The Pittsburgh Steelers celebrated in the locker room last week after clinching the AFC North with a win over the Indianapolis Colts. Sticking up for their teammate, JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had been under fire for his pre-game ritual of dancing at center field, a number of his peers participated in a post-game locker room dance celebration that he posted on TikTok.
Unfortunately, many of the participants were not wearing masks, which is obvious in the video, and for which there is a very good chance the team will be fined, and potentially also stripped of a draft pick. And like all of the other dancing, it opened Smith-Schuster and the team up for some mockery.
With the Cleveland Browns defeating the Steelers earlier today, and thereby clinching their first playoff berth since 2002, several players poked fun at the dance, with Mack Wilson taking to Instagram Live to show his own teammates dancing to Smith-Schuster’s song. But not before saying, “I gotta put my mask on, bro”.
OH NO . THEY DID IT.
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) January 3, 2021
It has been argued for a number of weeks that the wide receiver’s behavior, which really came under the microscope following their loss to the Buffalo Bills, was providing the Steelers’ opponents with ‘bulletin board material’, added motivation, taking the dance on their logos as a disrespectful act.
Will Pittsburgh and Smith-Schuster take this video as bulletin board material now? After all, this is a Browns team that has gone nearly decades without even making the playoffs. They haven’t won a postseason game since 1994 when Bill Belichick was their head coach.
And most importantly, they nearly lost to a Steelers team that was starting a backup quarterback and resting a number of other Pro Bowl starters, including potential Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt, in a game Cleveland had to have, barely edging out Mason Rudolph, in their own stadium, 24-22.
As Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell said weeks ago before their game against the Steelers, they knew they weren’t in a position to talk because the Steelers were at the top of the food chain, but they went out there and won, and made Smith-Schuster look bad in the process.
The Browns got some bragging rights with today’s win, perhaps, but for how long? These two teams will see each other again next week, this time with a full complement of players, including Ben Roethlisberger back under center—and with that center being Maurkice Pouncey. Eric Ebron and Terrell Edmunds and Cameron Heyward, too, should return.
The Browns are 0-2 against the Steelers in the postseason, and in fact, account for the last two playoffs games they have had, in 2002, when Tommy Maddox overcame a 17-point second-half deficit, and back in 1994, a 29-9 blowout. History is not on their side, but much of the Browns’ roster wasn’t even born the last time they won a postseason game.