Tuesday, November 07, 2006


A Memorandum of Understanding

November 7, 2006

To: Steelers Fans
From: Eirishis, on behalf of Browns fans
Re: What to do for the rest of this season

Though you surely need no reminder, it is helpful to briefly describe the current problem. The ("Your") Pittsburgh Steelers, defending Super Bowl Champions and perennial playoff participants, have lost six of their first eight games, practically eliminating them from any serious playoff consideration. While the team as a whole has played well enough to win many of its games, the team is weak in two particular areas. First, their defense can't stop anyone from scoring at least 20 points. Second, their quarterback appears to have taken a few too many hits to the ringer, and believes that any person on the field, regardless of uniform, is an eligible and favorable receiver.

As the result of the team's rare failure to compete for the postseason, many of you Steelers fans are unfamiliar with what to do for the remainder of the NFL season. In spite of the difficulties we've had in the past, I'd like to offer some sympathetic advice on behalf of Browns fans, who are familiar with the situation in which you now find yourselves. Below are the five keys to surviving the remainder of the season with the right attitude and your affection for your team in place.

1) Understanding the Problem

It is imperative that you understand your plight. You are done for the season. Completely. Seriously. Give up all hope now. Sure, it would be fun to make little scenario sheets showing how, by winning their last six games, the Steelers could eek out the #6 spot in the AFC, then make a run just like they did last year! And it would be completely futile. You will be better off if you accept the fact that your team, simply put, sucks this year.

2) Lower Your Expectations

Even if you understand that your team sucks, it will be miserable to watch them if you keep hoping that they will win every week. Instead, expect the Steelers to lose. Expect this to happen right up until the moment the final gun sounds. Don't care if they are winning by 30 - know in your heart that they will find a way to blow it. For an example of the effects that attitudes can have on the pysche of the fan, look no further than Week 8, which I enjoyed with a Steelers fan. While I blissfully assumed that the Browns would find a creative way to blow a late lead at home to the Jets, the Steelers fan worked out mental scenarios under which his team could come back to win "a game they should win" against lowly Oakland. When the Browns held on, I was amused and pleasantly impressed. When his Steelers fell short, he was mortally wounded. Lower expectations, lest your heart be broken every week.

3) Embrase the College and Fantasy Games

Nothing helps out the fan of a pitiful NFL team more than thinking of who they can draft to solve the problems next year. To that end, I suggest limiting your NFL viewing on Sundays to the Steelers game only, and refocusing your weekly football viewing on the collegiate level. If you don't have a team already, I suggest sticking with your regional allegience and picking up the Pitt Panthers. Are they BCS competitors? Hell no, but they can wreck the party for others, and that's always fun to watch.

If college isn't your thing, throw yourself into your fantasy team even more than you have in the past. Watch the games in which your players are involved. If they play the Steelers, root for your players over your team. Remember - the Steelers are toast. Your fantasy team still has hope.

4) Drink heartily from the Haterade.

There will be plenty of time next year to cheer for your men in the gold and black. In the meantime, spew hatred at them like so much spittle on Cowher's mighty chin. Tell Roethlisberger that you wish he had been more serioulsy injured in his accident. Mock Charlie Batch for attending Directional Michigan. Threaten to cut Troy Polamalu's hair. Seriously, there is no end to the fun you can have when you let out all of the negative feelings you know you already harbor for the Steelers. Think of this as a cleansing purge, like a big ol' dose of Kaopectate for your football soul.

5) Above all else, actively cheer against the Ravens and Bengals.

Here is where Browns fans have the most to offer our Pittsburgh brethren. You stood beside us in 1995-96 when Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore, and joined us in loathing the new franchise. Similarly, you seethed as the Bengals hired Marvin Lewis and began to rise from the ashes to become a "respectable" franchise once again. However, your overall level of hate for these franchises has been, for the most part, lacking. This is understandable - you needed to reserve energy so that you could cheer for your team. As Browns fans, we've never had such a concern - all of our energy could be devoted towards hating others. But now that the Steelers are out of it, you should shift the energy you used to spend on your team, and use it to fuel your hate for the remainder of the AFC North.

Besides ... what is there not to hate about the Ravens and Bengals? They wear stupid uniforms. Brian Billick and Chad Johnson are massive douchebags. Ray Lewis might try to kill you, and Chris Henry might try to sleep with your teenage sister. They serve cities rife with racial problems. Clearly, the conclusion here is that the teams, as an aggregate, are racist, criminal, poorly-dressed dickheads.

I hope these suggestions are helpful for you as you deal with the difficult times ahead for the next eight weeks. Above all, remember that whatever you need to do to survive this season, there is always hope for next year. After all, it's not like you are cheering for the Browns.

Best wishes,

Way ahead on this one.

Thanks for the tips! My solution is to drink heavily and waste as much time as possible:

That's some good advice, filled with years of hard-earned wisdom. I'm actually kinda glad the Steelers suck this year, because I made the piss-poor decision to take a two week vacation overseas in January. Now I won't have to worry about missing any crucial playoff games.
Hey, we survived the Malone, Tomzcak, and Brister years. 2006 is just a walk in Schenley Park.
All the steelers have to do is go after the quarterbacks legs. It worked last year.

Go Bengals!
Hey, is this the rocket scientist who predicted the Packers would go 2 and 14? Golly gee that sure looks like a moron now. But hey, Favre is coming back so they probably won't even win two this year.
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