This morning I logged onto www.post-gazette.com and read through fans comments on the Blog ‘N Gold steelers fan blog. A lot of them were pretty scary initial reactions. People were really pissed that the Steelers hired the outsider, which I considered a rather loaded term, over the inside guy.
The perceptions are doubly loaded because not only is coach Tomlin shockingly young but he is, you know, black. And Grimm is not only the inside man but he is a towering, beer-gutted Western Pa. hunkie. And Pittsburgh is a crazy place that way. Every time there’s a coaching search, they’re always focused on local guys.
Whne Pitt needed a new hoops coach, the guys talked about were Skip Prosser and John Calipari. Why? They’re Pittsburgh guys! Pitt football hired Dave Wannstedt — a Pittsburgh guy! I don’t think there’s any other city that operates quite like this.
So the reaction was sort of expected but still frightening. It prompted me to write this email, which is posted there now:
“Relax everyone. Grimm may have been a good choice, despite the fact that he can barely speak a coherent sentence and the offensive line has badly underperformed. Cowher did not recommend him, which must mean something. The people complaining about Tomlin’s youth and lack of experience have short memories. Give the man a chance and extend him the same love and respect you gave the Jaw during his Playoff flops.” — Alan Paul, Beijing, China
I felt a little bad about ragging on Grimm so much, but I was employing hyperbole to make my point. I went back today to look for my letter, which was there, and was glad to see it joined by many other similar posts expressing outrage at the earlier idiots.
“I wish you old, conservative yinzers would use your brains for once! I mean, did you not see Cowher on the sidelines this season, arms crossed, couldn’t care less, a shadow of the fiery coach he once was? Did you not see the end result; the undisciplined team, the 2 and 6 start, the lack of development of players like Max Starks, Ike Taylor and Ricardo Colclough, etc. Face it folks, our team drastically needed a change; a coach that isn’t one of the boys, one that will instill discipline once again.
Here’s a thought; maybe instead of complaining about everything all the time, you can worry about creating some atmosphere at Heinz Field on a consistent basis … instead of drinking yourselves stupid in the parking lot before the game.” — Bill Soles, Pittsburgh, PA!
“After reading the hilarious and sometimes ridiculous comments on this blog, I have to ask one question of all the “Steeler Fans” who are so opposed to Mike Tomlin as the new head coach.
Does it bother you more that Mike Tomlin is a young, unknown defensive coordinator with no head coaching experience or does it bother you more that he is an African American who beat out a white Western Pennsylvania guy with no head coaching experience?
Please respond to this question so I have more hilarious reading to do over the next few days. I hear the dreary, gray, cold weather is here for a while and I need something to pick up my spirits.
Actually on second thought, please don’t respond, you have embarrassed Pittsburgh enough already.” — Mike Nobers, Pittsburgh
“Once again a big lot of Steelers fans show their lack of knowledge … must be too much Iron City running through their veins. However, these yinzers seemingly forget that the Rooneys hired a young defensive coach who got his start under Sid Gilman … wonder how many “Steelers Fans” derided that hire when it first happened. Same thing when the Rooneys hired an untested Defensive coordinator in 1992 … whoops … “Steelers Fans” got mad once again. Tomlin is a top defensive mind who learned from Dungy. Dungy learned from Noll. It’s not that hard to connect the dots, folks. But then again, the mental capacity of the average Steeler fan is akin to a developing toddler so I’m not expecting much from the Steeler faithful in terms welcoming new blood to the team. Once again, Steeler Nation will be proven wrong with Tomlin as they had with Noll and Cowher and in 5 years they won’t even remember they boo’d this guy when he first came in.” — Chuck Mak, Pittsburgh