U mad, bro?: Fans tee off on Mitch Trubisky, Steelers defense, Sidney Crosby’s quote and … gremlins

In the midst of Pittsburgh Steelers season, normally I can just load up “U mad, bro?” with angry complaints about the Black and Gold, every week for 18 weeks in a row.

Even when they win.

Based on how the offense is looking, we may be heading down that path.

But this week we are plenty diversified. While readers do sound off about Mitch Trubisky, the defense and the overall state of the team, we also work in some Penguins talk, obscure 1980s horror movies and even outrage at “U mad, bro?” itself.

So sit back. Pop some popcorn and enjoy. Just finish eating before 11:59 pm

Never mind. Just read on. You’ll see.

We start with an email from Tim. It appears that he didn’t like my column about Mitch Trubisky. I get the impression he thinks that I am not tough enough on Trubisky and that I should be calling for his benching right now.

I will await your column after the team falls to 0 – 4.”

Well, you might have to wait until next year, because the Steelers can’t be 0-4 if they already have one win.

They are 1-1 after two games. So the worst that they can be after four games is 1-3. That’s how the NFL and … um … math works.

I called the league office, however, just to double check on your behalf. But my instincts were right. No matter how bad the Steelers offense might be over the next two games, they aren’t allowed to rescind the Steelers victory and give it to the Bengals.

I’ll call back after the games against the Browns and Jets these next two weeks, but the guy on the other end of the phone in New York sounded pretty sure of that.

Rest assured, though, Tim, if the Steelers start 0-4 next year and Trubisky is still the starter, I’ll have the column ready to hit “publish” the very next morning.

This email is from Dean. He doesn’t seem to dislike me, necessarily. But he hates “U mad, bro?” At least last week’s post anyway.

Just read the first couple of paragraphs of the ‘U Mad, bro?’ Are you sure it’s the best use of your time to address ignorant fans’ comments? Surely you can provide more beneficial insights for those not among the lowest common denominators.

Am stating this as both a former sports editor and someone who appreciates learning more about the Steelers. Thanks for considering.

Ironically, the idea to do this weekly post was suggested by a former sports editor. I didn’t like the idea at the time. But he was right about this. “Are you crazy, bro?” is usually well-read, and I get lots of positive feedback when I meet people who mention it.

You are in the minority with your opinion.

Also, I enjoy doing it. When people such as … oh, I don’t know … the guy who fired off the email right above yours, send (clears throat) “misinformed” comments, I like to kindly respond.

It’s therapeutic.

I write 14 other posts per week. Not to mention all the podcasts. Most of them in football season are about the Steelers. Most of the “U mad, bro?” responses are about the Steelers.

So, Dean, I did consider your email. And after careful consideration, I’m going to completely ignore your suggestion and pretend that I never even read it.

But thank you for caring about me and my time allocation.

Rich emailed about the Steelers quarterbacks.

A lot of people assume that Kenny Pickett will become the Steelers starting QB at some point in the near future. But is there a realistic possibility that Mitch Trubisky performs well enough to hold the job all season? Could we all be drinking Iron City ‘Trubeersky’ in January?

Iron City “Trubeersky” in January? That’s certainly optimistic. I’m more worried that the offense is going to be a flat, skunked, kicked keg by mid-October.

If that’s the case, we’ll all be looking at Pickett for a beer run.

Tony had a thought about the Steelers defense at the end of the loss to the Patriots Sunday.

Agreed, Tony. Largely the defense got by better than it had without Watt in games during 2021. But it wasn’t dynamic enough during the game with no sacks and just one turnover. And when someone needed to make a big play at the end of regulation, no one did.

Kurt sent a tweet about the Penguins. He wasn’t thrilled with Sidney Crosby’s characterization of how the team needs to find greater postseason success.

Kurt, I get where you are coming from, and I fully agree with your sentiment.

But after four straight one-and-dones in the playoffs, the first round has very much been a hump. In fact, it’s been more like a mountain.

And I have little faith the Penguins will be scaling it with any more success in 2023 than they have been since 2019.

Finally, here’s an email from a woman who wishes to remain anonymous.

I can’t imagine why.

She takes umbrage with a movie reference I made in a recent column. Specifically, how I referred to the Steelers offensive line as being tame and passive like “gremlins” who hadn’t been fed before midnight.

If the gremlins haven’t been fed before midnight, then they aren’t gremlins. They are mogwai. They become gremlins only if they eat after midnight.

I have no response for this. That’s true. Worst of all, I even thought about explaining the difference and consciously decided not to do so, telling myself “Pfft, this is a football column! Who is going to pick up on this, let alone call me out for blurring the lines?


But I thought “mogwai” was too obscure of a standalone reference. And I was concerned that if I had to explain how mogwai are the cute, innocent, cuddly version of gremlins — but one of the rules of gremlins is if you feed them after midnight, they turn into evil demons — then I might be getting into the weeds a bit for John Q. Stiller fan.

Especially any reader who may have been born after the year 1980 or so.

But you got me. I thought I could sneak a fastball by you, and you Aaron Judge-d it out of Yankee Stadium like I was Wil Crowe throwing on a 3-1 count.

Is that reference recent enough?

Maybe next week, I’ll try to slip a “Goonies” or “Ghostbusters” homage into a column and see if I get shamed for something like this again.

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

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