The Browns are coming to Pittsburgh on Sunday. Which means that Browns fans are coming to Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field on Sunday. Which means that many of them surely will be wearing Myles Garrett jerseys on Sunday.
On Tuesday, the Steelers denied reports that Garrett jerseys will be banned from the venue.
“A source close to the situation (me) confirmed these reports are absolutely false,” Steelers Director of Communications Burt Lauren said Tuesday on Twitter, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Likewise, the league denied that notion that the Browns-Steelers game was moved from 4:25 p.m. ET to 1:00 p.m. ET to reduce the likelihood that day-long alcohol intake will lead to ugly incidents between Browns and Steelers fans outside and inside the stadium where the game will be played.
“We had been in discussions for weeks about flexing the Chiefs-Raiders game to 4:25 p.m., before the incident [between the Browns and Steelers],” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Cabot. “When we made this announcement during a Monday night game the Chiefs were playing in, the Raiders were on a three-game winning streak and the top two teams in the AFC West were 6-4.”
Even if the goal was to alter the circumstances in order to provide less daylight hours for pre-game imbibing, it was smart. And there’s no reason for the league to tell the world of concerns that Browns and Steelers fans will fight, since airing out those concerns could make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Regardless, the ingredients will be in place for a potentially toxic stew between Browns and Steelers fans, and a full bottle of hot sauce could come from Browns fans wearing Garrett jerseys and/or other items of clothing aimed at baiting Steelers fans who remain upset over Garrett removing the helmet of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and bashing him over the head with it.