The Steelers Fan Survival Kit

By Michael K. Reynolds

The Pittsburgh Steelers faithful are finding themselves in unfamiliar territory. It’s only halfway into the season and all appears lost.

What now are we to do with these season tickets, of which we leveraged our home mortgage? And how painful is it to receive the bills for our Sunday NFL Ticket package in the same week we endure a beat down by the Patriots?

How can we possibly survive the remainder of this disappointing season?

Never fear. Although the Rooneys probably won’t need to remodel the trophy cabinet to make room for another Lombardi this year, there always remains joy in being a fan.

We have indelible rights as lifetime Steelers fans. If things get bad enough (as they are now), we always get the option of becoming the General Manager.

That’s right. Go ahead and second guess the offensive coordinator. Or question the level of talent. Don’t hesitate to complain about play calling or time management.

The game will change for you. You’ll pay close attention to line play. Hustle and attitude on defense. You’ll look for whatever hints there are of new, young talent. And you’ll carefully think through the decision of which veterans will remain with the squad next year.

And be fearless when you answer this question: How would you got about fixing things?

Be the General Manager. It’s how we survive.

One thing is certain this week. Behind closed doors and far out of earshot of the players, fans and media, the front office and the coaches asked themselves a critical question. That is, “What do we want to do with the remainder of the season?”

There is the insanity answer, which means they will continue to the do the same thing and hope for better results. There is the turns of the screw answer in which they believe a few subtle adjustments is all that is required.

Then there is the early pre-season answer where they begin to heartily look toward 2014, by beginning to throw their younger players in the fire to see if they have what it takes.

My preference, as the new General Manager, trends toward getting an early and substantial head start on next year and the future of the Steelers. After two seasons of dismal results it’s clear this team is in need of a shakedown.

There are so many questions to be answered and the current rules of the CBA don’t allow for adequate experimentation and live action development during the off-season, and even in pre-season.

Who is going to rise as our next stars? Who is sitting on the bench who has hidden talent? Will zone blocking improve our ability to run? Should we mix in some 4-3 to our defense? Why not get these answers now?

But who cares what I think. You are the General Manager. What do you say? How should we approach the remainder of the season.

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