When the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Ryan Shazier from Ohio State with their first round pick of the 2014 NFL draft, there was a great deal of excitement over the speed and athleticism Shazier showed in both his college tape and his combine numbers.
Shazier made headlines in his first rookie camp, OTA's and training camp as Dick LeBeau and Mike Tomlin considered him as a potential starter in the Steelers' defense before the preseason even began.
But what made smaller headlines was a little known prediction Shazier made in regard to the coming success of Pittsburgh's professional sports teams that was covered by our own Neal Coolong:
While Shazier did not call any specific year for either three of Pittsburgh's teams, this is a bold prediction to make for any city to be able to pull off in such a short span of time.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are just one win away from fulfilling their part in Shazier's prediction. While the Pirates still have still yet to make it to the National League Championship Series in this generation and the Pittsburgh Steelers have not seen the AFC championship since 2009, both teams are full of young and developed talent and could be on the cusp of having some great seasons in the near future.
For the Penguins; however, the future could be now.
Pittsburgh will be buzzing as the Penguins host game five of the Stanley Cup Finals with a 3-1 series lead over the San Jose Sharks, and their first opportunity to close out a Stanley Cup championship since 2009. Should the Penguins win, it will be the first time since 1960 that Pittsburgh would win a championship during a game played in Pittsburgh. The last time it happened was Bill Mazeroski's walk-off home run to defeat the New York Yankees in the World Series at Forbes Field.
Since then, Pittsburgh's teams have won two more World Series, six Super Bowls and three Stanley Cups, but all of these championships were won either in the opposing teams' stadiums or at the always neutral site of the Super Bowl.
Shazier can see one-third of his prediction come true tonight should the Penguins defeat the San Jose Sharks, but the other two-thirds will have to wait...hopefully not too long either.