Before the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the Kansas City Chiefs, no one gave the Steelers a chance and for good reason. The Steelers struggled all year and squeaked into the playoffs thanks to the worst team in the NFL winning a game and a coach being oblivious about when to call a timeout.

Even Ben Roethlisberger admitted they had no chance but the Steelers finished seventh in the AFC and that put them in the playoffs. And even if that means an embarrassing loss on national TV to an actual Super Bowl contender, it’s better than the other 18 teams who didn’t make it to the playoffs.

So when the Steelers expectedly lost big to the Chiefs, former Cleveland Browns great Joe Thomas decided to turn the screws on his rival by congratulating them on their “playoff participation trophy.” Thomas wound up taking a knife to a gunfight because Steelers great Brett Keisel responded and pointed out that Thomas never actually got one of those “participation trophies” during his time with the Browns.

Keisel is a two-time Super Bowl champion so he could’ve flexed by showing off his rings but this was such a basic and lethal burn that it’s top notch.

Maybe Thomas has a reason to be upset because he retired before the NFL expanded the playoffs but even if that was the case, Thomas would’ve only made the playoffs in his rookie season. Even so, watering down the playoffs to create a situation where we get horrible mismatches like this (and others this weekend) isn’t exactly a Steelers problem, it’s an NFL problem.

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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