One Eric Fisher played no role whatsoever in Kansas City's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, but he's hearing it from Chiefs Nation.
This Eric Fisher — @ericfisher on Twitter — is a meteorologist in Boston. (And we're assuming a Patriots fans, so hate him for that all you want.)
This Eric Fisher was called for a hold that negated a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter that would've tied the game at 18. (Kansas City's second attempt from the 12-yard line failed.)
Kansas City fans, in their blind rage, began to barrage the innocent Eric Fisher on Twitter not long afterward.
@ericfisher it's ok you'll have all off-season to figure out how to block 🏈
— David Smith (@mizzouproducer) January 16, 2017
It still stings that our number 1 draft pick got 2 holding penalties one of them costing us the game @ericfisher
— Quentin Reickard (@QuentinReickar1) January 16, 2017
@tkelce @ericfisher you're trash #ChiefsvsSteelers #ClockManagement
— Misplaced Hashtags (@misplacedtags) January 16, 2017
@ericfisher don't worry bro...it is rigged...I personally watched dee ford get held 6 times with no call...FUCKING RIGGED
— jason lozar (@JasonLozar) January 16, 2017
The Chiefs' Eric Fisher's Twitter handle is the less obvious @Big_Fish79.
The fake (?) Eric Fisher seems to at least be taking the mistakes in stride.
Big Ben is 34.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have won 35 playoff games.
Stop. Take a beat. Let those two facts sink into what Myron called the old cranium.
If you're a card-carrying member of the Steelers Nation and you aren't feeling spoiled rotten ... well, that definitely means you're a diehard.
The diehards among Steelers fans are those most spoiled. Also, the most insufferable.
What, "Stairway to Heaven" isn't a bit ... much? (Tribune-Review)
Don't take that as an insult, yinz. Fans of other NFL teams should be so lucky to be insufferable.
Patriots fans are pretentious.
It's Friday. Slack off with this awesome Patriots playoff hype video, which definitely will give you goose bumps: https://t.co/1471ilqplt pic.twitter.com/NLpc7wFggz
— NESN (@NESN) January 13, 2017
Packers fans are patronizing.
Our office is ready for a @packers win on Sunday! GO PACK GO! #GGFriday pic.twitter.com/VKlYp4EEnh
— Molly Jasinski 📎 (@mollyjasinski) January 13, 2017
Cowboys fans are pompous.
Aaron Rodgers is so superhumanly transcendent (or so I'm told) I expect him to be in the next "Avengers." He cannot lose (or so I'm told).
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 13, 2017
Fans of those teams could claim theirs is "America's Team." And Cowboys fans actually do.
But only one fan base can claim their team turned down the moniker. And ever since hearing one of their own tell this story one day on TV, Steelers fans had not allowed a day to pass without re-posting this video on Facebook.
Though, better to be insufferable than inconsequential.
And inconsequential is the way of life for fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. They'll probably be reminded of that Sunday
afternoon night, too. The good people of Kansas City haven't seen their NFL team win at home in the playoffs since the first year of Bill Clinton's presidency. The Chiefs beat the Steelers (coincidence or irony?) on Jan. 8, 1994.
It's been a long time since a good football time was had in Kansas City. In fact, when it happened last, the Chiefs' version of "Renegade" was still generally thought to be the Rolling Stones' newer stuff.
OK, we're getting off on a tangent. The point (by now) is obvious. However, just for fun, let's consider the number of NFL playoff games won by home teams dating to the last great day for playoff football in Kansas City.
A baker's dozen of those victories happened in Pittsburgh. (And, if anybody was wondering — yes, focusing on the six postseason games lost at home by the Steelers since the Chiefs last won a playoff game in Kansas City is absolutely why usually hospitable Kansas Citians may soon deem insufferable invading members of Football America's Awesome Traveling Circus.)
Chiefs fans have had it hard, man.
The Chiefs are 0-3 when playing in Kansas City as the AFC's No. 1 or 2 seed.
The Chiefs have lost their opening playoff game 11 times dating to the AFL-NFL merger.
The Chiefs are coached by Andy Reid, a loser of five home playoff games with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fry, Eagles, fry?
Indeed, counting the playoffs, Reid's teams are 19-2 after bye weeks. But 16 of those wins occurred in the regular season.
By the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, we should all be well beyond betting on anything based upon regular-season results. That also counts for the Steelers' blowout of the Chiefs in Pittsburgh this past October.
Bad things, man. Baaaaad. Things. (Chaz Palla |Tribune-Review)
Truth is, neither Reid's remarkable record after a bye nor his postseason penchant for jobbing in front of the locals will mean anything on Sunday afternoon. Nor, likely, will Roethlisberger's 4-1 mark in Round 2 of the playoffs.
And, honestly, this was never meant to be a "football" column. Rather, we wanted it out there that this weekend, the Chief should be considered "America's Team."
After all, where more than in Kansas City does America's Game matter so much despite so little success witnessed by the fans?
In Cleveland, they've had only a "cup of coffee" in the big time since the Browns came back.
Too easy? Well, sure.
But it's not as if a Pittsburgh columnist can count on living long enough to write about why America should be backing the Browns in a second-round playoff game.
more steelers stuff
🍺 Joey Porter: the saga
🏈 Weather and grass in the NFL playoffs
With the Steelers/Chiefs game being moved to Sunday night, will it affect your plans to watch the game?
— upgrūv (@upgruv) January 13, 2017
.@steelers @Chiefs game at #Arrowhead stadium will have to wait till 8:20 pm est #HereWeGo #NFL pic.twitter.com/FvOrBpFAVj
— Charles Palla (@ChazPalla) January 13, 2017
Here we go. (But it's going to be a bit longer of a wait.)
Due to anticipated inclement weather, the Pittsburgh Steelers' AFC divisional-round game at Kansas City has been moved to Sunday night. The NFL made that word official Friday afternoon.
Benstonium's latest masterpiece? A Steelers pump-up video full of 2016-2017 highlights — set to "Renegade," of course.
Can it please be Sunday already?
"Pending further review, Joey Porter has been placed on leave."
— Kevin Colbert, Steelers GM (in a prepared statement)
What, you thought the big issue facing Pittsburgh's Steelers was whether coach Mike Tomlin had threatened the continuation of mankind by allowing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to keep playing late in an AFC wild-card game victory over the Miami Dolphins?
The issue was Joey Porter, currently a Steelers assistant coach, formerly a Steelers player, and seemingly forever capable of becoming a Steelers distraction.
Thing is, a lot of times we create our own luck. And if Porter has finally run out of luck with the organization that has provided him a lot of other chances, that's on him.
Not the Steelers.
Though, good on the Steelers for getting out in front on this latest Porter problem. Only way they could have handled it better was to firmly declare him as suspended for all remaining NFL playoff games.
Then again, there might only be one remaining playoff game for the Steelers; so, perhaps phrasing Porter's status as "on leave" is a punishment more befitting the crime he committed.
Oh, Porter definitely committed a crime. Might not be one that requires him to appear before a jury of his peers, but his actions on Sunday night surely render him guilty of breaking any football coach's commandments.
Thou shalt have no other gods before the team.
Indeed, Porter proved himself again a sinner. And while this sin was not his first and he is the not the first sinner, Porter made the mistake of continuing to sin long after completing his holiest of work for a franchise that might actually be more popular than Jesus in this country.
(Hey, Jesus Nation doesn't travel anywhere near as well as Steelers Nation.)
A nation is only as strong as its weakest link, though.
Porter had turned himself into the link that might break the Steelers' chain. Given how far they have come to get another crack at winning at the stadium of an AFC West champion for the (likely) opportunity to deliver some (potential) karmic payback to Patriots in New England, this particular Steelers squad deserved to be relieved of the distraction that had become one of its assistant coaches.
The Steelers had to temporarily sack one of their all-time sack masters. They owed these coaches and players the clearest path towards success in a postseason that feels like any team's for the taking.
After the Steelers' win over Dolphins, focus outside the team's offices shifted to debating if Tomlin had been right to keep Roethlisberger in a blowout. It was a silly debate, because Tomlin doesn't answer to those who were staging it.
Porter does answer to Tomlin.
And the guess here is Tomlin couldn't stomach this week becoming "The New Adventures of Old Joey." Even enduring an unnecessary remake of "My Big Fat Ben Injury" would be better for the business of preparing for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Big Ben's boot wasn't spotted by those mortals among us until after the Steelers' 35th playoff win. (AP)
Not that anybody associated with the Steelers should have been asked to answer for Porter. Not that there is any defending it, either.
Porter willfully put himself in position where trouble could find him on Sunday night.
He put himself in that position away from the football field. He put himself in that position only a few hours after his employer's first home playoff victory in a half-decade.
He put himself in that position despite knowing how hard it is for any football team, even one representing the flagship NFL franchise of the Super Bowl era, to overcome the normal adversity that pops up during a potentially month-long playoff pursuit.
The adversity that Porter imposed upon the Steelers late Sunday night was not of the normal variety. They deserved better from somebody who should know a lot better.
Porter can only be viewed to lack regard for anybody other than himself.
He behaved with selfishness and stupidity by being in the position he was on Sunday night, and that will be true regardless of what becomes of the incident that ultimately required him to post bond merely to return to return home — let alone get back to working.
Porter made himself bigger than the team, which is a strike against the very "standard" that Tomlin had made his stated mission to uphold.
To ever convincingly use that phrase again, Tomlin needed to remove Porter from the equation. Porter had become a predictable variable that could only disprove any equation the Steelers are trying to prove this Sunday in Kansas City and beyond.
In the NFL playoffs, teams are best to boot distractions whenever possible.
Rob Rossi is our sports editor. He wants you to follow him on Twitter.
So, that point on Sunday afternoon when you wondered, "Uh, why is Ben still in there?"...
At least the Steelers still have Bell to ring if Big Ben cannot chime.
Le'Veon Bell needed four NFL seasons to get into an NFL playoff game. When he finally did, Bell broke a Pittsburgh Steelers' record that had stood for over four decades.
Now, that's making up for lost time.
Ask not for whom I toll. Dolphins, I toll for thee.
Read all about Bell's big postseason debut here.
With their 30-12 win over the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field, the Steelers convincingly advanced to Round 2 of the playoffs. They will face the Chiefs at Kansas City next Sunday.
Earlier this season, the Steelers thumped the Chiefs in Pittsburgh. A reminder is provided here by the Kansas City Star.
In the AFC's other division-round game, the Houston Texans will pay a visit to the New England Patriots next Saturday. The winner of that game will face either the Steelers or Chiefs in the AFC championship game.