2017 South Side Questions: What Would Make You Stop Watching NFL Games?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference prior to Super Bowl 50 at the Moscone Center West on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.

The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: What would it take to get you to stop watching the NFL as a whole, short of the Steelers franchise moving or ending?

Given the recent discussions that have taken place over the course of the past week in the wake of Sunday’s game, during which the Steelers were dispensed four separate personal foul penalties for unnecessary roughness on quarterbacks and defenseless players, I thought it would be an appropriate question to ask today.

In what way would the game have to continue to change that would send you packing for good, no longer following the Steelers or the NFL? The league has been changing the rules of the game for decades, but it has largely been those within the past decade that have been the spotlight.

It’s hard to compare to the reactions of previous generations because, you know, social media didn’t exist in the 70s, but one would imagine that there were strong reactions to a number of rules changes over the years—such that the average fan was actually aware of those rules. It seems to me that we know far more about the minutiae of the game than ever.

The league has repeatedly expanded protections on defenseless players in recent years, and also expanded the definition of players who qualify as defenseless, to the point at which it can be fairly argued that a defender can be penalized because a wide receiver moved in an unpredictable way, including slipping.

Whenever these defenseless receiver penalties come up, the discussions inevitably arise about player safety and the integrity of the game and straight up machismo, with hyperbolic statements like saying quarterbacks might as well be wearing tutus being a common retort.

So I’m curious. It’s obvious that we’re all still on board so far with the game, even though a lot of us complain about many of the changes. How would the game have to change from this point forward for you to really say enough is enough?

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Michel Smiffi

    Not fixing or actually even expanding the defensive pass interference rules.
    I understand the rules towards players safety (even though I don’t like them), but I think the rules regarding PI and defensive holding can’t be excused by “making the game safer” and need to be adressed very quickly.
    It just freaks me out if an offense just sents 6’5 WRs 50 yards downfield and simply throw blind prayers at them.
    Either they catch it because nobody can touch them, or they don’t, and it’s an automatic first down and a 50 yard gain due to penalty anyway.
    There is absolutely no offensive skill involved in such a play, but still, offenses get rewarded every time.

  • Jacob

    I won’t stop watching the game because of rule changes protecting defenseless players like QB’s and WR’s.

    In my mind the real tough guys in this game have never been the linemen, linebackers and safeties who get to hit people. Sure, they have the muscles and all that, but the real tough guys have been the quarterbacks who regularly take shots from those men, then get up and continue managing the game anyway. The real tough guys have been recievers who take a shot while catching a pass and still hold onto the ball. They have my respect more than guys like Lambert, Harrison or other hard hitters who get to dole out free shots with no one retaliating. Yep, Bradshaw was the real tough guy in the 70’s, more than anyone on the team.

    So, a rule change protecting defenseless players? I find the game more entertaining knowing that when a guy gets hit, it is less likely that his brain will turn into mush and he dies prematurely because of it…leaving his wife a widow and his children fatherless.

    Maybe it isn’t always fair to defensive players who can’t predict what the other player will do, but I can live with that. It’s just a game. But when lives are at stake it is fine with me if long term safety is a priority. I actually prefer it.

  • Pack

    As long as the Steelers exist I’ll be watching the NFL

  • ThatGuy

    If the Steelers organization ceased to exist I’d probably be done.

  • Sound like you need to read Ann McKee of Boston University’s reports on CTE. The normal, basic, uneventful, run of the mill tackles contribute to CTE as well.

  • Conserv_58

    The only thing that would get me to stop watching NFL footbal is if the Steelers organization no longer existed.

    IMO, the NFL’s obsession with tampering with and micro-managing ever nuance of the game has reached critical mass. There is a reason why they are regarded as the No Fun League. Example: The NFL has instituted so many rules governing the act of tackling by defensive players that they experience paralysis-by-analysis, cautious apprehension and anxiety during a play. In essense, the NFL’s rules committee has created their version of a strike zone.

    In their quest to improve player’s safety the NFL’s decision makers actually created a different set of safety problems, that being the negative cause and affect of their rules changes on tackling. As a consequence of the new rules there has been an exponential in crease in lower body injuries, especially knee injuries.

    There comes a point when the NFL has to admitt that they can not legislate all of the inherent dangers that come with an emotionally charged, very physical and violent game.

  • RickM

    For sure rules have been introduced to protect defenceless receivers and also to safeguard QB’s and keep more of them on the field. But there’s plenty of remaining physicality in games. It’s easy for some to complain that it’s not as physical as it once was when it isn’t their long-term health at stake. The game is bigger and faster than ever and more is known now about the effect of concussions. Players shouldn’t have to agree to a good possibility of post-football cognitive issues when they sign up to play the sport. If a few rules can reduce that possibility, fine by me.

    The only guaranteed thing that would drive me away from the NFL would be the lack of a salary cap where the bigger markets sign all the best players and smaller market teams can no longer be competitive. The other thing would be if game after game the officials took over and it became a flag fest with also sorts of holding penalties, illegal contact contact penalties, etc. A repeated excess of those calls bothers me far more than ‘player safety’ penalties where guys lower their head and take shots.

  • CP72

    Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith become the new Monday night tandem
    Would rather watch paint dry.

  • Kevin artis

    I would except the college rule of just 15 yards. And if it’s offensive pass interference 15 yards the other way.

  • kakello34

    For me I don’t think any one rule change will make me stop watching the Steelers. The one adjustment I’ve made is after I finally got fed up with the ever increasing commercials and the ads in-between plays. I started recording the game and began watching after about 1.5-2 hours and fast forward through all the crap. Halftime is now nothing but a rush through all the scores for 3 minutes and 20 minutes of commercials.

    This frees up that amount of my time on my Sunday and I still see everything I want to see. Of course I have to be careful not to look at my phone and see any scores to spoil it.

  • DoctorNoah

    Two hand touch? Flag football?

  • Kevin artis

    Exactly. I hardly watch pregame shows or post game shows. I just want to see the steelers play. If they are not on, I’ll watch but usually do other things while the games are on.

  • DoctorNoah

    Let’s be honest – Bradshaw’s acted like he’s been hit in the head one too many times for years…. 😉

  • Jacob

    I don’t think that has been proven as of yet since lots of players never develop CTE symptoms. But I do respect her research and contributions.

  • Conserv_58

    So, are we supposed to eliminate football from our culture?

    The same could be said of the inherent dangers involved in playing soccer, yet no one wines and complains about the obvious dangers involved in that sport like they do with football. Soccer players violently collide with each other all the time. They incur legs injuries and they use their heads to redirect balls coming at them at high rates of speed. Where is all of the concern about soccer player’s safety as it relates to the negative cause and affects of using their heads to redirect a speeding projectile?

  • Conserv_58

    He has become increasingly surly over the years.

  • Conserv_58

    If I can’t get the Steelers game where I live I don’t watch football, especially if the weather is beautiful. I’d rather be out on the golf course or riding my motorcycle because before we know it winter will be upon us.

  • Michael James

    I’ve been watching european soccer for a long time now, too, and I can tell you: Many people don’t know how blessed we are being able to watch the NFL. Compared to the recent developments in soccer, the NFL looks like the fairest and smartest sports league in the world.

  • Conserv_58

    Most of what we see on the screen relating to scores and individual stats has more to do with fantasy football than anything else.

  • Conserv_58

    LOL! I would program my TV to avoid MNF.

  • Jeff McNeill

    I would watch with the sound off.

  • Ichabod

    I think offensive linemen should have to where “mitts” so they are unable to hold.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    football*

  • Steel-on-Target

    If I ever see a Steeler sitting, kneeling, or doing a black power salute during the national anthem, I’m finished.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    hiring michael vick pushed me a bit. but short of the steelers ending or moving cant see a reason to stop american football viewing.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    if that’s all it takes, then you need to re-evaluate why youre a fan.

  • churbster

    It’s been said ‘life is politics’ but when you use your “fame” or platform to promote a particular view or set of views- that is where I draw the line.
    I’m active in my faith, read the news, listen to talk radio and come from a traditional dysfunctional American nuclear family.
    I watch sports, listen to music and watch movies for entertainment- I don’t need to be preached to by those respective artists.
    As my dad used to say- opinions are like a$$μΩГθs, everyone’s got one… some just stink more than others.

  • falconsaftey43

    I don’t have a line in the Sand. For me it is simple, is the game still entertaining? So far, absolutely yes. I don’t have some abstract perception of what the game should be, to me rule changes can’t affect the “integrity” of the game unless they somehow give an advantage to one team over another. Everything else just tweaks the arbitrary rules that everyone must play by.

  • Bob

    I find it very difficult to watch pro football for the first 4 weeks of the season or so as it is. While some of the penalties for infractions are ridiculous, that really isn’t my beef (usually). My problem is that the first weeks of the season are just plain sloppy football. Since there is very little, and for some teams no full contact full speed practices, defenders have no real opportunity to get tackling practice. The hardest thing to do in the game is to catch these great athletes and get them on the ground, but no practicing that is allowed because of the fear of getting your best players injured in camp. I understand the why’s and wherefores’ of the reasoning, but it makes for a crappy 1st quarter of the season or so.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Social issues and protests continuing to find their way into the games and stadiums. Do it somewhere else.

  • falconsaftey43

    Totally agree with you. Football got labeled as the CTE sport because of it’s high profile, but really most sports present the danger. The risk, in terms of % of people affected, is also very exaggerated. It’s a well compensated occupation, and now the risks are known, I am fine with that.

  • RW

    Is anyone holding your face to the screen to make you watch it? Because you don’t have to. This phenomenon isn’t new. Jim Brown, Muhammed Ali and Jackie Robinson did literally the same thing. Whether you realize it or not, experienced it or not, there are significant issues with our justice system and how it treats black people. There’s no denying that this has gotten people to talk more about a real problem (and one that has probably affected many of the players we watch on Sundays in one way or another). That’s a good thing.

  • falconsaftey43

    Haha, that would be the worst. I would have to watch on mute.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Who are you to to tell him this? Maybe he likes sports as a getaway and feels there are other venues for that kind of stuff.

  • The Big Cheese

    I’ve thought about this occasionally. I don’t watch NASCAR because of the death risk, and not just to the drivers. I can’t take much European soccer – the flopping, whining and theatrics from those multi-millionaire athletes is nauseating. So, if there were deaths on an NFL field from violent contacts, illegal or not, or multiple riots in stadia resulting in football fan deaths, or ridiculous NFL ‘flopping’, those things might do it for me. The pervasive specter of CTE? Don’t know.

  • Bryan

    Really as long as it’s tackle football and the Pittsburgh Steelers still exist I will still be watching games. Things that could hinder my level of interest my a non negligible amount would include a permanent NFL franchise in London (or really anywhere in Europe, would be an incredible disadvantage, and it would be dumb to force people to live in a country they may not want to live in). Lengthening of the regular season. Removal or significant reduction of # of preseason game. Expansion beyond 32 (the perfect # for teams in a league). None of those things would take the NFL off of it’s perch as best league, maybe not even all of those combined, but those are things that could make it closer to the rest. But yeah as long as it’s still tackle football and the Pittsburgh Steelers still exist I will be an NFL fan

  • Nolrog

    With all the disrespectful crap the NFL is seeing, plus the same from their partners (ESPN specifically) and the quality of football that we’re seeing, I’ve decreased my football watching dramatically already. Last week, I watched much of the Steelers game, and almost none of any other game (I think I saw maybe 10 minutes of the Monday night game because I live near Giant’s stadium and none of the Sunday afternoon or two weelks of Thursday night games.)

  • WilliamSekinger

    Outside of Steelers football, I have stopped watching the rest of the NFL. Gone are NFL Sunday ticket, gone is NFL game pass. I will not watch a game if the Steelers aren’t in it. I’ll keep up with box scores and standings at the end of a season, but I won’t even watch a playoff game or the Superbowl if my team isn’t playing.

  • Nolrog

    I can’t stand Stephen A Smith.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Tough to say if there is an actual line in the sand. I know you and I are having some lengthy conversation on these recent hits Matthew and even though I stand on the side of the league being unfair, that is just where I stand on the issue. To this point it hasn’t really impacted my enjoyment of the game too much. I think it would have to get to the point where it got so bad that games were almost guaranteed to be 30 or 40 points on each side and even then I assume it could hold some entertainment value, if not as much as it did in the past or does now.

    Another thing besides the Steelers no longer being a franchise I would say you could also include the Steelers no longer being the franchise they have always been. Part of my love for the team stems from how they carry themselves and handle their business. If they ever started looking more like the Bengals or something I would start losing interest pretty quick.

    One other thing I want to touch on because I see quite a few people bringing it up is the player protests and what not and that impacting their enjoyment of the game. Normally I am fine with anyone having pretty much any argument or being on whatever side of it. We all have different perspectives. But to those who say the protest stuff is impacting your enjoyment……you guys are morons. The media and social media are the ones making this an issue. During a game it may get 1 minute of tv time before the game even starts and then you get your normal 60 minutes of football where the players play to win and the announcers talk about the stuff on the field. So how exactly is it impacting your enjoyment? Are you reading about Kaepernick on twitter while you are watching a Steelers/Cowboys game? I am not even on Kaepernicks side with the way he approached this whole thing and I still think you are all idiots if it really does impact your enjoyment. ESPECIALLY as a Steelers fan because they haven’t even really come close to the issue.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    He is a poster on here with an opinion just like we all are and truth be told, he is right. All of that stuff happens before the game even starts so if you claim to be an actual fan it should have no bearing on your enjoyment of the game. I don’t see players carrying protest signs during the actual game or doing anything like that.

    Now if you want to talk about it making you not like certain players or whatever THAT would make more sense.

  • Do soccer players have a higher rate of developing CTE later in life? There is a larger sample size to test that since just about every country plays the game where as only football is really only played in north america and a few other places have similar style games. My guess would be no…

    Ann McKee reports showed that 90+% of football players brains she studied had varying levels of CTE. Did every single one of those guys suffer concussions? Back in the day, they weren’t reported, but it’s highly unlikely that 90+% of players had that many concussions to sustain some level of CTE.

    There is no argument that more studies are need, because they absolutely are. But I don’t think there is anyway to eliminate the risk 100% without making it flag football. I’m not in favor of that either. But something has to be done to stop these guys from losing themselves later in life.

    So rest assured, the game won’t change all that much at the moment while these guys literally put their lives on the line, sure they are paid handsomely for it, but at what cost?

  • Steel-on-Target

    I grew up on Steelers football. Started watching with my uncle back before Mean Joe was drafted. My love for the game has endured player strikes, rule changes, players getting themselves into legal troubles, etc.

    I’m a retired Marine. The Marine Corps takes young men and women from all races, backgrounds, and religions and molded them into a premiere fighting force. A true brotherhood. A number of my good friends made the ultimate sacrifice for this country.

    The US isn’t perfect, but I’ve traveled the world and it’s the best thing going (IMHO). So forgive me if I get a little touchy when I see people disrespecting the country and the men and women who’ve died defending it. The bottom line is there’s a proper time and place for everything. If these players want to make a statement over perceived injustices, there are far better ways to go about it.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Well said and thank you for your service.

  • Steel-on-Target

    Thanks Joe.

  • Terrible Towlie

    nobody in this country gives a crap about soccer

  • francesco

    The game gives an advantage to teams that have a top tier QB.

  • Terrible Towlie

    he works for FAUX what do you expect

  • Terrible Towlie

    Steeler games are the only ones i watch anymore in today’s pussified game

  • Terrible Towlie

    the game is way overofficiated

  • francesco

    If the cheerleaders are removed😊

  • Terrible Towlie

    why do we have to inject the government into a sports game?
    what makes a game so important that we have to have the anthem? just play the game and keep the government out of everyday life

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    The salient event (that led to CTE even being named CTE) was Mike Webster’s death.
    Perhaps because he was a SB champ for the worlds greatest franchise, it really EXPLODED into the news.

  • Terrible Towlie

    why have the anthem for a game …… keep government out of football

  • Terrible Towlie

    same here

  • RickM

    It seems that way, but statistically there hasn’t been much change over the last 25 years. The average number of penalties per game from 1991-1999 was between 12 and 13 every year, other than one year when it was 11.97. The average number of penalties the last three years has been over 13 but has not yet hit 14. Factually – and they are easily-researched numbers – there’s probably one more penalty per game now than there was 25 years ago. I know that it doesn’t seem that way.

    I do think it’s essential that the league monitor the average and eliminate tacky-tack calls. Nothing can slow down a game more than an officiating crew that thinks fans paid good money to see them, not the game.

  • Diggity

    Lol how did I know there’d be an idiot in the comments tying this post to the anthem protests? If you’re so proud of your military service you should use it for something other than as a weapon for saying black people aren’t allowed to protest being murdered by the police. Don’t flatter yourself buddy, they arent protesting you, you’d have to go to one of the many countries we’ve bombed for that

  • capehouse

    A nuclear explosion, but only if the reception was bad.

  • dany

    me too. The odd time I watch an nfl game is if I get together with friends, and that’s tops 2 times during the nfl year. The moment I feel like missing a steelers game is no big deal I know I’m done. When Ben retires I wouldn’t be surprised

  • dany

    There definitely are, but few are as powerful, history has shown that. Think about it, if you want to spread your message would you make a speech in a school auditorium or a pro football stadium? The answer’s easy. No one forces you to listen, no one is forced to follow the pre-established rules. Same way those in protest turn a blind eye to the “rules” those who don’t like it can do the same, obviously the message is not for you and they’re looking for those who might want to see the light. There’s room for both, tolerance is needed everywhere

  • VaDave

    If it were a DPI, make 5 yards no automatic 1st down and I’m with you. For OPI, ball returns to the LOS, and loss of down. I would love to know how many games are decided by this one rule that mostly is in the hands of the officials.

  • Stout

    I kinda have already quit “watching “. I’ll watch an occasional series or two, see a disputable call and not really care about the game. I’ll watch the Steelers, but when I can’t watch 2 teams I don’t care about and get miffed, it’s no longer enjoyable. The rules have made it an offenses game and I’ve always respected the defenses side more.

  • VaDave

    Lol..the misses says the same thing about me…have a good one!

  • pittfan

    +1.

  • pittfan

    That’s his point and central to the question. No one is making me watch. And no one will. I follow Steeler football for Steeler football. If it becomes all about (fill in the blank, other than football) there’s no point in watching.

  • pittfan

    +1. Thanks for your service. Semper Fi.

  • pittfan

    Hooking with the arm is considered holding, but mitts sound cool too!!

  • SteelerFanInMD

    I think I would stop watching if (1) rule changes continue their trajectory and turn the game into a run-and-gun, NBA type shootout with defense being irrelevant and (2) elite athletes abandon the game making the quality of play decline.

  • pittfan

    +1 on your first paragraph particularly. Long term player health is a very important concern and while I do miss some of the hitting from earlier eras, seeing the detriment to the players is reason enough to reign it in. I would say that with the Mel Blount Rule and everything else done to open up the game, it’s put a great burden on DBs. I’m not a huge fan of 50 yard PI calls and a little more latitude could be given to DBs.

  • walter

    Huricane Irma, no electric, no home made me stop watching football. When you lose everything it puts the game into perspective. Its just a game.

  • pittfan

    The rules changes are incremental and bad rules get adjusted. I like the rules protecting player health, particularly head and neck injuries. The biggest thing to make me stop watching would be if the Rooney’s sold the team to a D-head and the character of the organization changed. I enjoy great games but don’t follow any other team than our Steelers!!

  • SilverSteel

    The game does not even resemble my beloved Steelers of the 70s. All of those guys would now be called dirty and penalized for intimidation. Intimidation is a part of this game. This is a mental aspect. Psychological warfare if you will between warriors. Those days are gone and the game is not the same anymore. The Steelers are the only team that has somewhat bucked that trend (Harrison, Lloyd etc…)

    If that also is gone forever and FB becomes too PC, I will stop watching. You now get penalized for taunting in the goofiest manner. They’ve taken the warfare aspect out of the game and defenses don’t even know how to act anymore. They are really close to making the game a joke right now.

  • Lil Smitty

    Rooney’s selling the Steelers to some business man like Jerry Jones on Dan Snyder.
    Rule changes that make football look like seven on seven drills.

  • Boots

    I’m not sure I could answer that until it happened, but greed will be the league’s down fall. Let’s not kid ourselves about what “player safety” is all about! It’s not a coincidence that this wasn’t an issue until a judge didn’t throw out a lawsuit about concussions. It’s as much CYA for the owners as it concern for the health and safety of anybody!

  • Ichabod

    At least the hooking would be more visible…and easier to escape

  • Ichabod

    I didn’t noticed that he limited it to blacks protesting.

  • SilverSteel

    Like all good corporations. Heartless and greedy. I work for various industries and they have become all the same for the most part.

    That is why witnessing the death of small business in America is so depressing. Big companies could care less about people safety, security, or families until it hurts their pocketbook and I am a Safety professional.! You really are just a number now. No different for the future NFL. Rooneys excluded. Sorry bout the rant…

  • VaDave

    As if anybody care about the old days, but 40 years ago our average life expetency was much shorter. So when a player died in their late 50s or even developed dementia, no one gave it a second thought. Now with an average life expectancy about 80, we are indeed seeing a staggering amount of carnage piling up. It can’t be denied.

  • VaDave

    The league is all about public relations. The public is the only asset of value the league has.

  • RickM

    I agree about the DB’s being penalized by other rule changes, i.e. illegal contact within 5 yards, some incidental PI calls, etc. I think you could call a penalty on just about any pass play if you wanted to given how little contact they can now have with receivers. As you say, it’s a very tough position to play in today’s NFL.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Stephen A. is probably next man up on ESPN’s extreme political agenda. Oh, I apolize, I said next man up.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Beth Mowins

  • VaDave

    I’m going to disagree here. If you are prepared, and have the tools to do the job, how can you be intimidated? Seriously, I’m a runt and don’t get intimidated. Over matched, of course, but never intimidated. As the great Chuch Noll once said, emotions can only take you so far. Skill and preparation will eventually carry the day.

  • RickM

    I think the taunting rules are great. Make the play and go back to the huddle. Don’t cross your arms and stand over guys, etc. The last thing we need is multiple players taunting opponents just because they made a single play. I beat you for a 20-yard completion and taunt you. You defend me on the next pass play and the pass is incomplete and you taunt me. No thanks.

  • SilverSteel

    If you disagree go back and watch how Lambert changed the outcome of games with intimidation. Got us a SB too when our opponent patted our kicker on the head and Lambert put him in his place. This game is 90% mental. To disagree with that is to not understand what the mental aspect of this game is about. That’s why there is such a thing as home field advantage. It’s a mental and real advantage.

  • VaDave

    This is tough one to answer having been a fan for over 50 years. Probably if the Steelers were no more or if the were sold to a guy like the one that owns the Pirates, or if games get to be about 4 hours in length due to a few more commercials, not to mention the FaceTime the officials spend trying to explain the rules. All I need to know is what the infraction was, not the legality ( if there is such a thing) behind it. A simple hand gesture is all we need. I already know where to buy a pick up and what beer to drink.

  • Robert E Lil

    Already stopped watching
    I just watch the Steelers. Not one other game.
    The reason I stopped: its slow. Commercials. Scheduling is atrocious (Thursday night football blows). And the near lethal headshots don’t help the game either

  • VaDave

    Yeah, Lambert had a lot to do with those touchdown passes.. Sheese. Was Lambert emotional? Yep.
    Almost got tossed from the game too, which in my book was a dam* stupid thing to do. What won the game was execution. The same kind of execution the Pats are employing now, and what we did 40 years ago.

  • SilverSteel

    Wow, you must have hated the 70s Steelers then and all our great defenses utilized psychological tactics. They work.

  • hdogg48

    If they change the Salary Cap and TV eliminate revenue sharing
    forcing small market storied franchise like the Steelers
    and Packers to move or worse yet fold.

    We NFL fans owe an enormous debt of gratitude to
    the Rooney’s BFF and late NY Giants owner Wellington Mara
    along with Carol Rosenbloom who traded his
    Colts for the Rams and both agreed to revenue
    sharing even though as large market teams agreed with
    Pete Roselle to the TV revenue sharing.

    Without this the large market teams would have an unfair
    advantage like they do in the other sports…especially Baseball.

  • SilverSteel

    Agree to disagree. The point is Lambert did change games in a real way. I thought that was obvious Dave.

  • VaDave

    I’ll buy that and respectfully disagree. Have a great weekend SS.

  • pittfan

    DVR. Problem solved. I never watch live TV unless it’s in a bar!

  • Michel Smiffi

    Yeah, true. They rahter watch baseball 😀

  • SilverSteel

    The rewards justify the risk, as in any job or decision in life. No one is making them play.

  • SilverSteel

    No offense, but I wonder what the effects of alcohol abuse and steroids did to these players that contributed to their brain damage. There are always contributing factors.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    If Steelers signed Kaepernick

  • You are correct. they are adults making their own decisions.

  • RickM

    I can’t speak to the 70’s all that well. Reading this thread, a bunch of people seem to want to live in the past. Things, including scientific knowledge, change. Players get paralyzed on kickoff returns and wedge blocking disappears. Enough players develop dementia and rules are put in place to reduce shots to the head. Football’s not the only sport to try and make their game safer. Hockey changed their icing rules so fewer defensemen would be boarded from behind as they touched the puck.

    You’re basically putting your desire for head-hunting and intimidation before recognized and pretty easily understood, long-term cognitive issues. With all due respect, that’s easy for you to say as a fan because the consequences don’t affect you.

  • SilverSteel

    Mental aspects of the game like Morale, momentum, confidence, swagger. These things are huge. Do you really think the Eagles were that much better than us last year? The Eagles were mentally ready to play. We were the better team. We were not mentally in that game and got embarrassed. Just recent example of how the mental aspect is the most important of the game.

  • DPI 5 yards and no first down? I would coach my guys to tackle the WR every time they get beat, just like in college.

    There has to be repercussions for pass interference.

  • VaDave

    How about 7.5 yards?… Seriously, you raise a very valid point.

  • pittfan

    I’ve been watching the NFL since 69′ when Namath beat the Colts in SB3. Started following Steelers since 72. There is absolutely no comparison to what you’d call taunting back then to what we see now. If there weren’t rules against it it would turn into a circus.

  • Kevin Reich

    Late start times. I only stay up for the Steelers. In the past year missed McGregor fight, college football championship and world series.

    Integrity of the game. Stopped watching NBA thats not basketball.

  • pittfan

    Lambert changed games with his play, not so much his words. That’s what great players do.

  • lyke skywalker

    Way too many commercials. Always the same crap. Car/truck, fast food/beer, wireless carrier. I bet there are now more commercials than actual play time. It’s a 4 hour commercial broken up by 2 second plays.

    I don’t need five or six talking heads ad halftime either, plus two announcers plus sideline reporters etc.

    Plus, let me legally stream single games of my choice. Not be served some other ‘market’ crap. I have cut the chord and will no longer pay for a premium cable subscription just to watch a game the networks chose.

  • College rule is 10 yards and a 1st down. It can’t be less than that.

  • pittfan

    2 plays like that and i have a first down. Keep that up and you cant stop till its goal to go. But you are right, there has to be consequences…

  • Bill

    1. Anything that makes the games longer including commercials.
    2. Any more items added to the list of reviewable plays without removing an existing one.
    3. Any more block in the back penalties on KOs & punts.
    4 More proliferation of motor mouth announcers who never shut up.
    5. Any more degradation of skills required to be a football player caused by lack of practice time.
    6. I have no problem with enforcing rules aimed at reducing injury but there’s too much disparity in enforcement from team to team and situation to situation.

    We all have to remember that this is a game that’s hard on the bodies; a game that’s hard to officiate and a game that will likely leave permanent scars on the players. But the players have the choice of whether or not to be part of it; Just like we did when we decided to work in heavy industry plants with all sorts of dangerous situations and life threatening chemicals. We did it for the money.

  • pittfan

    can you get a DVR? Digital Video Recorder? I have one on each TV so I record everything and watch afterwards in order to FF thru commercials. With the 30 second skip I can watch a whole game in about an hour.

  • VaDave

    Morale, momentum, confidence and swagger all come from the same place, being prepared and knowing you have the tools to take care of business. It was obvious we were not prepared to play the Eagles, and by extension, not the better team, that day. No doubt the Steelers had better talent

  • Steel-on-Target

    Back at ya brutha!

  • JohnB

    When the defense is no longer allowed to be defense. Prob in the next ten years.

  • Steel-on-Target

    Obviously, you don’t get I’m saying. No worries my precious little snowflake. You’re on ignore 🙂

  • VaDave

    Morale, momentum, confidence, and swagger all have their roots in being prepared and having the tools to do the job. It was obvious that this was not the case vs the Eagles last season, and therefore was not the better team on that day. No doubt, the Steelers had more talent, but the execution was lacking. If there is one knock on Tomlin, his teams does seem to suffer from a decided lack of it from time to time. So did Cowher. The deal with the 70’s Steelers as well as the this current run of the ‘Patriots, is that they executed better that anybody else in the league. They sure aren’t doing it based on an emotional roller coaster. You can have the last word SS and have a great weekend.

  • nutty32

    LoL – most these complainers would stop watching if Twitter disappeared. Good one thinking most these guys actually like football.

  • Craig M

    When she swings duck. 🙂

  • Terrible Towlie

    baseball is right there with soccer on my give a crap scale

  • will

    LOL

  • SilverSteel

    Ok I’m done. Sorry. I do get on a rant at times.

  • will

    When should you have an anthem?

  • Craig M

    To me the game has changed over the years, in rule changes- for the good and bad, hiring of full time officials- for the good, true parity seems to have gone pretty much by the wayside w/ players chasing the $s (and who can blame them)- so team loyalty has dropped off some, owners greed has skyrocketed- driving the price of watching the game way up to the consumer, consideration for players health has taken a backseat to want of monies by both the players and the owners. Too me though the two biggest things that have tainted the purity of the game is CHEATING- by the NE Patriots/ the cover-up by Goodell in destroying the evidence instead of stripping NE of their SB win over the Rams. I really liked watching Jim Plunkett play back in the day and now I don’t give a care about NE except to watch them lose. I think Brady is an overrated QB who didn’t have the balls to admit to cheating. I have been faithfully following the Steelers since the 70s and had they cheated anywhere along the way I would have walked away from them. And the other issue that casts a dark shadow on the enjoyment of the game for me is making the playing field a podium for politics. The owners don’t really care about the foolish showboating in the end zone w/ each player trying to out due the other in their antics, (for the owners are merely like women looking for attention, don’t care if it’s negative or positive, they just can’t handle being ignored). But the politics and disrespect of our National Anthem shows a breakdown in the core values of upbringing, basic decent social graces- consideration, courteousness, respect that are taught on the home front and this lack of I will not abide by- for believe it or not those are some of the basic things that make sports great- it’s called sportsmanship. I quit going to Raider games w/ friends who were Raider fans because they only went for the ” look at me” drunken foul mouth badgering for attention (and believe me I could outdrink all of them). My viewing has dropped off considerably over the years, the Steelers I will follow until the end- because the NFL is pretty much the only game in town. And if it weren’t for them I would be watching a lot more of College Ball.

  • Craig M

    I used to sometimes turn off the audio of a game on TV and listen to the radio instead- but that was a long time ago.

  • Craig M

    Do exactly the same thing when I can.

  • Craig M

    Used to watch Rugby, followed the All Blacks, but just kind of fell off because of the time schedules.

  • VaDave

    After 40 years, you bet I know it… lol!

  • will

    Steroids?

  • Craig M

    If someone has a position or statement about something simply get on a wooden crate and say your piece to the citizenry, outside the stadium, in respect to the people who paid good money to come and simply enjoy the game. If you have a complaint w/ not getting enough attention at home when you were a child then go tell your parents- bet you like to ride around w/ your car radio blasting like “look at me, look at me”. The two guys w/ the black gloves at the Olympics, their arms raised high in the air- haven’t a clue who their names are. But I’ll never forget George Foreman standing up at the Olympics holding that little American Flag in his big paw of a hand. And try looking up the stats on killings by one race on another before you jump to conclusions- where is your protest of the 80% murder rate of blacks on blacks?

  • Craig M

    And this is the simple reason that politics doesn’t belong in the environment on the NFL- it detracts from others enjoyment of the game.

  • VaDave

    Hey, don’t we all?

  • Larry Kraus

    In baseball it took the cancellation of the world series. Same here no Superbowl and I love on.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    I’ve already stopped watching most NFL games except the Steelers. Once they are out then I stop watching altogether. Saw maybe 10 minutes of last year’s Super Bowl since my wife had the game on out of morbid interest.

    So, for me the question is really what would it take for me to stop watching the Steelers? Easy answer for me. If some jagoff like Dan Snyder or Jerry Jones bought controlling interest of the team … Peace Out.

    The NFL is already a sham; but I remain a Pittsburgh Steelers fan

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Steroids were not against the rules then and the Steelers were not the only team that had some players using them.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    What is NBA?

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Wow, I just used the same twojagoffs as examples and a scrooled down after posting to see that you had beat me to the punch.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    With instant replay a play like the Immaculate Reception could ever reach such mythic proportions

  • Michael Conrad

    Wow a lot of football experts only watch the Steelers.

  • Robert Joseph

    The theatrics of Social Justice wannabees has got me just about to the point where I could care less about the NFL.

    Marshawn Lynch eats a banana during the national anthem…wat??!!
    Marcus Peters rides a bike??
    Scores of others on a knee talking bout ‘muh racism’ every five mins while they make millions for playing a kids game??

    I watch NFL to ESCAPE CLOWNWORLD, not to marinate in it.

    The sad reality of this is this: If you knew how much your avg nfl player HATES everything you love, you history, your heritage, your nation ect, You would never watch another game again.

    I no longer watch ESPN for these reasons and once the NFL goes into the abyss I will simply read more old books. Much more interesting to read men who helped build our civilization as opposed to listing/watching those or wish to tear it down.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i’m from ireland. ive been in the usa since 98 and have been watching the steelers since. and i did 5 years in both the american navy and 5 years in the irish defense force. ive had friends from many countries that have died.

    as far as the usa and football yes there is a time and place. the problem is, while i dislike and dont agree with doing it during a football game. they still have the right to do it. yes a more appropriate time would be say at a press conference instead of a moment on tv with no explanation because you could explain your viewpoints. this is the reason so many people have issues with kaepernick. i never had an issue with him doing it, just when and where he did it.

    you saying you would stop watching the nfl because of one player is a ridiculous concept. for example kaep isnt unemployed because of his protest. he is unemployed because he’s awful. part of your american rights. i say american rights because there’s no such thing as universal rights, is that you have the right to assemble and the right to free speech as long as they arent deemed hate speech. this means that by protesting the protest, you are arguing against something that you yourself are using. that’s illogical.

  • Terrible Towlie

    good question…how about never, or the olympics….

  • Rocksolid20

    For me it would be pay per view football .

  • Craig M

    Steroids have been around since the 40s? and were invented as a synthetic derivative of testosterone, to help in injury recovery- I believe. They are not harmful unless used in excess (10-100 times recommended dosage). The Steelers started using them to help in injury recovery, they were not banned then, and the players noticed a better [lean muscle mass] result so they started stacking dosses of the prescribed amount (I believe Mike Webster did this but I’m not sure). In the 70s high school usage was 1-4% of football players using them and by the 80s I think the number of Pro NFL players was something like 20%. When they started looking into the worse case scenario use of these anabolic steroids [EX; Lyle Alzado] people started seeing the severe harm and they were banned. No the Steelers weren’t cheating but they were acting foolishly, just as the FO now acts and has been acting irresponsibly on the issue of concussions. Harrison is dogged around by Goodell because of suspected roid use but I’m pretty positive he simply goes all out w/ top quality protein supplement drinks for maximum recovery from his weight lifting program. A side note will is that Babe Ruth was the first baseball player to start lifting weights in baseball and the first year he did was (I believe) the year he hit 60 home runs.

  • will

    Wow……great information. Did not know that about The Babe. I thought he just lifted mugs of beer and women.

  • will

    Were you ever in the military?

  • Matthew Marczi

    Well I think it stands to reason that the better your players are in general, the greater advantage you have…no? And there’s nothing stopping any one team from acquiring or developing a top tier quarterback, outside of the mere lack of talent.

  • copanut

    Apparently unlike most, I have no problem with the expanded safety rules, provided that they are consistently applied. I love a good, powerful form tackle, but I get no manly pleasure out of watching Shazier helmet-spear a QB, and have no problem with that being penalized and fined, so long as Roethlisberger gets exactly the same level of protection.

    About the only thing that would make me drop the NFL is if I am unable to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers. The least likely way for this to happen would be the end of, or move of, the franchise.

    Bigger problem is the NFL makes it difficult for the multitude of fans outside the Pittsburgh area to watch. The continued exclusivity of Sunday Ticket to DirecTV is a travesty. After years of paying for ripoff DirecTV for no other reason than to access Sunday Ticket, I finally decided this year to drop it cold turkey, and if that meant I couldn’t watch the Steelers, so be it.

    I found a workaround, but I was THIS close to not watching the NFL anymore thanks to their stupid, short-sighted game access policy. Workaround: bribe a friend who lives in an apartment building to allow me to use his address to purchase the streaming version of Sunday Ticket.

    It’s ridiculous – almost like I have to beg the NFL to pay them hundreds of dollars to let me access the product they are supposedly trying to sell me.

  • Steel-on-Target

    Kaepernick, Bennett, Lynch and others are well within their rights. I respect that, but I won’t reward a league financially (tuning in to watch, buying tickets or licensed merchandise, etc) that allows such behavior. It’s all about the time and place for me. Not during the national anthem.

    Players and coaches can be fined for disparaging comments about officiating. The NFL doesn’t mind fining players for uniform violations that show support for a person or issue. Goodell even hands out suspensions for tarnishing the shield. So in other words, the league is willing to step in when it feels like it. For a league that goes out of its way to profess support for our military, the silence on this issue (thus far) is deafening.

    But like I said, I’m tolerating it (so far). But if a Steeler crosses that line in the sand, I’m finished. I’ll devote more time to college football, family, or maybe I’ll take up tiddly winks.

  • RickM

    That is not the issue. When you join the military you take an oath to defend the Constitution, not the anthem. And the Constitution provides the right to peaceful assembly or protest. That is why some veterans support the right of players to peacefully protest. Vets risk their lives so the freedoms under the Constitution are preserved. And before you ask, someone in our family is currently serving.

    It’s a very personal issue. Some vets see it as an insult to country and troops. Other vets see it as one of the freedoms fought for. Neither view is wrong.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Well said.

  • pittsburghjoe

    That might happen, courtesy of North Korea.

  • pittsburghjoe

    I hope your neighbor plays it loud, reals loud…. like at 3AM

  • pittsburghjoe

    Then keep taxpayer subsidized stadiums out of football too.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Well said.

  • Kevin Reich

    Garbage!

  • pittsburghjoe

    And where are all of the American Indian protesters? They certainly are not destroying peoples property and ruining businesses.

  • Craig M

    And that’s a sore spot w/ me joe, I think all our National and State parks should be under the hands of the American Indians- all park rangers should be part Native American and the parks should be watched over by them. IMHO

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Thank you.

  • Conserv_58

    Back then nearly very team had guys juicing. It’s a verifiable fact that the raiders, Lyle Alzado and John Matuzak were taking steroids. I’m convinced Mike Webster was.

  • Conserv_58

    Vince Lombardi was well know for being a relentless and tough task master. He did not have an extensive playbook, but he was renowned for making his players run the plays he did have, over and over and over until they executed those plays to Lombardi’s standards. His players became so good at executing those plays that even though their competition knew what they were running they couldn’t stop ’em. Chuck Noll was the same way.

  • Conserv_58

    That argument is so full of holes and dishonest propaganda it’s sickening.

  • Conserv_58

    Great point. It would definitely be deal breaker for me. I’m not paying to watch NFL games. Period. Love the Steelers, but I’m not paying over and above what I already pay the cable company to watch football. I adamantly refuse to pay the ridiculously expensive extortion payments they want for Sunday ticket.

  • Conserv_58

    Ya think? I’m one of them.

  • Conserv_58

    You say, “something needs to be done to stop players from losing themselves later in life.” I What are “they” supposed to do other than bubble wrap athletes. I say that’s a very naive statement because it applies to any sport or job that involves physical risks. Other than outright banning the sport there is nothing “they” can do to eliminate all of the inherent dangers of football or any high risk physical sport. Furthermore, the athletes know what the risks are and yet “they choose” to take those risks both for the love of the sport and the financial security it can bring.

  • We aren’t talking about regular injuries here, We are talking about CTE and head trauma, at least I was. I wonder what today average NFL player life will be like in 20 or 30 years? No body knows.

    Were you one of the guys telling Ladarius Green to retire because of sustained concussions? If you were (and I don’t remember if you were or not, but many did) and now you are saying what you are. Its kind of hypocritical don’t you think?

    I was one of the few saying if Green wants to play, who are we to tell him he shouldn’t. But what about kids 10 years old who play peewee football or high school kids who don’t understand the risks. An adult can willing take the risk because they should understand the possible consequences of actions.

    I’m not saying ban football or hitting and make it flag football. I don’t even have any solutions on how to correct this issue. All I’m saying is hitting and getting hit leads to some level of CTE later in life.

    FACT = Roger Goodell and the NFL have been trying to suppress CTE studies in fear of future damage to the game and product. Only recently (as early as this year) have the NFL started investing in CTE research, but I fear they only intend to steer results in their desired favor.