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Pittsburgh Tuesday takes

| Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

What a mess: Some scoffed at our suggestion that the Pittsburgh Steelers would be worse than last year and go 6-10 this year. After Sunday's embarrassing 16-9 loss to Tennessee, we're starting to feel as if we were too optimistic. And adding insult to ineptitude are the losses of starting center Maurkice Pouncey and linebacker and defensive leader Larry Foote. They're out for the season. One can only wonder if a certain offensive coordinator isn't long for this team if things don't quickly get turned around.

The end?: The Pirates were swept out of first place in the National League Central over the weekend by the St. Louis Cardinals. Now the Battlin' Bucs are struggling to hold onto second place in the division, tussling with the Cincinnati Reds. And the collapse couldn't have come at a worse time — for the Pirates in the heat of the pennant race or for The Toledo, Ohio, Block Bugler, which editorialized Friday that the Pirates' expected first winning season in two decades, and after a dozen years in PNC Park, is a solid argument for taxpayer-funded stadiums. And the Award for Most Serpentine Logic in Defense of a Taxpayer End Around goes to ... .

Just so you know: Citing Census Bureau data, Business Insider says half of the United States is clustered in 146 of the biggest counties out of more than 3,000 counties. Among them, Allegheny County. We're not sure what value this information has other than to allow folks to say “We're one of 'em.”

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