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TPOP Turns 1 — A Quick Look Back

In August of 2014, Steve and I were at a Pirate game with my two of my brother-in-laws. I was discussing how much I liked the concept of Grantland (R.I.P. Grantland) and how it would be cool to do a Pittsburgh-centric version of Grantland. We were brainstorming some ideas, along with input from my brother-in-laws, and thought it could become a great place to discuss Pittsburgh sports and share some of the urban planning concepts that we espouse.

After a couple of weeks exchanging ideas over email, we decided to start our own website. But what to call it? I was dead-set on 6th and Grant, because that intersection in downtown Pittsburgh is where politics (City Hall on Grant) and baseball (6th Avenue is the Clemente Bridge leading to PNC) intersect. Plus it was a nod to my inspiration of Grantland. Steve…had some other ideas for the name. I think Pour One Out For Sophie and Yinzer Soapbox were heavily discussed. One night he stopped out to my house to plan the site out and we were debating different names. My wife was half-listening/half-not and just casually suggested, “What about The Point of Pittsburgh?” And that was that.

Some of the initial concepts from that brainstorming night made it to what is now The Point of Pittsburgh. Some did not. In our one short year that started with our Saturday 12/13/14 debut (couldn’t resist the numerology aspect), we have written over 330 articles, with at least one up every Monday to Friday for your reading pleasure. This venture wouldn’t be possible without all the other great writers we’ve discovered and brought on board. Here are our Top 10 favorite articles of the past year:

  1. How Much An MLB Prospect Value Is Worth — Updated Trade Surplus Values | This article put us on the map, right out of the gate on our first day live. This article gets referenced all the time on national websites, especially around the key trading points of the season and offseason.
  2. The Light Rail North Concept | When two baseball dorks realize they have other ideas in common besides baseball. We’ve presented this concept in person to various City and Allegheny County officials over the past couple of years and will continue to advocate for it.
  3. Not Just A Giant Duck : Raising Pittsburgh’s Architectural Standards | Ben has only contributed three articles to TPOP, but I look forward to each one when he tells me he’s working on something.
  4. A Visit with Kevin Sousa And the Game-Changing Superior Motors | After meeting with chef Sousa and hearing his vision for revitalizing Braddock through the power of food, I’m pulling for this venture to be successful.
  5. Restructuring Centre/Baum Corridor | Early on in the discussions about TPOP, Steve said, “I’m going to do my illustrations in crayon”. And sure enough he followed through on it. But this article is a well-thought out piece of civil engineering, from the one of us that isn’t the civil engineer.
  6. How #PartyHard Spoke And The Penguins Listened | Sports teams are pretty much faceless, mega-corporations at this point. But Leah showed how one Twitter user had an idea to change the Penguins’ goal scoring song and built a movement out of it.
  7. The NFL Moving To Europe Before Toronto Is Ludicrous | The NFL seems deadset on putting a square peg into a round hole by putting a franchise in London. Our Toronto-based writer, Connor, asks why.
  8. Gus The Ice Ball Guy — Memories That Don’t Melt | On a site filled with sports articles that have been cross-referenced all over the place, this article remains our 6th most popular article. It spread like wildfire on Facebook, as both displaced Pittsburghers and those still here like to share the good memories of this North Side legend.
  9. Why The Pirates Should Rush Jameson Taillon | With Pirate fans pre-programmed to understanding the ramifications of the Super 2 deadline, Steve shows why with Tommy John survivors it’s best to get as much out of them as soon as possible.
  10. AJ Burnett Seeks Career Closure And Redemption | This article was written pre-season about Burnett, who went on to have a magnificent season that would have been even better had he not been hurt at the end. Burnett has carved out a place in Pittsburgh lore, as evidenced by the Bat-signal phenomenon late in the year.

That’s not to say that our other writers not mentioned here haven’t produced great work, too. I edit each article before it gets published and, in all honesty, I’ve been pleased with every one before I’ve scheduled it to be published.

Please let us know in the comments if you have some suggestions on how The Point of Pittsburgh can continue to improve in 2016 and beyond. What were your favorite articles of the year? Steve and I thank you for reading and for sharing TPOP articles with your friends.

Nerd engineer by day, nerd writer at night. Kevin is the co-founder of The Point of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Creating Christ, a sci-fi novel available on Amazon.