The poisoned pens and venomous spirits of a few choice sports scribes (and I use the term “scribe” very liberally) have sunk to a new and incredibly low level.
Over the past few years, the lack of postseason success of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the recent past has been notated. They have justifiably been compared to the recent postseason success of two of their division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals. These comparisons are both expected and justified. However, comparing the Steelers’ playoff success, or lack of it, to the 2023 version of the Pittsburgh Maulers of the USFL is like telling your waiter that you would like your Vienna sausage “medium rare.” The comparison makes no darn sense.
Many of the guys that are writing this stuff have never donned a set of pads and would probably wet themselves if they were forced to do so. They can’t boast about dominating the player across from them. They can only brag about dominating and screaming at their parents or siblings, wives, girlfriends or boyfriends because they forgot to order honey mustard sauce with their chicken McNuggets or extra pepperoni on their pizza. There was an article posted by Dave Schofield, known online as @STLRSuperFanDad, posted on June 25. The title of the article was: “The Maulers’ playoff win (on June 24 over the Michigan Panthers) is a painful reminder of the Steelers drought.” The subtitle was: “There is now another professional football team attributed to Pittsburgh with a more recent playoff victory.”
Does Schofield even know the definition of the word drought? One of the definitions of drought provided by Miriam-Webster is: “A prolonged or chronic shortage or lack of something expected or desired. Such as ‘a drought of creativity.’”
There may be a reason that all of us should suspect that Dave may have ordered a side order of “bitterness” along with a medium-sized order of “factual unawareness” and an extra helping of “cultural insensitivity” to go along with the rest of the gobbledygook that “superfandad” has decided to unleash onto the public. Is Schofield experiencing a personal “drought of creativity?” I am going to explain to all of you how I came to this conclusion. First, Schofield says: “The Maulers playoff win is a painful reminder of the Steelers drought.” A painful reminder for who? Secondly, “superfandad,” you’re not the one playing and you won’t be the one placed in concussion protocol as the result of a vicious hit to the head or a few cracked ribs that a wide receiver might experience after running across the middle, snagging an overthrown pass by an overly ambitious quarterback. Don’t forget the anchovies.
Does Schofield even know the definition of the word drought? Well, maybe he knows the definition of drought when it applies to his creativity. After the Steelers played and won Super Bowl XIV on January 20, 1980, they didn’t win another Super Bowl until they won Super Bowl XL, “the one for the thumb” which was played on February 5, 2006, more than 26 years later. Not 10 years, not 20 years, but 26 years. That might be considered a sort of drought, ya think? As far as comparing the so-called “success” of the 2023 Pittsburgh Maulers (they made it to the USFL Championship Game, July 1, but lost to Birmingham, 28-12) to the lack of success of the Pittsburgh Steelers, let’s put it this way: that comparison is like taking a 4-year-old with a big wheel and awarding the semi-toddler the pole position at the Indianapolis 500 and waving the green flag instructing the drivers to “git to gittin’.” So, comparing anything that the 2023 version of the USFL does with the NFL does not make any freakin’ sense.
Now if folks were comparing the original USFL that was founded over 40 years ago to provide an alternative to the NFL, that comparison would be a bit more logical because the current USFL model is meant to develop and provide talent for the NFL, unlike the 1980s version, which competed with the NFL. USFL players can reportedly earn a maximum annual salary of $74,000 in 2023. That includes a $400 weekly stipend and is predicated on a player not only being active for each of their team’s 10 regular-season games and two playoff games but also winning the 2023 USFL championship.
To Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Deshaun Watson, and Aaron Rodgers, $74,000 might not even equal their weekly budget for eating out. In 1983 and 1984 the upstart USFL signed two Heisman Trophy-winning running backs. Herschel Walker signed a $5 million, three-year contract with the New Jersey Generals, and in 1984, the original Pittsburgh Maulers signed Mike Rozier to a $3.1 million, three-year deal. Folks, that was 40 years ago! The USFL was challenging the NFL to field the best players, not trying to develop players for the senior league.
Dave Schofield finally exposes his true logic for writing this piece of gaaaarrrbage when he admits the following: “Pittsburgh (Maulers) (although it’s not where they play their games) winning a playoff game just digs the knife in a little bit deeper. As most Steelers fans can tell you, particularly ones who are critical of the coaching staff, the Steelers have not won a playoff game since the 2016 NFL season.”
That’s right Dave, dig in deep. Are you one of the voices for the ones that stab and twist the dagger that has been stuck in the backs of the Steelers coaching staff? Need I name the coach who gets the guillotine instead of the dagger?
I have a new gig; that is, “the gig of “b—ls—t detective.” There has certainly been a “drought of creativity” experienced by a few of the present-day sportswriters, and not so much of a drought by the Steelers and their coaches.