Feb 072011
 
In 1996 (I think), after the Steelers lost Superbowl XXX to the Dallas Cowboys, I remember reading a rather whimsical letter to the editor of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explaining the city’s role in the sports world.┬áHe detailed a nameless individual who made a deal with the Devil decades earlier, which setup Pittsburgh’s great sports successes – the Steelers’ Superbowls, the Pirates’ World Series titles, Pitt’s and Pennstate’s MNCs and the Penguins’ Stanley Cup runs. In the past forty years, Pittsburgh’s professional sports teams have collected 11 championships; fourth behind LA, NYC and Boston. Not bad for having only three of the four major US Sports and the 22nd largest market in the country

The Devil in the details, so to speak, was a clause that Pittsburgh’s teams would also suffer mind-numbing, spirit-crushing losses as well. Caveat emptor, after all. Pittsburghers can recall these losses pretty well today, I think, so I won’t detail them here. When asked why this proviso was called The Cabrera Factor, the Devil simply grinned and walked away.