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Thread: Unhappy Clark Rips Overly Critical Steelers Fans

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  1. #1
    Draft Pick Ironman's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Chicago, IL

    Unhappy Clark Rips Overly Critical Steelers Fans

    Dec 16, 8:09 PM (ET)

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says his players are becoming angry with their five-game losing streak. Safety Ryan Clark's temper was visible during an extended rant aimed at overly critical fans and the intense scrutiny the six-time Super Bowl champions receive.

    Clark said the unhappy fans don't understand how much work goes into every game, and he suggested he's no longer playing for all of them. He also said the Steelers, one of the NFL's most popular franchises, are held to a higher standard in Pittsburgh than teams in other NFL markets.

    "You watch the Eagles, you watch the big plays. You watch things given up (on defense)," Clark said Wednesday. "And I started checking other media outlets. You don't hear the things about them in their media that you hear about us. So either we're held to a higher standard or the people that write about us are (expletive)."

    While Clark insisted he's not becoming "depressed" by the losing streak or the fans' reaction to it, he made fun of a fan who mailed him a highly critical letter. Clark posted the unsigned letter on a team bulletin board, but a club official later removed it.

    The letter cited nine reasons why the Steelers (6-7) are embarrassing themselves during a losing streak that ties for their longest in 10 seasons. Singled out was a defense that has allowed fourth-quarter leads to evaporate in all but one Steelers loss.

    Last season, that Steelers led the NFL in fewest yards, passing yards and points allowed and narrowly missed giving up the fewest rushing yards. Playing at such a high level might have made fans think it's possible for the defense to perform like that every season, Clark said, rather than understanding that 2008 was "special."

    Clark alternately praised fans for their loyalty and rebuked them for being too caustic.

    "This year, increasingly, it's made me realize that you have to play for your organization, you have to play for your teammates, you have to play for yourself, for your family, because the people on the outside don't understand the frustration you go through," Clark said. "They don't understand the work you put in every day. A lot of people think we come in here and practice a couple of hours and then go out on Sunday and play this game. That's not how it is. This becomes your life."

    The outburst was uncharacteristic for Clark, who last year received a media cooperation award that is named after Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr.

    Clark, who is in the last season of his contract, initially planned to be critical once the season ended, but decided to move up the timetable.

    "We're working hard, man," Clark said. "None of us are going out there like you want to give up a big play. None of us are going out there like we want to lose. But the one thing I'm not going to do is be depressed. I'm not going to go home and beat my wife. You know what I mean? I'm going to get down on my knees every night and thank God for the blessings I have."

    Clark did not speculate how his remarks might be perceived during difficult economic times by fans who might make one-hundredth the yearly salary of the average player, yet scrimp to spend some of their discretionary income on NFL tickets.

    "It's obviously frustrating, but there's not going to be despair," Clark said. "You get hate mail from fans, they tell you that you (expletive) and all that. And that's fine, because there's a reason they watch the game."


    I understand where he's coming from, but I've lost all respect for Clark after this. He treats fans as babies without pacifiers, as idiots with microphones, basically as if we mean nothing to the game. Without fans, this little game called football, well it wouldn't exist. Did Clark ever think that the reason why the Steelers are so highly criticized is because they are the DEFENDING world champions! Or maybe it's because they LOST to teams with a shittier roster than most Div II colleges.... Clark needs to check himself. Hate mail is one thing, but criticizing your entire fan base, well that's just f*ckn' stupid.

    "he suggested he's no longer playing for all of them" (The fans) -- Well good, because if that's how he plays for us, I would rather see Bob Dole at safety.

  2. #2
    Veteran DanRooney's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Helmet-to-helmet Clark is doo doo without Troy

  3. #3
    JensK's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Denmark, Aalborg
    Hmm, lets see... Why do people bash Steelers, not Eagles. I have no clue - actually, wait... COULD it possible be that its because Eagles are pretty much certain to win their division (a division stronger than Steelers), and they are playing pretty solid football? Nah, i guess that is just a reach...

    Clark knows just as much as anyone else, that when you loose, fans is going to be angry just along with the players. Of course, we held them to a high standart, that is the natural consequence of winning 2 SBs in 4 years. I mean, look at patriots. They still have a pretty good score, but they are not winning all games with 30-40 points, and all of a sudent, their fans think they suck. Thats what winning does, and Ryan Clark should know that.
    However much you think you know about football, rest assured that Skip Bayless knows more!

  4. #4
    Rookie Free Agent OC Steel Curtain's Avatar
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    Good Park,Buena Park,CA
    lol.. blog fans arent gunna like this one!

  5. #5
    2nd String UKSTEELER's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Dudley, United Kingdom
    He can put all the effort into planning and practice that he wants, at the end of the day it comes down to what happens on the field on Sunday, the application of sheer talent . . . being in the right place at the right time, breaking up a deep pass, intercepting a thrown ball, bringing down a guy before he reaches the sticks on 3rd down.

    All of which we have seen very little this season from Mr Clark and friends.

  6. #6
    Draft Pick NCSteeler's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Yadkin , NC
    I'm sure he got letters from the most ignorant fans around, but it's no excuse for his behavior. He needs to be mad at himself and his team mates for their lousy performance. I don't much about how hard you work if you are not getting your job done. I know my boss doesn't care if I work hard and then FAIL at my job.
    I love how he cares that they are the forth ranked Defense, like that means **** when you are watching the playoffs from your living room. Maybe you can go in the record book as the greatest defense to not make the playoffs
    We're Raven Haters, Ring Takers Shame Makers
    Don't you mess with Steelers D

  7. #7
    Assistant Coach coldrolled's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Fort Myers Beach
    This team needs to fire the OC or ST coach now. Before it all blows up.

    Something has to happen now. This waiting and ignoring all the coaching problems is going to kill this team.

    Tomlin needs to fire people now.

  8. #8
    LarryNJ's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    South Jersey

    STFU Mr Clark and do your job!

    "You watch the Eagles, you watch the big plays. You watch things given up (on defense)," Clark said Wednesday. "And I started checking other media outlets. You don't hear the things about them in their media that you hear about us. So either we're held to a higher standard or the people that write about us are (expletive)."

    First off the Philly media is much harder on the Eagles than the Pgh. media...and as far as the fans go the Eagles fans are just as hard as the Steeler fans on their team.

    Instead of checking other media outlets and crying to yourself, maybe you should spend that time on working on your game.
    "When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself."
    -Wayne Dyer

  9. #9
    Ambridge's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Dale City, Virginia
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    Ryan Clark just needs to Shut-up!!

    He talks about being held to a Higher Standard??

    Well...when you play for a franchise that has won 6 Lombardi Trophy's will be held to higher standard of expectation and tradition.
    You should know!! Weren't you part of 2 of those championship teams??
    He acts like all of a sudden that the Expectation to play at a High level is too much to handle and that the fans have no business holding him and the rest of the teams feet to the fire for their pathetic play.

    I grew up in Pittsburgh and the sports fans are Brutal and Merciless particularly when the Steelers don't play well.
    There is pretty much an unwritten Zero Tolerance Policy for **** Poor Performances....and last years winning record doesn't mean SQUAT.

    How about reading less fan mail, sports pages and the blogs and concentrating more on your job??

  10. #10
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Central PA.
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    Yet another sign that this team is continuing to implode. You just don't have Steeler players calling out the fans like this and Tomlin needs to have a long talk about his and controlling his tongue. I'm sure all the letters he got were from the most ignorant & retarded ones around, which doesn't help matters any, but still you need to check yourself before you talk to the media.

    Of course there's a reason that most fans are never going to be NFL players, we're fans for a reason and we're ok with that. We pay our money and spend our time supporting this team because we like being fans and we're ok with not being on the field. Nobody should be sending hate mail to a player, that's just dumb and makes the rest of us look the same because you know we'll get stereotyped.

    If Clarke is that niave to think that the Steelers aren't held to a higher standard then he's completely blind. Fans are brutal because they've been accustomed to winning for the last 2 decades and then before that all through the 70's so we expect greatness. Obviously some fans are idiots and can't handle their own emotions so they spout off, but he should know this. You won 2 super bowls with this team dude, and they won 4 more before you got there so put 2 + 2 together here and think before you speak.

    Fans shouldn't expect perfection, but it's what fans do with teams like the Steelers. I mean if we were the Bills here or something, where we suck every year then things would be different from a fans perspective.
    Last edited by BlitzburghRockCity; 12-17-2009 at 08:45 AM.

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