‘‘Twas the night before Christmas and all fields were quiet,
‘Cept Oakland Coliseum where the mice might riot(Gruden didn’t get rid of them yet)
The X-rays were hung by the chimney with care,
Ben in Oakland brought Steeler Nation despair.
Le’Veon Bell was nestled all snug in his bed,
Dreams of jet skis and strip clubs filling his head.
AB in his rolls and JuJu on his bike,
A win in New Orleans fans would’ve liked.
When out on the field there arose such a rumble,
I looked, oh no, another Steeler fumble.
Away to the cupboard I ran with such dread,
Several Tylenol needed to fix my head.
The lights shined on the field oh so bright,
Apparently it messed with the refs eyesight.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a coach who had finally met his own fears.
With a Hall of Fame QB still slinging it well,
How did this season go straight to Hell?
More rapid than a Chris Boswell missed kick,
This season will leave Steeler fans feeling sick.
It’s on Tomlin, on Butler, on Fichtner and more,
On Boswell, on Burns, on a defense that’s been poor.
To the top of the fourth quarter the games all fall,
Close loss, close loss, close loss all.
As Tomlin’s bad decisions during games lead fans to scoff him,
The fake punt on Sunday could be a final nail in his coffin.
So up to the press box Art Rooney looks blue,
With a team full of stars and Hall of Famers, too.
And then in a twinkling one must wonder,
How long does Rooney let this coach blunder?
As I drew in my head how this team should’ve been great,
Another game comes where they lost the lead late.
The quarterback dressed with his helmet on tight,
Ready to lead them to a touchdown that night.
A bundle of fancy toys he had to pick from,
Surely a grand touchdown was yet to come.
Tomlin’s eyes looked sad, his fist pumps all gone,
When JuJu fumbled the ball on the Saints fake lawn..
Tomlin’s mouth had no answers for the press,
His face looked weary from this latest mess.
He tried to be resolute with the clench of his teeth,
The smoke of this latest dumpster fire circled his head like a wreath.
No gleam in his eye as the season sits on the brink,
The stench of all of it is really starting to stink.
He was dejected and resolute, and not too jolly,
His game decisions have become nothing but folly.
Now Steeler fans must rely on the Browns,
A thought that makes most of them sport big frowns.
The coach always speaks in Tomlinisms,
Now he faces many criticisms.
As he is prone to say, the buck stops here,
Should he coach this team again next year?
He sprang to the coaches room to assess his plight,
No playoffs may just drive him out of sight(or at least out of Pittsburgh).
Tomlin stated that “we made this bed and now must lay in it”,
Merry Christmas, I think not, this season has turned to 💩.
A Penny For My Final Thought…
Once again I’ll reference my preseason column where I said this season should be Super Bowl or bust, specifically for Mike Tomlin. After the game Sunday, Tomlin looked like a guy who knew things have slipped away from him.
The Rooneys have never fired head coaches, but Art Rooney, Jr. may go to Tomlin and suggest a resignation from him would be best for all parties. Their is a shelf life in coaching these days. Gone are the days of long term coaches like Chuck Noll, Don Shula, and Tom Landry, or Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden in the college ranks. It seems as though Tomlin may have reached his shelf life in Pittsburgh.
I stated in that preseason column that he is a stubborn man. I’m not sure he will agree to step down. That would put Rooney in a position that would be quite uncomfortable.
Tomlin’s stubbornness shows up all over the place. He won’t hire a person to monitor challenges, thus he is 0 for his last 11 challenges. He stubbornly left Ben Roethlisberger on the sideline as the Raiders game slipped from his grasp, even though Ben had been medically cleared. The foolish decisions, such as the fake punt in Sunday’s loss to the Saints stick out like a sore thumb. That stubbornness looks great when things go your way. Too often, though, things haven’t gone his way.
I’ve defended Tomlin for a long time. I can no longer do so, as the evidence has been stacked too high against him. The fake punt really was just the last straw. In addition to that decision, he allowed Stevan Ridley to go in to the game for one play, only to watch him fumble on a crucial third down. The play call was idiotic to boot. This game was really a microcosm of Tomlin’s last few seasons.
The picture above is typical of recent Tomlin teams. Players celebrating a fake punt that, uh, didn’t work.
Here is a short list of issues:
- His teams lack discipline.
- Too many players are given too much leash.
- His aforementioned issues with challenges.
- Poor time management.
- Lack of focus which has led to constant defeats to inferior teams.
- Wasting too many quality years with a Hall of Fame(yes, Cam Jordan) quarterback.
- In general, wasting a tremendous offensive roster.
- Not employing better assistant coaches.
Mike Tomlin has won a lot of games, and kept the team from falling off a cliff like so many other teams do. He deserves credit for that. However, he hasn’t won the important games. He, like his predecessor Bill Cowher, hasn’t figured out the Patriots. Moreover, he hasn’t made the most of this talented roster.
You just can’t keep watching this team lose once or twice per season to inferior teams. This year should be the final straw. Losing to Denver and Oakland, while tying the Tyrod Taylor led Browns is unacceptable. Throw in blowing fourth quarter leads(albeit with help from the refs) to the Chargers and Saints. Unacceptable!
It just may be best for everyone to part ways and go in a different direction. The Steelers may be happier. Tomlin, who would not stay unemployed for long, may be happier. And Steeler fans I know would most definitely be happier.
Super Bowl or bust has sadly gone kaboom, unless Baker Mayfield has one more bit of magic up his sleeve.
Just my two cents…
Tim Clark is a columnist and editor for PennSports.LIVE, and a wonderful writer of words. He is a lifelong sports fanatic with an eclectic mix of favorite teams including USC Trojans football, Louisville Cardinals basketball, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins in pro sports.