From the Top to the Pits: Steelers, Penguins on the Decline in Pittsburgh

Louis SklenarikContributor IIIMay 13, 2010

MIAMI - JANUARY 03:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins at Land Shark Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

The fall from grace seems so much more harsh when it is a sudden crash as opposed to a steady decline.


For the last few years the sports world has been slightly taken over by the city of Pittsburgh, with the exception of the Pirates of course. Don't hate on the poor Pirates though, they only haven’t had a winning season in 17 years.


Aside from that disaster, two other major sports teams have been defined by the city of Pittsburgh for a while now.


First you have the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are a year and a half removed from their sixth championship ring. They also won another title over the Seahawks when "The Bus" carried them to a victory in Super Bowl XL. They have won more Super Bowl's than any other NFL team, and were on top of the world just a short time ago. Now it would be nice to see a good thing about them when you turn on ESPN.

Last year was a disaster for the Steelers, as they joined the list of teams that struggle to back on track after winning a Super Bowl.


They finished the season strong, winning each of their last three games but failed to make the playoffs. Inconsistent play from their defense and their star quarterback was the main reason for the struggle. Speaking of their star quarterback, didn’t something happen with him this offseason?


The sex scandal involving Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger now only makes the underachieving team that much more interesting. Roethlisberger has a history of problems off the field, including a motorcycle accident that nearly claimed his life just a few years ago.


If I'm the Steelers, I'd take a hint. Yeah the guy won me two Super Bowls, but he makes more headlines off the field than on it. There are some signs that they might try to trade Big Ben, primarily the rumors floated around during draft time, but no such deal was made. The star QB also was suspended by the league for the first four games of the 2010 campaign, making it even harder on a Steelers team that goes into the season with high expectations after last year’s disappointment. Now maybe Mike Tomlin is on the hot seat if the Steelers down win? Only in the NFL.


Straying away from the NFL now, the Pittsburgh Penguins have shown dominance in the NHL for a few seasons now. Not being an avid NHL fan, I'm not sure about a lot of thing the Penguins have done over the last few years, but I do know about this Sidney Crosby guy.


The development on Sid the Kid has been a major reason for the Pen's success on the ice for a while now. The battle will always rage on for which was a better pick, Crosby or Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin? My pick will always be Crosby; he doesn’t score as much, but he’s more of a team player and also has a ring on his finger. They have also had solid play from Evgeni Malkin.


But a year removed from a Stanley Cup win, they were knocked out of the playoffs by an eight seed. Despite a convincing 6-3 win in the first game of the series, the Penguins failed to put away the Canadians who have now won two game sevens over the course of the playoffs.


So while every team falls eventually, these two teams have crashed particularly hard. Whether its destruction of your team off the field, or on the ice everyone falls sooner or later. Its just odd to see two potential dynasties fall so hard.