5. Pirates Commit Seven Errors vs. Cubs- The Bucs collapse was filled with blown leads and bad play, but this September game against the Cubs was symbolic of everything that was wrong with the Pirates the final two months of the season.
Matt Gajtka explains:
The Pirates’ loss to the Cubs in September when they committed seven errors is emblematic of the collapse, and maybe the entire 20 years of losing. That was a classic hide-your-eyes type of night that the 2012 Bucs had previously avoided. I don’t think I had much hope for the playoffs after that.
4. Steelers Commit Eight Turnovers vs. Browns- This one was just as bad as the Pirates throwing the ball around the field on that September night. But the Steelers turning the ball over eight times and losing to the Cleveland Browns was as bad as it could get, as was Mike Tomlin’s handling of the fumbling problems.
The Steelers’ eight-turnover game against the Browns stands out not because of the result, but the optics of it all. Dropping a game with your third-string quarterback in charge? Understandable. Losing by less than a touchdown to one of the league’s worst teams via countless self-inflicted wounds? Shameful.
3. Penguins Shelled in Playoff Series vs. Flyers- Usually you can depend on the Penguins for good moments, but not this season. Not in the playoffs. The Pens’ defense was awful and Marc-Andre Fleury imploded as the Pens fell behind in the series 3-0 to the hated Flyers. They did extend the series to six games, but as Gajtka explains, the writing was on the wall after Game 3:
Game 3 of the Pens-Flyers series was another low point for me. After that embarrassing display of goon hockey by the Penguins, Pittsburgh fans could no longer claim the moral high ground in a rivalry that often seemed like a battle for the soul of a sport: skill vs. intimidation. After that Sunday afternoon, the Penguins were officially one of “them.”
2. NHL Lockout- There’s not much explanation needed here. The lockout has meant no hockey in the city of Pittsburgh (and all other cities). Taking away a sport the fans love is a definite low point for the year.
1. Pirates Historic Collapse- But not even an NHL work stoppage can take the No. 1 spot away from the Pirates. For the second consecutive year, the Bucs teased fans. On July 28 the Bucs were 16 games over .500. They proceeded to do nothing significant at the trade deadline and the downward spiral began. The end result was a 20th consecutive losing season and they worst collapse in MLB history. The Pirates finished the season winning only 21 of their final 62 games and hands down take the top spot for worst Pittsburgh sports moment of 2012.
As you can see, the 2012 calender year wasn’t the best of times for the Pittsburgh sports fan. There is no hockey, the Steelers didn’t make the playoffs and the Pirates collapsed.
Hopefully as the calender changes to 2013, the fortunes Pittsburgh sports will change as well.
Contributing to article: Matt Shetler, Matt Gajtka, Zac Weiss and Drew Shetler