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Old 01-01-2008, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default Top local sports stories of '07

Top local sports stories of '07
By staff and wire reports
Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The top 10 local sports stories of 2007:

1. BILL COWHER RESIGNS AS STEELERS COACH

Jan 5:
After leading the Steelers to the fifth Super Bowl title in franchise history, Bill Cowher steps down as head coach to spend more time with his family.

Replacing Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll after the 1991 season, Cowher spends 15 years with the Steelers and leads them to 10 playoff appearances, eight division titles and six appearances in the AFC title game.

He later surfaces as an NFL studio analyst for CBS Sports.

2. PENGUINS SECURE NEW ARENA DEAL

March 14:
They were lured by Kansas City and rumored to be relocating to other points in the United States and Canada. But with a swipe of a pen, the Penguins reach a deal with city, county and state officials that will keep the team in Pittsburgh for 30 years. The agreement comes after years of haggling for a new arena and one week after the Penguins declare an impasse and renew discussions with officials from AEG, the company hired to operate Kansas City's Sprint Center.

3. STEELERS SELECT MIKE TOMLIN

Jan. 22:
The Steelers hand the coaching duties to Mike Tomlin, a relatively unknown, first-year defensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings. A long shot at the start of the interview process, Tomlin, 34, is so impressive that he beats out Russ Grimm and Ron Rivera for the job.

4. PITT STUNS WEST VIRGINIA

Dec. 1:
All No. 2 West Virginia has to do to reach the BCS national championship game is defeat unranked Pitt, a 28-point underdog. No problem, right? Pitt has other ideas and scores arguably the biggest upset in the 100-year history of the Backyard Brawl, sneaking past West Virginia, 13-9. WVU quarterback Pat White spends much of the game on the sideline, watching Pitt freshman running back LeSean McCoy run for a game-high 148 yards on 38 carries.

5. PIRATES FIRE DAVE LITTLEFIELD

Sept. 7:
With the Pirates careening toward its 15th consecutive losing season, new owner Bob Nutting pulls the plug on the Dave Littlefield regime, firing the seventh-year general manager. Littlefield is let go with one year remaining on his contract. Littlefield oversaw operations of a franchise with a 442-581 record under his watch, which was marred by bad spending decisions and questionable roster management.

6. KEVIN McCLATCHY YIELDS CONTROL OF THE PIRATES

July 6:
Six months after giving way to Bob Nutting as principal owner of the Pirates, Kevin McClatchy announces he will step down as the team's chief executive officer at season's end. McClatchy kept baseball in Pittsburgh, successfully pushed for PNC Park to be built on the North Shore and brought the 2006 All-Star Game to the city. But he was unable to pull the Pirates out of their long stretch of losing seasons. "I'll never be completely at peace with that," McClatchy said.

7. PITT BRINGS BACK STEVE PEDERSON

Nov. 30:
Proving that you can, indeed, go home again, Steve Pederson agrees to return as Pitt athletic director, a position he held from 1996-2002. Fired as AD at his alma mater, Nebraska, in October, Pederson is the first choice of Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg. The day he is hired, Pederson offers a contract extension to football coach Dave Wannstedt.

8. PENGUINS RETURN TO PLAYOFFS

March 27:
With a victory over the Washington Capitals, the Penguins clinch a spot in the NHL playoffs for the first time since 2001. The team would finish with 105 points, a 47-point improvement over the previous season and harbors high expectations for a long playoff run. But the Ottawa Senators eliminate the Penguins in a five-game, first-round series.

9. ANGEL CABRERA WINS U.S. OPEN AT OAKMONT

June 17: Nobody gave Angel Cabrera much of a chance to contend for the U.S. Open, not with Tiger Woods in the field. Not only does the pudgy Argentine golfer tame Tiger, he also conquers a difficult Oakmont Country Club layout to claim one of golf's major championships. Cabrera shoots a 1-under 69 on the final day and holds on for the win when Woods is unable to make a birdie down the stretch and Jim Furyk is unable to make a par.

10. CROSBY WINS MVP, SIGNS EXTENSION

July 10: Fresh from winning the scoring title, being named league most valuable player and becoming the youngest team captain in NHL history, hockey superstar Sidney Crosby is rewarded with a $43.5 million contract extension that will keep him with the Penguins through 2012-13. The deal is structured in a way that leaves room for the Penguins to re-sign Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Marc-Andre Fleury in coming seasons.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_545201.html
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Top local sports stories of '07

No PITT beats Duke? Come on.
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