Tragedy struck the Post Cleveland newsroom Friday as an avid Steelers fan was killed by a fed-up co-worker.
Jeff Rollins, a 37-year-old page designer, was fatally stabbed by Rita Messner, a 28-year-old copy-editor, with a letter opener.
"It was an accident, I swear!" says Messner, who claims to have been reacting to Rollins' yelling about the Steelers.
"Where's your quarterback?" was the last thing Rollins ever yelled in anyone's ear- his most common means of communication.
Co-workers say they will miss Rollins, though most agree this was a long time coming.
"He's been bragging about the Steelers for the past three years, ever since he transfered from the Post Pittsburgh," recalled Daniel Randolph, reporter. "And he always trash-talked Cleveland. We're only six blocks from Browns stadium."
Rollins had increasingly taken "casual Fridays" as opportunities to express his loyalty to the Steelers, not only in his waredrobe but behavior as well.
"Jeff snuck up behind me at the urinal and screamed 'six Super Bowl rings, be-otch!'" said Randolph. "So yeah, I thought about stabbing him before."
Co-workers say Rollins' behavior was briefly tempered after the Steelers failed to make last season's playoffs, but resumed immediately after Super Bowl 44.
"He'd always be like, 'when's the last time Cleveland won a Super Bowl?' and I'd be like, 'I don't watch football,'" said Meredith Venear, copy-editor. "I hope they don't expect me to cover Rita's work."
Sports psychologists say this growing animosity toward obnoxious Steelers fans isn't limited to the lopsided Cleveland-Pittsburgh rivaly.
"The Steelers have millions of fans, everywhere you go," said Henry Thune, Ph.D., "and all of them act like they scored the last winning touchdown."
In Cleveland, Messner has only been charged with involuntary manslaughter for plunging the letter opener five times into Rollins' chest, and is expected to get no more than six months in jail.
"We'll welcome Rita back with open arms, maybe even a party," said editor Whit Blanke.