Each and every new years, people all over the world set out goals for themselves that usually don’t come true. As sports fans, we have expectations and hopes for our teams leading into each season they start. Pittsburgh is a wonderful, successful city when it comes to innovation and sports. We expect the best and only the best from our teams. If the Steelers are 15-1, we say they should be 16-o and anything less than perfect isn’t enough for us. Being that it is 2011, what goals do you have for your teams in the area? Is it championship or bust? Or do you lower the goals and expectations to ensure they can meet them to make it a successful year? Is there one team you would prefer reach their goal than the other? Here are my goals and expectations I have set out for Pittsburgh teams in 2011.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Super Bowl Trophy – When you have more Super Bowl titles than anyone else in the history of the league, there can only be one acceptable goal and that is to bring home another Lombardi Trophy. No one gave the team a chance (besides Peter King) with the loss of Ben Roethlisberger for 4 games as well as the departure of Santonio Holmes. Not to mention the horrible Offensive line to begin with, lost their starting Tackles to make it even worse. Fans heard Flozell Adams and lost all hope. The biggest surprise on the team may be Adams emergence as a solid fixture on the line. He and Maurkice Pouncey, (one of the best 1st round picks in recent years…hmm sounds like a future article) the Pro Bowl Rookie have held this line together to protect Ben. The team has it’s weaknesses but heading into the playoffs as the number 2 seed (pending a shocking win by the Browns) gives the Steelers a week to rest and gives them a home game against the Jets or Ravens in all likelihood before facing the Pats. The Steelers have lost to all 3 teams this year but if anyone has shown they can overcome the odds before, it’s the Steel City’s finest, the Steelers.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Stanley Cup Trophy at Home – Granted, winning the Stanley Cup is the ultimate goal but can we for once raise it on our home ice? The team struggled early on but has been hot since thanks to Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang. The return of Jordan Staal to the ice at the Winter Classic only gives fans more hopes of the Penguins having another great run in the post season. Last year’s Game 7 loss to the Canadians was heart breaking but also for the first time in 3 years, allowed the team to get some rest in the offseason. They just looked sluggish at the end of the year. The Defense is playing great in front of Fleury, and Evgeni Malkin is starting to return to the form we expect. If we can take care of the Flyers and Capitals in the East, we could be looking at another cup and yes hopefully we can witness it at home.
Pittsburgh Pirates – win 82 games – Can you imagine the Yankees setting their goal at 82 games? Well it would be huge for the the team and for the City to finally see a winning team after 18 years of losing. The offense has the potential, the pitching isn’t great but stranger things have happened. With another year under their belts of playing together, this could finally be the year we see some kind of promise. Though, being a realist, I don’t think they’ll win more than 65 games this season, but I hope they prove me wrong. If not, there’s always 2012…..
Pitt Panthers Football – a) find a Coach for more than 3 weeks and b) win the Big East outright – Pitt’s going to find a Coach so let’s move onto the second point, that is winning the Big East. It is the worst BCS Conference that there is and if this years team couldn’t win it, when can they? To gain some respect and before TCU comes in to dominate, Pitt needs to take advantage of this next year and earn a BCS Bowl bid. The development of Quarterback Tino Sunseri and Defense End Brandon Lindsay will be a big factor as to how the team plays next year. Anything less than an outright title is a disappointment in my book.
Pitt Basketball – Final Four Birth – The Panthers are the best bang for your buck at home. They just don’t lose. Jamie Dixon has turned Pitt into a powerhouse and a destination that recruits want to actually come to. The only knock on him so far is that he can’t win the big game or get his team to the Final Four. It’s Pitt fans being Pitt fans. Sure we’d love to see them make it there and they have the talent each year to do so. Though this year’s team is slightly overrated, they still have the potential and expectation cut down the nets. Jim Boeheim waited 27 years before his first NCAA Championship and he is in the Hall of Fame. We would like to see Dixon get his squad over the hump but we can’t criticize him quite yet for not getting there.
What goals do you have for your team? Which one would you like to reach theirs more? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions.
About the Author
Written by Michael Waterloo
I'm currently pursuing my Master's degree in Communication and Journalism from Clarion University. I currently work for Ohio Valley Athletics where I serve as the West Virginia Football Beat Writer and cover West Virginia Men's Basketball as well. I'm a big Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers and Oregon Ducks fan. Follow me on Twitter at @MichaelWaterloo or visit www.ovathletics.com