Time for the year-ending sports quiz

PITTSBURGH — The garland is sagging, the cookies have crumbled and the caramels are all gone from the giant box of chocolates.

It’s almost time to put up the new calendar, to go back to work and school and to confront the bleak gloom of winter with no significant vacation time looming. Sigh.

Before dragging 2018 to the curb with the tree, though, it’s time to take one look back at the previous 12 months with the annual year-end quiz. Grab a pair of freshly-sharpened No. 2 pencils and have a go at the traditional dozen puzzlers.

(As always, scores will be graded on the Bob Kipper hanging curve).

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1. What has Clint Hurdle brought the Pirates?

a. An end to 20 years of losing.

b. Three consecutive postseason appearances.

c. The 162-game bad mood.

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2. It can be troublesome to misplace:

a. Glasses.

b. Keys.

c. Confidence in Bud Dupree.

n n n

3. What is the primary selling point for Pitt football tickets?

a. The excitement.

b. The tradition.

c. The elbow room.

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4. StubHub and SeatGeek have brought:

a. A new business plan.

b. Customer options.

c. Tickets that cost less than a stadium beer.

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5. What was the messiest high-profile breakup?

a. Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux.

b. Sean “Diddy” Combs and Cassie.

c. James Harrison and the Steelers.

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6. If you don’t like the way the Penguins are being coached, you might be:

a. A critic.

b. Hard to please.

c. Jim Rutherford.

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7. Sean Rodriguez was:

a. Overmatched.

b. Finished.

c. An actual downgrade from John Jaso.

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8. What was the least exclusive group?

a. Steelers Nation.

b. Notre Dame subway alumni.

c. Tweeters who thought a Chris Boswell “Oh, can’t kick” joke was hilarious.

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9. Who performed the best at Heinz Field?

a. Ben Roethlisberger.

b. JuJu Smith-Schuster.

c. Kenny Chesney.

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10. People on a sugar-restricted diet should avoid:

a. Desserts.

b. Breakfast pastries.

c. Dan Potash’s Penguins interviews.

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11. The Steelers need to identify:

a. Their draft priorities.

b. A free agent strategy.

c. What person thought Artie Burns was a good idea.

n n n

12. If you see Evgeni Malkin, you should:

a. Take a selfie.

b. Get an autograph.

c. Tell him the Penguins have been looking for him.

John Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com.