Have you ever watched somebody that you care about seemingly make all the wrong decisions that would be best for them for their long-term future? That feels to be increasingly what the relationship is like between the Pittsburgh Steelers and their fans—and occasionally, the journalists who cover the team.
That has felt especially the case for the likes of Aditi Kinkhabwala, who has spoken in increasingly harsh teams about the team over the course of the past year. Yesterday, she popped on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore…in Baltimore…to discuss the Steelers’ current state, and especially as it pertains to how they approach Ben Roethlisberger’s future and contract status.
Though Pittsburgh went 12-4 last season and won the AFC North, the NFL Network reporter expressed some level of exasperation over how team president Art Rooney II could look around the division and see what is going on with the Bengals, the Ravens, and the Browns, and be content with the evident path the Steelers find themselves on. I quote at length:
How can Art Rooney look around the division and see a young Joe Burrow…then he looks at Lamar Jackson, who’s only getting better every single year, and a Ravens team as well coached as any team in the league, that’s young and growing and playing great defense. And then you look at that Browns team that can only get better and also is young and also has arguably one of the best, most veteran offensive lines in the league—how can you look at what those teams are doing on offense and doing what they’re doing with their rosters and say, ‘yeah, okay, another year with Ben Roethlisberger and a predictable offense and not being able to implement any of the shifts or motions or creativity that new offensive coordinator Matt Canada brings…yeah, that makes a lot of sense’.
I get the sense that a lot of Steelers fans will actually find themselves agreeing with what she has to say. The whole 15-minute segment is very much in the same vein. In the end, she concludes that even she cannot make heads or tails of what the team is doing, and that she considers herself a smart person.
There is, of course, the theoretical possibility that there is a logic in the Steelers’ thinking that she simply doesn’t. There is a distant, outward chance that what we’re seeing is driven by something other than confidence. It must be said, however, that she has clearly learned how to tap into and channel the zeitgeist of the fanbase by feeding their anger and frustrations out back to them.