Steelers really sparked a storied flow

This year represents a number of things in international sports.

To this reporter 2009 will be the year that storied franchises added another title to their trophy cases.

It all started in February when the Pittsburgh Steelers climbed the heap to earn their sixth championship in team history.

For the Steelers it would be no easy feat as the team just got by a determined Arizona Cardinals side in the Super Bowl and endured physical outings against San Diego and Baltimore in the playoffs.

Key to that success was an offense steadied by two-time champion Ben Roethlisberger and a stingy defense led by emotional tackler Troy Polamalu.

Basketball would be the next big sport to crown its champion in April as the Los Angeles Lakers secured another title.

The Lakers beat the Orlando Magic in five games in the NBA Finals to claim their 15th title (second-most in league history to the 17 won by the Boston Celtics).

For Lakers star Kobe Bryant the title, his fourth, vindicated his claim as one of the sport’s elite players.

Hockey saw the Pittsburgh Penguins make the Pennsylvania city a sports Mecca with its second major title in five months.

The Penguins would beat out the Detroit Red Wings via a tough seven game series in June that was a rematch of last year’s NHL Stanley Cup finals.

For the Pens Sidney Crosby would cement his role as the sport’s foremost star while giving the team its third title in history.

Over in baseball the New York Yankees, the most successful franchise in American sports, claimed their 27th title in November.

New York, thanks to the likes of pitcher Joba Chamberlain, would beat the Philadelphia Phillies (last year’s champion) in six games after beating the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the AL playoffs.