PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – It’s hard to believe, but 2016 is nearly over.
Before we turn the calendar to 2017, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest sports stories in Pittsburgh over the past year.
10. Jung Ho Kang
Jung Ho Kang returned from an ugly knee injury this year, but his biggest headlines came away from the ballpark.
In June, Kang was accused of sexually assaulting a Chicago woman in a hotel room. She says he gave her an alcoholic drink that made her lose consciousness. Then, she remembers him sexually assaulting her. She says she later regained full consciousness in a taxi cab.
Police say she took a rape kit at the hospital. The report indicates her injury extent was “minor.”
In September, police were still trying to get in contact with her to ask more questions about the alleged assault.
Things continued to get worse for Kang in December when he was arrested and charged for an alleged DUI in South Korea.
Kang allegedly tried to flee after causing a crash, which was caught on camera.
Jeeho Yoo, a sports writer based in South Korea, writes that Kang’s blood alcohol content was 0.084 percent.
Now, he may lose his license because this latest incident would reportedly subject him to a “three strikes” law. He had previously been arrested for DUI in 2009 and 2011.
He later issued a statement to apologize for his “irrevocable” mistake.
9. Bradshaw-Tomlin Controversy
Terry Bradshaw caused a stir just before Christmas with some critical comments about Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.
Terry Bradshaw voiced his opinion on Mike Tomlin on the Fox Sports 1 show “Speak for Yourself”.
After co-host Jason Whitlock said, “I still think Mike Tomlin still needs to prove he’s a great coach,” Bradshaw chimed in, saying. “I don’t think he’s a great coach at all.”
Bradshaw called him a “nice” coach and “a great cheerleader guy.” He went on to say Tomlin’s name “never even pops into my mind” when considering great NFL coaches.
Tomlin took exception to the “cheerleader” comment.
During a press conference, Tomlin described the comment as “[falling] more into the area of disrespect and unprofessional.”
Then, he landed the haymaker.
“What do I know? I grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan. Hollywood Henderson in particular.”
For those wondering, Henderson was a linebacker for the Cowboys, who once said Bradshaw couldn’t spell the word cat “if you spotted him the C and the A.”
8. Jamie Dixon Leaves Pitt
In March, Jamie Dixon left the University of Pittsburgh to take the head coaching job at his alma mater, Texas Christian University.
Before leaving town, Dixon issued a statement affirming his love for the city and the university.
“I love Pittsburgh, and I’ll always love Pittsburgh. My kids were born here. I’ve had a lot of opportunities, a lot of different jobs open up, but this one just felt right. The timing was right, and I’m very good friends with the [TCU] athletic director, the chancellor,” said Dixon. “It just felt right. We’ve had a great run here in Pittsburgh, and I think Pitt’s in a great place, too. We’ve got five of our top seven, seven of our top nine coming back on an NCAA Tournament team.”
A couple of weeks later, Pitt hired former Vanderbilt University coach Kevin Stallings to replace Dixon.
7. Aliquippa Football Star Dies Of Cancer
In November, DiMantae Bronaugh passed away after a year-long battle with leukemia.
No. 24 was a star on the football field, but he was also a star in the hearts of many.
Last year, Bronaugh was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. After being in remission, the cancer returned this past August, denying him the chance to return to the football field. At that point, it was determined that he would need a bone marrow transplant.
When the community heard that, they pitched in to find a donor. Charlotte Heyward, mother of Steeler Cam Heyward, spearheaded an event in support of Bronaugh.
After his passing, many expressed their condolences including Cam, Mike Tomlin and James Conner.
Before his diagnosis, Bronaugh rushed for 1,200 yards and led his Aliquippa football team to the WPIAL Class AA title.
6. Steelers-Bengals Wild Card Game
In January, the Steelers and Bengals met for a playoff game fittingly played during the Wild Card round.
Needing a field goal to win. the Steelers got the ball back after Jeremy Hill fumbled. Pittsburgh recovered it at their own 9 with 1:23 left on the clock.
That’s when the Bengals completely imploded.
Pittsburgh moved into field goal position thanks to consecutive 15-yard penalties on the Bengals, one on linebacker Vontaze Burfict and another on cornerback Adam Jones. Burfict dropped his shoulder and hit a defenseless Brown in the helmet as the All-Pro receiver came across the middle, and Jones lost his cool after getting into with Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter when Porter came onto the field as Brown was being tended to by trainers.
Chris Boswell came on and drilled a 35-yard field goal with 14 seconds remaining to win the game.
Unfortunately, the Steelers’ season ended the following week when they lost 23-16 to the Denver Broncos.
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