Big Lead Sports Bar



Human projectile Ryan Clark has been exhibit A in the Steelers' inability to properly tackle this season, and like any player on a slumping team, he's being criticized accordingly. Rather than accept that some fan bases have a few loose screws that send the occasional ranting letter to their underperforming players, Clark took a different angle, posting the offending letter in the locker room for all to see (it was later taken down by the team). And that was just the beginning.

In a wide-ranging rant, Clark at one point called the media "turds" [video] and said he will no longer be open with them. “I’m open with y’all,” said Clark. “I gave you my soul. Never again.”

That was pleasant. And yes, it kept going...
Clark said the unhappy fans don't understand how much work goes into every game, and he suggested he's no longer playing for all of them. He also said the Steelers, one of the NFL's most popular franchises, are held to a higher standard in Pittsburgh than teams in other NFL markets."You watch the Eagles, you watch the big plays. You watch things given up (on defense)," Clark said Wednesday. "And I started checking other media outlets. You don't hear the things about them in their media that you hear about us. So either we're held to a higher standard or the people that write about us are (expletive)."
If you'd ever print a manual on what not to do to a Pittsburgh media and fan base, page one would be to unfavorably compare it to Philadelphia, a city that hasn't won an NFL championship since 1960. Big mistake. You can rip on these booing fans all you want, but they have long memories. If you thought they were hard before, this was like pouring an Exxon station on a bonfire. And the worst part? THERE'S MORE.
"'Ryan, you and the defense thoroughly suck.' That's what he wrote," said Clark. "That's funny to me. I'm not upset with the guy. I don't want to go to his house and fight him. That's his opinion and that's how he feels. I don't know what he does for a living. Whether he's an accountant. I can't go talk to him about how he crunches numbers. I can't go talk to him about how he teaches his class and things like that."
Big Mistake #2: Clark committed the classic hypocrisy of stating that he's not upset with the guy that wrote the letter, yet he publicly posted it and read it to the media. If he didn't care about it, he wouldn't bring it up. He does care about it. And he just gave the guy who wrote it the biggest thrill of his life. So congratulations, Nameless Steeler Letter Writer. You officially rattled the second-leading tackler on the team (who happened to be the winner of the team's award for media cooperation named after Art Rooney last year). Think these Steelers are wound a little too tightly these days?

Steelers' Clark Turns Tables On Media, Fans [WTAE]

Steelers' Clark: 'I Gave You My Soul. Never Again' [WPXI]

Clark Lashes Out
[Entire Transcript of Interview] - Trib

Email: Twitter: Facebook: Facebook Group


Jim said...

I agree with Ryan Clark. The media in Pittsburgh is overly critical whether the Steelers are winning or not.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Ahhhh finally!

The only thing missing from this season was one of the players going completely Chernobyl in an interview.

The melt down is in full effect!

Look, I think we all know that letting Gary Russell go killed our chances this season (but seriously, has a more anonymous guy EVER scored a TD in a Super Bowl).

Brian DiCola said...

I completely 100% agree with Ryan Clark.

Ron Cook is the biggest turd of them all. I couldn't believe that Cook wrote a column where he several times referred to grown men as "losers". Well, I guess they lost a GAME, but to refer to guys who play a sport for money as "losers" was ridiculous in my book. I don't agree with your assessment of the event, mondesi.

I've found Ryan Clark to always have intelligent, well thought-out discourse with the media and it's sad that they, and now you, would jump on his back for being human while expressing dissatisfaction. To me, that shows passion, and that's the type of guy I want on my team and in the locker room.

THANK YOU Ryan Clark for being real for once instead of giving us the typical bullsh*t sound-clip that is so pervasive on the nightly news. "Well, obviously, we've gotta play harder. We've got a tough game coming up this week. blah, blah, blah.

SantoGold said...

WAAAH-WAAAH-WAAAH, the media and fans are being too rough on us. Don't they know we won a Super Bowl last year? I wish I was in Philadelphia were the media and fans always treat professional athletes with respect.

jmarinara said...


We who create the news think that being picked on and called out is news!!! WOE IS US!!! We're the objective and sanctimonious journalists, we're supposed to be above this kind of scrutiny and treatment!!!


Seriously, Ryan Clark just became my favorite Steeler. Finally someone with the guts to tell it like it is and actually call the media what it is . . . awful. Good for him.

The only reason "we're not talking about Aaron Rogers today" is because the media is choosing not to talk about Aaron Rogers today. They are, once again, creating their own news because they don't like what was said.

Bob Smizik, Ron Cook, John "I can't believe people still think I know what I'm doing" Fedko, Jim Crow, Guy Junker, et. al. I've never seen a more sorry bunch of "journalists" in my life.

Good for Ryan Clark.

Chip said...

Some of you people have either never lived in Pittsburgh are yinzer Steeler worshipers, or haven't read a newspaper/listened to the radio in 25 years.

The Pittsburgh sports media is ridiculously easy on the Steelers. They practically act like they're P.R. agents. Nothing they do is ever wrong. Everything they do is A-OK. Half the crap these idiot players do gets swept under the rug or minimized. No wonder why Yinzer Nation thinks the Steelers are the nicest, most honorable, most morally superior team in the history of professional sports.

What a laugh. This losing streak has finally exposed certain players on the team for what they really are. Whiny crybabies or arrogant self-important assholes. BUT NO! IT'S THE MEDIA'S FAULT!

Pfft. This makes me laugh. I'm glad Clark is a free agent after this year. Good riddance to that piece of garbage.

Steve said...

Yup, obviously Clark has never been to Philly either. Well, his wish may soon be granted and he can see what that's like next season while he's reading those papers after an Eagles loss, or better yet, listening to the moronic half-literate fans calling in to the local sports radio shows there any given day. Even Bobby Clarke is laughing at Ryan Clark's comments.

4th ranked defense? Excuse me while I vomit. The fact that they are still ranked that high tells me rankings me absolutely nothing and are based on meaningless stats. They need to come up with an SFR (Suck Factor Ratio) stat that combines more crucial situational stats like MLB has with OBP and SLG percentage. You know, combine important things like pass plays of over 20 yards, blown leads, multiple blown leads, interceptions (or lack of), 3rd - 4th down ineptitude and the most important stat: the percentage of QB rating improvement of any team facing you. I’m quite sure this would move them right to the bottom.

Sorry, but the media is right Ryan, the Steelers are losers and their 6-7 record confirms that…deal with it. You play like losers too and losses to the worst the NFL has to offer in the likes of the Chiefs, Raiders and Browns in a span of 4 weeks confirms that. If Ryan and the Steelers don't like the label "loser" well, he and his team mates can always do something about it.

Billkamm said...

We should hold them to a higher standard. It is the teams with a higher standard that win championships

BurressWithButterflywings said...

If Clark loves the Philly Fans and media, GO PLAY THERE. Just wait and see, those people booed Santa Claus for Christ's Sake.

Look, I know the fans and the media are harsh, but here is a reality check for him: THE FANS PAY YOUR INFLATED SALARY! Every seat in that stadium is sold every week. Every beer and hot dog and nachos and pop sold within those doors go towards his salary.

Unlike Clark, I have a real job. One where I had to actually try for four years in college, which my parents and I still pay for every month and will pay for another 12 years. When I screw a tax return up, I hear about it from the people who pay my salary because that is how the world works. These athletes make me want to puke. They get a free education, then hold fans and owners hostage because they need to make enough money in 10 years to last the rest of their life because 90% of them aren't qualified to work a curbside pick up detail.

Maybe Clark should spend less time worrying about fans and media and more time figuring out how NOT to drop INTs and how NOT to whiff on big hits and form tackles. There is no tap dancing around the fact that this team is underachieving and anybody who watched that Cleveland abortion last thursday could plainly see that Steelers looked like they were jogging in place. They have lost to the 3 worst teams in the NFL and Clark has contributed dick to change that result.

I guess I have to cancel my order of the Special Edition Ryan Clark jersey complete with burn marks over the back numbers because I don't want to see him get any royalties.

okel dokel said...

I would not give him the Rant of the Year award yet. There are a few weeks left and if they continue this level of play I am sure someone else will rant on as well.

He has obviously never experienced the Philly media and fanbase. He should ask Donovan McNabb.

Someone Somewhere said...

Whoa boy...

WAAHHH the media is criticizing us.

WAAAHH the Steelers are losers.

WAAAHH professional athletes make so much money they should just shut their mouth, live with the criticism and's part of the job.

Now that everyone is pissed off at everyone else, the full meltdown is officially in effect. Maybe it's a good thing Ryan Clark won't be talking to the media anymore. This isn't going to end well...for Steeler fan. I'm sure Clark will be just fine as he'll go somewhere else and get paid to be mediocre when not playing next to an all-pro safety next year.

Welcome to an 8 game losing streak, 6-10 and a top 10 draft pick Pittsburgh. Maybe Eric Berry or Joe Haden will still be around when the Steelers pick and they can safely move on from the Bill Gay experiment.

Brando said...

Of all things to compare Pittsburgh to . . . Philly? Philly gets friendlier coverage? Really?

I think Ryan Clark has no idea what its really like in Philly.

The Abiding Dude said...

100% agree with Clark...I was shocked to see Mondesi agree with the writers of this town to be honest. I thought surly you would have a better grasp of this situation than the one the media is broadcasting. The "journalists" of this cith blow. God I wish new blood would fill the papers with a refreshing young breath of perspective. The old timers are outdated and need to retire (and I thought Smizik did retire, why the hell does he still blog???)

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Ryan Clark is 100% right, they are playing excellent football. They really showed that by trouncing some high-level competition over the last 5 weeks. And since nobody can do what they do, nobody should ever be able to call them out. They are all perfect. He hasn't missed 25 big hits and tackles this year or been totally exposed without a super-human SS playing next to him. Or have 1 freaking interception through 13 games at Free Safety.

How dare the fans want the players earning ludicrous salaries to win games?

Hell, we should pay him more so the people with season tickets can take out 3rd mortgages on their house now and the "fairweather" casual fans can only afford to buy half a jersey for $75.00 that way nobody will EVER say anything bad about professional athletes and how wonderful and God-like they all are.


The Abiding Dude said...

funny how they rail on him about taking criticism better yet they are not taking criticism from him either. He was appreciative of their loyalty but wished they would tone it down a bit.

SantoGold said...

Abiding Dude: I couldn't agree with you more about the sports journalists in this town and the cozy relationship they have with the athletes, especially the Steelers. Ed Bouchette is the most condescending, arrogant lapdog of them all who acts as if any question posed by a fan is beneath him. New blood is very much needed.

But with that said, I don't see what the media or the fans did in this instance that was so wrong. The defending SBowl champs and one of the favorites to get there again are on a 5 game losing streak against some pretty sorry teams. Everyone on the team is going to get heat because of that. And that makes the media turds? I mean, they are turds, but for that reason?

The Abiding Dude said...

Santo: I totally hear ya, I really do...I consider myself a decent fan. I rode the Pens all the down years (Tarnstrom was the leading goal scorer for Christ's sake) and have only recently totally given up on the Pirates (that is just a lost cause and it is too painful too put up with anymore), but even with this skid of losses lately to mediocre teams (at best) is not a reason to bury this team in the criticism they are receiving. I have heard gripes that the Tomlin hiring needs to be reconsidered. Are you kidding me!!!??? I don't know, it just seems fairweather fans make up the majority of this city's fandom and it is sickening to hear the gripes that go on. We are spoiled fans. We really are. Most NFL franchises would give anything to be in the position this team is. We just hate on them though. Makes no sense. So we are having a down year, no reason to just change everything aboutt this team. Minor adjustments will be needed, sure, but some of the ideas that comeout of peoples minds is just absurd. That is my point, people just go way too far (and are serious about it!!!).

BurressWithButterflywings said...


In the immortal words of Cousin Eddie: BINGO!

BurressWithButterflywings said...

A down year, a losing season, that is one thing.............. I am sorry but this is just unbearable.

If we were 6-7 and had big losses against some of the better teams out there this year, I wouldn't feel the same way as I do right now.

I think that Tomlin is getting criticism for talking big and not backing it up and such things say A LOT about character. If you say you're going to make changes, make changes. If you fail, you can say you tried. If you dont make the changes and still fail, then people star to take issue.

The Abiding Dude said...

Tomlin is right losing kills the team and unity. Losing that line up of teams is brutal and has to make it even worse.

Steve said...

My idea of fairweather fans are the ones who only care or show interest at all when their team wins. You know the kind: "What, they're in the playoffs? Hmmm, maybe I'll start paying attention. What's a TE do?" I found they are usually geeky bookworm types who own many cats and watch the Sci-Fi channel.

The word "Fan" is short for fanatic and by definition, anyone fanatical about a sports team should care just as much if they lose or win and show it by cheering, or jeering their teams just as equally. Since when did being a fan mean only looking at the positives while allowing the obvious failures to get a free pass? Sorry, I'm a fan, not a groupie, or cultist.

If I weren't a Steelers fan I wouldn't be slamming them right now, or waste my life reading every piece written about them since I was old enough to care which includes this nightmare of a season as well. If Clark wants everyone to back off fine, He just shouldn't expect those same people to come running when they decide to show up for once the rest of the season. If he's ok with that then maybe everyone should just stay home, turn the TV off and read a book. After all it's not us who pay his salary, it's the Rooneys, right?

AJ said...

Hines Ward is just happy that this time it wasn't him getting thrown under the bus for having a big mouth.

bohica said...

Well, you really can't have it both ways Ryan. Sally Wiggin said it herself, when the Steelers make news, they are THE news.

You can't have them blow you 24-7 when things go well, and can't expect them to keep blowing you when you are down.

I love the Steelers, Pens, Panthers, and Buccos but I moved out of the city almost 10 years and now I know why some Pens fans have such angst towards the Steelers and "yinzers".

All that being said, the coverage they get is rediculous, their beat writers except for maybe Prisuta are crotchety has-beens, and Prisuta may still lack credibility over his false head coach story.

Here is what it all boils down to...stop whiffing on tackles, hold a lead, cover a kick, and just play better you scrub!

BurressWithButterflywings said...

@Steve and Bohica:

Amen, exactly my thoughts.

Kevski said...

@Someone Somewhere: Who's Eric Berry? Is he related to Pitt corner Aaron Berry? If he is Aaron's cousin I hope he got some more of the talent gene's in the family, because Aaron isn't exactly Rod Woodson.

Someone Somewhere said...

Eric Berry is a cornerback for Tennessee. I don't know if he is any relation to the CB from Pitt.

Anonymous said...

Eric Bery and Aaron Berry, not related.

Also Eric Berry is a top 5 pick if he comes out, very doubtful he falls to us. Haden on the other hand may work out nicely. I like Robinson from FSU also.

bohica said...

I have season tickets for FSU, I don't want Patrick Robinson. He is like Ike Taylor 2, the Legend of Curly's Gold.