U mad, bro?: Steelers fans come down hard on Ben Roethlisberger, apathetic Bengals loss – TribLIVE

Over the last three seasons, the Pittsburgh Steelers have done more to ruin holiday cheer than the Grinch, Ebenezer Scrooge, Hans Gruber and “Bad Santa” combined.

The difference is all of those movies have happy endings. The same cannot be said for each of the Steelers’ last three December campaigns.

They are 5-9 during the final month of regular-season play over the past three years, with one game remaining in Dec. 2020. And another on Jan. 3 in Cleveland.

Ho! Ho! Oh, no!

The trend is continuing in 2020 with three straight losses to Washington, Buffalo and Cincinnati. Mike Tomlin’s team is falling faster than Hans did from the top of Nakatomi Plaza at the end of “Die Hard.”

And all the losing is taking Steelers Nation out of the Christmas spirit in this week’s “U mad, bro?”

This person thinks I didn’t go after Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hard enough in my “Airing of Grievances” after the loss in Cincy. Roethlisberger was 20 of 38 for 170 yards, a touchdown and an interception. His passer rating was 62.4. His average yards per attempt was 4.5.

Here’s how I described Roethlisberger’s performance: “Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was terrible. Dreadful. Awful. One of the worst games of his Steelers career.”

That’s verbatim.

If that’s “too easy on Ben,” then I can’t imagine what Twitter would’ve been like had it been invented when Kordell Stewart was the quarterback here.


Brian sent me an email suggesting my recent criticism of the Steelers is, um, deeply rooted.

When you spend this much time hating the Steelers, you’re a closet fan.

Get a load of “Dr. YINZmund Freud” over here. If I have any emotional breakthroughs in our therapy sessions, please let me dab my tears with your Terrible Towel, Brian.

Who does this guy think he is? Lucy in a Peanuts comic strip? “Psychiatric help: 5 cents”

My fandom for the Steelers has never been “in the closet.” I’ve never avoided saying the truth. I grew up a die-hard fan of all Pittsburgh sports teams, and I’d prefer to see them win every game if possible. But I don’t let that get in the way of negative analysis when it needs to be presented.

I’m not “hating” them. I’m being critical. I’m critical because I’m as disappointed as any fan out there when the franchise underperforms.

Since the fan in me did live through 25 years between Super Bowl victories, I know that an 11-0 start should equate to a pretty good chance of getting another one. And it may be their last good chance in the Tomlin-Roethlisberger era.

So pardon me if my “closeted fandom” is coming off a bit edgy in my recent analysis over the last month. Buckle up for what you might read from me over the next decade if Pittsburgh becomes the Sahara Desert of quarterbacks again whenever Roethlisberger does leave.

Paging Kent Graham!

John has a much rosier outlook than I do.

Yes. Meanwhile, I’ll bet not a single team in the league would prefer to lose three straight games in the manner they just did, including a pair to Washington and the lowly Bengals.

Oh, and you think they will fix these problems in two games? Is that a typo? Or did you mean two years?

Richard wants the media to call for Roethlisberger’s benching in favor of Mason Rudolph.

Surprising that you or your colleagues haven’t asked why Ben hasn’t been benched. Clearly they should have called in a relief pitcher (Mason Rudolph) last night versus Cincinnati before the end of the half. Any other sport and he’d be sent to the showers.

Maybe that’s why football is different than every other sport, Richard.

The goalie is the last line of defense. Not the guy in charge of making everything go as you try to play catch-up.

You pull a starting pitcher for a fresh arm when the starter is gassed or to stop the bleeding. Not to jumpstart offense.

It’s not the same thing with quarterbacks when the team needs to come back from a 17-point deficit. And it’s especially a different strategy when the backup options are Mason Rudolph, Josh Dobbs and Devlin “Duck” Hodges.

That’s not much of a “bullpen,” is it?

Finally, Mike sent me an email at 1:30 a.m. while listening to WDVE postgame show after the Steelers’ loss in Cincinnati.

I just yelled and scared my poor dog because I’m listening to Stan (Savran) & (Adam) Crowley. And callers crying about the (the Steelers) playing three games in 12 days!

Remember, the Ravens played three games in 13 days. (They) were decimated by covid-19. And without their best player (Lamar Jackson) versus the Steelers.

Overall the team is lazy, unfocused, unmotivated and apathetic. Ben is washed up. He can’t throw. He won’t admit it and refuses to relinquish any control of the offense. The problem starts and ends there.

That’s the reality. That’s it. Goodnight.”

Mike, I used to host that show. And after night game losses, I consider forcing a dog to listen to the drunken callers a form of animal torture.

You’ll be hearing from PETA soon.

You monster.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

Sports | Steelers/NFL | Breakfast With Benz | Tim Benz Columns

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