Unless you’re an eternal optimist and still hold out hope that it will be salvaged in the next four weeks, you’ve probably stuck a fork in the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 season. It’s been a painful run of un-Steeler-like performances on both sides of the ball, resulting in a 6-6-1 record — the franchise’s worst in 20 years (per Pro Football Reference) over a 13-week span.
With just one victory in their last five games, the Steelers don’t look like a team that’s primed for a postseason run, especially given the hurdles ahead. In the league’s toughest remaining schedule, Pittsburgh faces the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field and the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens on the road.
Pat McAfee, former Pro Bowl punter and host of the wildly popular YouTube show, “The Pat McAfee Show,” is a Pittsburgh native, as are most of his cohorts. Naturally, they talk a lot of Pittsburgh Steelers football.
In a recent segment, McAfee observed a moment of silence for the Steelers and head coach Mike Tomlin’s 14-season-long winning record.
It has been a wacky rollercoaster season around the NFL, so anything can happen. It could also very well happen that the Steelers finish out at 8-8-1, which is not considered a losing season. Under Tomlin, Pittsburgh had had three 8-8 seasons — two back-to-back in 2012 and 2013 and the last in 2019 (when Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow sidelined him for the year).
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McAfee Mega-Deal With FanDuel
On December 9, McAfee signed a four-year contract with FanDuel to continue his hit YouTube podcast, “The Pat McAfee Show.” The mega-deal pays McAfee $30 million per year, two times what he earned in his entire eight-year career as a punter with the Indianapolis Colts.
During the second half of his 17-minute video announcement, McAfee pledged to donate $6.5 million to various charities and groups.
- Youth sports: $2.8M
- WVU Children’s Hospital: $1M
- P. Manning Children’s Hospital: $1M
- Robert Mathis’ Gridiron Gang: $1M
- Wish 4 Our Heroes: $2M
- Coburn Place: $150,000
- Fur The Brand: $250,000
Coaches Addressed Chase Claypool Gaffe
During a December 13 press conference, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ray Fittipaldo asked Steelers wide receiver James Washington about whether Chase Claypool’s error in judgment was a lack of common sense or if coaches review with players what to do in moments when timing is of the essence.
“It’s just one of those common-sense deals,” Washington said. “But when you’re in the moment, guys make mistakes and do things. It was a costly deal for us, but at the end of the day, we’re still a team and we move forward from here.”
Though the 23-year-old Claypool contributed 93 yards in Pittsburgh’s crushing loss to Minnesota, fan and media focus since has been on his first down celebration that took precious time off the clock.
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