IF CHRISTMAS CHEER seems in short supply, we can blame 1) the lingering effects of the recession, 2) the early snows of December, 3) the end of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s term leaving cartoonist Rob Rogers with no cause to draw a juice box again or 4) the Steelers not having a good year. The research favors choice No. 4. Michael Lewis and Manish Tripathi, marketing professors from Emory University who analyzed fan emotions during the 2012 NFL season, say Steelers fans are the saddest in the country after their team loses. By studying Twitter and categorizing tweets after a loss, the researchers found that only 33.1 percent of tweets from the Pittsburgh area were positive, the lowest percentage of any NFL team. It has come to this: All we want for Christmas is a non-losing season.
CHEER UP, there’s more to life than football. Ask Albert Lexie, 71, who retired on Tuesday after more than 30 years of shining shoes at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, a two-day-a-week job that required him to take two buses from his home in Monessen. Since 1981, Mr. Lexie has donated about a third of his earnings to the hospital’s Free Care Fund — more than $200,000. “I wanted to see the kids get well ... ,” he said. “I was pretty happy, you know, I made myself happy.” That’s the spirit. Still, it would make a lot of people happy if the Steelers beat the Green Bay Packers today.
KIDS GO to Santa with their wish list; Mayor-elect Bill Peduto and 15 other recently chosen mayors went this month to see President Barack Obama in the White House. When it came his turn to speak, he asked for help on these initiatives: providing universal pre-kindergarten education; boosting small businesses in struggling neighborhoods; expanding an energy-saving program to make Pittsburgh the first U.S. city with LED-only street lighting; and obtaining amendments from the Environmental Protection Agency to allow for more environmentally friendly improvement plans. That would make us happy.