My Pittsburgh Sports Person Of The Year For 2014


In the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire,” for Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding, Jr, it was all about “Show Me The Money!” Here in the ‘Burgh, it is “Show Me The Playoffs!”

Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates made the playoffs for the second year in a row during the summer of 2014. Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers captured their first AFC North Division title since 2010 and make it back to the NFL playoffs to close out December 2014. Last, but not least this past year, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins made it to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs back in May before bowing out to the New York Rangers.

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They were impressive runs for the Pittsburgh faithful to savor and appreciate when they gather together to talk about their favorite Black and Gold teams.

As one of the co-editors for City Of Champions Sports, here is my choice for Pittsburgh Sports Person Of The Year for 2014.

All this quarterback did was help her team go undefeated for the fourth time in team history during the regular season, and make it through two rounds of the playoffs. But it did not stop there as Lisa Horton also led the Pittsburgh Passion to the 2014 Independent Women’s Football League Championship in July with a 41-7 victory over the Houston Energy.

The 5-foot-6, 36-year-old signal caller became the first quarterback in women’s football history to throw for 10,000 career passing yards this summer. She completed 91 of 162 for 1,526 yards, 17 touchdowns, five interceptions, and a 110.3 passer rating during the regular season. Horton also contributed 254 rushing yards on 35 carries and two touchdowns.

Congratulations again to head coach and co-owner Teresa Conn, Horton, and the rest of the Passion for bringing the trophy back to Pittsburgh.

My Runner Up: Dan McCoy of the Team USA Sled Hockey squad. The 5-foot-4, 145-pound forward was a member of the lineup that brought home the gold at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. He is also a two-time International Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship medalist, winning gold in 2012 and silver in 2013.

The Cheswick, Penna. native is a four-time U.S. National Sled Hockey team member from 2010 to 2014 and attends the University of Pittsburgh.

Time to check out the rest of the best for 2014 in the Steel City.

My Pittsburgh Pirate Of The Year – Andrew McCutchen in 146 games and 548 at-bats got the job done for the Jolly Roger crew as he led the team in home runs with 25, runs scored with 89, and RBI’s with 83. His .314 batting average was second only to Josh Harrison’s .315 among position players.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound center fielder from Fort Meade, Florida was a 2014 National League All-Star, earning his third Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award in a row.

Honorable Mention: Josh Harrison, who stablized the infield with his play at third base in taking over from an erratic Pedro Alvarez…Neil Walker, who posted a career high 23 home runs…Mark Melancon, who converted 33 of 37 save opportunities and struck out 71 while walking just 11.

My Pittsburgh Steeler Of The Year – Antonio Brown with 129 receptions and 1,698 receiving yards is the first Steeler to lead the National Football League in those categories.

The 5-foot-10, 186-pound Central Michigan product with 13 touchdowns is tied for second most in the league, for regular-season play, with Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson. Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys was first with 16 scores.

Honorable Mention: Roethlisberger, who showed in his 11th season that he is still capable of putting up career numbers…Le’Veon Bell, who is the breakout star of 2014 among NFL running backs, and was voted MVP of the squad by his teammates…Lawrence Timmons, from his right inside linebacker postion leads the team with 132 total tackles, 87 solo and 45 assisted, and has contributed two sacks.

My Pittsburgh Penguin Of The Year – Evgeni Malkin contributed six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 13 playoff games during the 2013-2014 season.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound center leads the team this season in goals with 16 and points with 41 in 37 games played. The 28-year-old from Magnitogorsk, Russia is third in the National Hockey League with eight power play goals.

Honorable Mention: No list of Penguins would be complete with the Captain, Sidney Crosby…Marc-Andre Fleury is off to a good start for the 2014-2015 season as he has put up six shutouts and a .928 save percentage this season…Olli Maatta, who had a solid rookie campaign in 2013-2014, and inspired us with his battle against cancer this season.

My Pittsburgh Riverhound Of The Year – Over the course of 23 games played, forward Jose Angulo led the team with eight goals and 16 points as the Hounds finished just five points behind the Harrisburg City Islanders for the final USL Pro playoff spot in 2014.

Honorable Mention: Goalkeeper Michael Lisch, who was on loan from the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer, went 7-6-3 with a 1.47 goals-against-average and 67 saves…Forward Michael Green contributed four goals and one assist for a total of nine points, which tied him with former teammate Collins John for second most points along the South Shore.

Now, let’s sit back, relax and see who achieves greatness in 2015! Let me know your choice for Pittsburgh Sports Person Of The Year in the comments section below.

Next: Making A Few Predictions For Pittsburgh Sports In 2015