Steelers Unhappy To Play Second Straight Christmas Day Game


It’s just your usual Monday afternoon football game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are slated to play on Christmas Day for the second season in a row, traveling to Houston to play the Texans at 4:30 PM/ET on NBC. And several in the organization, let’s say, weren’t sharing much holiday spirit.

Put Cam Heyward squarely in the “not a fan” category.

And even the normally reserved Art Rooney II was pretty upset with the league’s decision. From Bob Labriola on the team’s website.

“The league told me we wouldn’t have a home game on Christmas Day,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II, “although I am surprised that we do have a Christmas Day game.”

Rooney would later say it was unfortunate for the team to be playing on the 25th again. And it’s hard to blame them. No one wants to be away from their family n Christmas Day.

I’m going to guess we’ll hear from James Harrison soon, who (joked?) about retiring after seeing the Steelers play on Thanksgiving and Christmas last season.

Last year, they beat the Baltimore Ravens in thrilling fashion, Antonio Brown stretching over the goal line in the game’s final seconds. That’s good for fans. Good for the network. Good for the league.

But good for the team? Understandably, a resounding no.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • Matt Manzo

    Just like someone said last year, for $5 million I’d play on Xmas!

  • Donny Simmons

    I feel sorry for the guys having to play on Christmas again but as a fan I love being able to forget all the Christmas bills for 4 hours while watching my Steelers!

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Boo hoo. They get paid millions. They’ll have plenty of Christmases off when they’re retired. News flash, millions of Americans work on Christmas and don’t make nearly what these guys will make.

  • steelersfan

    As a fan I love it! As long as we win that is haha. Last year was the best Christmas ever

  • Eddie Cruz

    Well I can’t say I feel bad for the players. I’m sure people being paid minimum wage don’t want to be working on Christmas. At least these guys are being compensated. Also I think it’s another opportunity for a leader in the locker room to stand up during those times and say hey if I can’t be with the fam on Christmas there’s no other place I’d rather be the with my teammates. ?

  • walter

    I had to work Chridtmas day and because of that I missed the Ravens game as well. I work for the State and I never complain about working all the holidays at straight pay because its the job I chose, I am upset about missing that game.

  • MC

    Would prefer they play Christmas eve so I can get it here in Australia on Christmas day, then everyone wins!

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I had family over for Christmas last year and spent no time with them. It was lit after the game tho! 🔥🔥🔥

  • justafanlikeyou

    Any time a fan brings up player pay it reeks of envy. One way to reduce some of their pay is stop supporting the NFL.
    They were born with more athletic ability than you and happen to be able to make their living in a job that pays more than yours. Get over it. 99% of employees don’t like something about their job. If these guys decide to not show up to play on that day then feel free to bitch

  • Jeff Papiernik

    I have nothing wrong with the amount of money they get paid. They deserve it. However, if you’re going to get paid like that, I better not hear any complaining. If they’re so unhappy to be playing that day, I’m sure millions of people would switch places with them on Christmas and take home their game checks.

  • justafanlikeyou

    If money isn’t the issue then leave that out of the equation. I hear people making $50k a year say people making 100k a year shouldn’t complain about (insert whatever you want). It comes down to jealousy.

  • george

    Just wish it was a home game. Better chance for a win and the guys still get to see their families right after the game.

  • Matthew Marczi

    The reason they make the money they do is because they’re the only ones capable of doing the job. Millions *couldn’t* switch places with them because they are incapable. And no amount of money can replace quality time with the family on the holidays.

  • gdeuce

    they are also damaging their bodies, and in some cases brains too

  • Applebite

    Come time for the next CBA, they need to put it on the table. Choose either Thanksgiving or Christmas, you can’t have teams playing both and New Years too. Last season was totally out of line, on the league’s behalf. And the compensation is minuscule, when you consider how the league fines players for petty things, such as, your shirt tail not being tucked in or his shoes weren’t in compliance with league rules, etc..,

  • PaeperCup

    “no amount of money can replace quality time with the family on the holidays”

    Nothing else needs to be said except this…

  • HiVul

    “Any time a fan brings up player pay it reeks of envy”

    Speak for yourself. I think “get over it” applies to anyone making that much money. How many christmases is cam heyward going to miss in his lifetime because of football? Maybe 2-3? I’m not going to cry myself to sleep tonight thinking about cam heyward, lets put it that way.

  • Jim Foles

    How many people work the holidays for 9.50 an hour?? quit whining.. plus Heyward didn’t play last Xmas either. He missed the best game of the year.

  • NinjaMountie

    I don’t care how much money you make…it’s annoying and they have the right to complain. I have worked many Christmas days and I can’t think of one I was happy about.

  • NinjaMountie

    C’mon man! Because they make more money than others means they have less of right to want to spend time with their families? Or that they have less of right to complain? I don’t think that’s quite fair.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    32 teams and the Steelers have to play on Christmas day again. That’s garbage. Let others take their turns. I want to spend time with family and not have to spend hours trying to watch the Steelers at the same time.

  • RickM

    Rightfully so. There should be an unwritten scheduling rule that one team does not have to play back-to-back Christmas Days. It’s plain unnecessary with all the teams in the league.

  • dany

    That sucks, but I’ll be completely honest I’m selfish and do nothing on xmas, and having that ravens game on christmas was amazing last year. I was hoping for a repeat

  • dany

    the brain is part of the body :p

  • NW86

    Not to mention blaming Heyward for not playing on Christmas because he was injured.

  • Jim Foles

    He was whining.

  • Jim Foles

    They get 40 years to have xmas everyday after they retire.

  • Jim Foles

    The Ravens game was the best of the year.

  • Biggie

    At least not playing on Thanksgiving and New Years Day as well like last year, though we were 3-0 on the holidays. I’m mainly annoyed that it is in Houston an hour and a half away and won’t be able to go. Christmas we have all the family here so will be watching on TV otherwise I would have gotten tickets and gone.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Then they should quit if they can’t handle it. I’m sorry, but no sympathy on my end.

  • corduroyninja

    I hate that there are games on Christmas at all. If your team wins, Merry Christmas, but if they lose…

  • LucasY59

    I think the worst thing about the Christmas game this yr is that it is a road game, especially after playing on all the holidays last yr (Thanksgiving was the only away holiday game last yr)

  • LHW

    Don’t confuse the pay with the human element of being away from family on holidays. Especially players with kids, the kids want to be with there families. Let us reverse the thinking here; these players do not have to work to put food on the table, so why should they have to work? There are plenty of other teams who can play that day, so why have the same team play twice on that same day in consecutive seasons? Why does the NFL need to play on that day at all?

    Shallow argument all around.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    I don’t give a hoot. They miss out on 2 Christmases their entire lives? I DON’T CARE. Millions of people do it. It’s part of the job. Suck it up.

  • dany

    best in quite some time

  • Chad H

    Well said! The NFL is a joke. The Steelers should not be on the holiday schedule list this year. It is also about their families too.

  • SilverSteel

    For some of us…

  • LHW

    You have just lost the right to complain about anything the rest of your life. Because someone out there who has it worse than you will say “suck it up.” Don’t argue or you will pnly make my rebut the obvious truth.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Good, I hope they do. I do have it better than most, so sometimes when I think I’m having a crappy day, I need reminded of that.

  • LHW

    It is human nature to complain. I am sure I do it too much. Whenever I hear somebody state that something “is to hard” I quip “If life were easy, we would all be good looking millionaires.” And and as humans we would still probably complain!

    I have it pretty easy too. I am not rich, but I really lack for nothing. I have family, kids, and a secure job. I do work hard, and it seems when I complain it is not about my job at all, but about stupid crap that when I step back and process, I understand how frivolous I am. Even so, I still believe the players have a valid complaint. I don’t think anybody complained last year so I can understand for 2 years in a row. The Steelers represent what, 1/28th of the league? There are how many games a season? How many are played on Christmas? The math would sat statistically, that is way off the norm!

    Go Penns!

  • ryan72384

    Yeah exactly how I feel. Hate Holiday games. Imagine losing the Ravens game last year? Woulda been a kick in the face

  • Jaybird

    Remember losing to the Lions on that bogus coin flip with Bettis several years ago on Thanksgiving? I was so pissed after that loss! My older brother kept razzing me about the loss and the coin flip, and I wound up fighting him and left without even having dinner with the rest of my family. When your team loses on on holiday it does totally ruin the holiday.