The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The State of Pittsburgh Sports

Has the city’s athletics hit a new low?
PNC Park, Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates (RUSSIANTEXAN on Openverse)

For the past few years in Pittsburgh, fans have grown frustrated with the sports teams’ lack of success. Ever since the Penguins’ Stanley Cup Championships in 2016 and 2017, the city has yet to see any success, let alone improvement. The Penguins’ decline, the Steelers’ consistent mediocrity, and the Pirates’ rebuild that has gone on for years have made Pittsburghers think that the city’s sports have hit a new low. A look into each teams’ current situation will show the direction of the city’s athletics

Pittsburgh Penguins

Out of Pittsburgh’s three professional teams, the Penguins definitely have the worst future ahead of them. With the legendary careers of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang coming to a close, the Penguins are going to have a long rebuild ahead of them. The hockey club missed out on the playoffs for the first time in 16 years last season and, as it stands, it looks like they will again.

With only a couple games left in the 2023-24 season, the Penguins are on the outside looking in on the second wild card spot behind the Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings and the Philadelphia Flyers. The Penguins sit with 86 points with remaining games against the Nashville Predators and the New York Islanders. Crosby has led the team into an elite playoff push after being considered down and out, but they need two wins to get their spot.

A consistent theme with the Penguins this season has been blown leads turning into overtime losses. Without those, Pittsburgh would likely be in the Metropolitan Division’s third spot. 

Pittsburgh Steelers

It seems that the Steelers have settled for mediocrity. The oft-touted stat that the Steelers have never had a losing season under Tomlin has grown frustrating for many fans. Many of Tomlin’s seasons have been nine- or ten-win seasons where the team sneaks into the playoffs and is swiftly eliminated by a much better team. For a coach so praised by the media one would think that he has many playoff runs under his belt, yet this is not the case.

The last Steelers playoff win was in 2017, and they’ve claimed only three in the last ten years. The Steelers have taken on a complete offensive rebuild this offseason by erasing their quarterback room and adding veteran Russell Wilson from Denver and Justin Fields from Chicago. They also hired Arthur Smith as their new Offensive Coordinator, replacing the horrific tenure of Matt Canada.

Hopefully, things begin to click for the Steelers as it has been a while since the team has had real success. 

Pittsburgh Pirates

Shockingly, the Pirates came out of the gates running, as they have racked up an impressive record of 11-5, having yet to lose a series. In 16 games, the Pirates have swept Miami, taken two of three from Baltimore and Washington, and split with Philadelphia and Detroit.

The past few seasons, the Bucs have gone on hot starts and then collapsed as the year went on. If the Pirates can stay healthy, then there is a real chance they can make the playoffs for the first time since 2015. As of now, Pittsburgh is tied at the top of the NL Central along with the Milwaukee Brewers, with the Cubs, Reds and the Cardinals not far behind. It is early in the season, but the impressive record they have built has brought some optimism to the city. 

Pittsburgh’s sports may not be as exciting as previous years, but to say that they have hit rock bottom might be a stretch. None of the teams are currently in full rebuild mode, but some changes need to be made to bring the “City of Champions” title back to Pittsburgh.

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About the Contributor
Thomas Thirkell
Thomas Thirkell, Staff Writer
Thomas Thirkell is a senior at NASH who loves watching college football and playing chess.

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