Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why I'm a Pirates Fan

Pat over at WHYGAVS (words I've been using probably a little too often recently) has a fantastic post regarding the championship match up in the Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament. If you don't know, it's WHYGAVS going head to head against BucsDugout to take the crown away from the reigning champ, The PensBlog (go vote!).

It's just a random internet voting contest, but it really is unbelievable that the two final blogs are Pirates oriented. It's really easy to write off this franchise because of it's recent history (17 years) and current state, but I think this really demonstrates the passion for baseball not just in Pittsburgh, but for Pirates fans in general (yes, there are actually some Pirates fans out there who do not currently live in Pittsburgh).

The Pirates, after all, are the city's oldest sports franchise (by far) and have won five championships in their history. Some of the all-time greats have worn Pirate uniforms: Wagner, Clemente, Stargell, Bonds, Kiner, Waner, Traynor, and Mike Benjamin (just kidding about that last one). This is a storied franchise that has been around a lot longer than the past 17 years, and people do connect with that, young and old (no matter what Bob Smizik says).

But that's really besides the point. I remember listening to a podcast between Dave Dameshek and DJ Gallo in which they were discussing Pittsburgh sports. Gallo brought up the whole notion about being from Pittsburgh and the obligation towards supporting local franchises just because of birth place (I believe his actual words involved, "I mean, if the Pittsburgh Opera was just terrible, should I be following it and supporting it just because I do the same with everything else Pittsburgh?").

It was a legitimate question to ask. Life is short, and in these times, so is money. So you have to allocate your resources accordingly. Being a Pirates fan is an intense commitment; each game is about three hours long, and there's 162 games.

But besides my obvious support of the current direction of the club, my question to most is, what else are you going to do? If you're taking the time you might be watching a Buccos game and spending it more worthwhile (reading, socializing... God, there are so many more productive things to do than watch sports), I applaud you, and I just wish I had your same discipline and motivation.

But if you're like me, and your life is dependent on sports (particularly Pittsburgh sports), not only do I say God help you, but more importantly, what else are you going to do? Are you going to throw away your blood and heritage because of a bad run of management? Are you going to root for the Phillies, or even worse, the Indians?

This is a shitty argument, and when I was thinking out this post it seemed a lot more coherent and convincing. I mean, no one should invest anything based on the conclusion of, "Well, you got nothing else."

But if you're not going to listen to the logical arguments me and other Pirate bloggers (including BucsDugout and WHYGAVS) present about the current direction of the PBC, then really, this is my only other option.

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