A first Larry Foote wishes he hadn't seen

PITTSBURGH -- Steelers fans have long made their presence felt at away games because of their willingness to travel and the team's national following.

So imagine linebacker Larry Foote's surprise when the script was flipped last Sunday and Lions fans turned out in droves at Heinz Field.

"There was a lot of blue in there," Foote said on Friday. "The weather probably had something to do with it, but I've never seen that before from another team and they were loud."

Foote, a 12th-year veteran who is on injured reserve, said even when Pittsburgh went 6-10 in 2003 that Steelers fans still packed Heinz Field.

The announced crowd last Sunday was 57,905, and a noticeable number of fans left at halftime because of a steady rain and the barrage of scoring that the Lions unleashed in the second quarter.

The Lions scored 27 points in the quarter to take a seven-point lead into halftime, but the Steelers shut them out in the second half to win 37-27.

The Steelers, who are 4-6 and only one game out of the race for the second wild-card berth in the AFC, play back-to-back road games before returning to Heinz Field on Dec. 8.

They could well be 6-6 when they host the Dolphins for a 1 p.m. game.

Or they could be 4-8.

It will be interesting to see how Steelers fans respond as far as attending the Dolphins game if the team falters in Cleveland or Baltimore.

Foote said his issue isn't with all Steelers fans over the turnout for the Lions game, "but the people who got rid of those tickets."

His hope for Steelers fans who don't want to go to the remaining home games?

"Don't sell your tickets," Foote said. "Give them away (to Steelers fans)."