Kind of a long article so I'll just post up a snippet of it. Interesting to see how other Steeler fans think of this standoff situation.
This standoff, for Steelers fans, feels scientifically unnatural, north pole opposite north pole, the region's beloved player opposite the region's beloved team. Wide receiver Hines Ward swears he won't play football this season until the Steelers offer him a suitable contract extension, and the Steelers swear they won't negotiate a suitable contract extension until Ward plays football.
The desires of both sides wrap a force field around everybody who cares to watch. Fans instinctively pick sides, because that's what fans do, and what's the point of even having a season if you can't debate every point along the way? But still, they are conflicted, arguing sides at dinner tables, breaking into hushed debate at business meetings, reading Internet message boards to learn where others mark the line between right and wrong.
Fans call Ward the heart of the team; they call the Steelers the heart of the city. When, suddenly, the player and the team can no longer coexist, harmony breaks apart. And Steelers fandom divides.
here's the rest