As one of the Featured Columnists on Bleacher Report, I believe that my role is Steelers Nation falls somewhere in the range of peacekeeper, at least between current members of Steelers Nation.
Don't get me wrong, I love to argue with Browns fans, Ravens fans, Patriots fans with you guys to the ends of the earth. But when it seems like there may be a civil war in Steelers Nation, I feel I need to step up and try to diffuse it if at all possible.
Recently, one of the other Featured Columnists wrote an article titled, Pittsburgh Steelers: Rookie Baron Batch Out for the Year, But Who Cares? This article has seemed to stir an insane response in Steelers Nation, based on people allowing their emotion to get the best of them, and not allowing them to see the forest through the trees.
If you have not read this article yet, please take a minute to do so. Otherwise, you will have no idea as to what I am talking about.
In the comment section, many people have gone after the writer of the article, Mad Chad, as if the man was trying to destroy the reputation of Batch, when in reality, he is simply stating fact.
Baron Batch, the Pittsburgh Steelers seventh round selection, has torn his ACL, and will miss the 2011 NFL season. Pretty cut and dry if you ask me. But, the next three words are what have driven Steelers Nation to the brink of insanity.
Will the injury to Baron Batch change the Steelers win total for 2011?
But Who Cares?
It seems that many of the people in the article believe that Mad Chad is wishing ill will against Batch. When in reality, what he is saying isn't really that different that Kevin Colbert said.
“Unfortunately for Baron, he did tear his ACL and he’s going to be done for the season,” said Colbert. “Obviously, it’s a disappointment for the team. You really feel devastated for the young man; he was having a great camp and he’s just an awesome kid, and to have your first season taken away like that is just disappointing.”
Now, the difference between what was said by Chad, and what was said by Colbert was the sympathy the Colbert showed.
"It’s a disappointment for the team (life will go on without him). You really feel devastated for the young man (sympathy on a personal level)."
Over the last few year, and I don't think you will find a Steelers fan that won't agree with this, the NFL has become a baby-fied league. With the rules changes to "protect" the QB's, and "defenseless receivers" fans of the NFL are growing soft.
As a youth football coach, I teach my kids to go at every play with everything they have. "Leave nothing on the field." Give it your all.
When one of those players are injured, they are told, "It is part of the game." "Injuries happen." That does not mean that I don't feel sympathy for the kid, or wish him ill-will. Only that there are still games to be played, and as a team, you must move on.
Simply put, on a personal level, I have a great deal of respect for Baron Batch, and the hard work he has done to make it to the NFL. He has overcome injuries in the past, and I hope and pray FOR HIM, that he can once again overcome this injury, and one day be a productive member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
On a professional level, the Steelers lost a seventh round pick. One that would have been lucky to make the team if he was healthy.
As a Steelers fan, I EXPECT us to compete for a Super Bowl this year. Regardless of who is under center, in the back field, on the line, in the secondary. From Roethlisberger to Polamalu, if someone gets hurt, I don't care. No excuses. The next man has to step up, and be great.
That does not mean that I won't feel bad for the guy, but what you are allowing is excuses, and sorry, as a coach, I just don't deal with excuses.