’s and the Super Bowls in the 2K era. I’m not going anywhere no matter what the record is each season. I’m certainly not alone of course, Pittsburgh fans are rock solid in our devotion.
Pittsburgh is a team that has prided itself on everything that is good about sports. Good ownership, good coaches, good players who put the team first rather than personal goals; things of that nature. We are a proud nation of fans and we take our football seriously. So when things don’t go right we are more than happy to shoot our mouths off in any way possible.
If a player isn’t performing, the fans are quick to make their voice heard even if team ownership and coaches seemingly put a deaf ear to our cries. Pittsburgh is an intelligent fan base; we’ve been following the Steelers since 1933 after all; generation after generation passing down not only their Terrible Towels but their love of the game.
Sure maybe our words aren’t exactly politically correct when we aren’t happy with how things are going, but such is life.
So cheer on Steeler Nation in any way you please, venting is therapeutic for the woes that ail you. It doesn’t make us any less of a fan. Mendenhall can think what he wants but if he wants to call me unsupportive because the product I’m seeing on the field is less than positive then so be it. After all, we’re not real fans anyway even if we will still cheer for you the next time you play.