Monday, July 18, 2011

An Open Letter to Non-Bandwagon Pirates Fans

By Artistry

Dear Long-Suffering Pittsburgh Pirates Fans:

We notice you are feeling pretty good about yourselves these days, and undertstandably so.  Finally, you are getting your due.  At long last, you are being recognized for your resilience and your unwavering loyalty to the Buccos.  You have endured 18 straight losing seasons, and now when you walk down the street people feel obliged to stop what they're doing and applaud as if you're returning from duty in Afghanistan.  Richly deserved.  You are members of very, very, very exclusive club:  the Non-Bandwagon Pittsburgh Pirates Fans.

Big Hand.
Just to be clear, we at GTOG are not qualified for membership.  It's possible blog co-founder Finesse has never made it through the sixth inning of a baseball game.  I can't say for sure.  The peak of my Pirates fanhood probably came in about 1986, when Johnny Ray was the team's best player, we were awed by the power hitting potential of one Mike Diaz and encouraged by the promise of a fresh-faced Bob Kipper.  Seriously, those were my guys. 

Childhood Hero
The Bucs' string of early 90's success coincided with my college years, there was no baseball package available at that time, and so my fanhood actually diminished a bit during that stretch.  Does this make me a pre-Non-Bandwagon Non-Bandwagon fan?  I don't know.  It doesn't matter.  Because this day is about you. 

Think about what you have accomplished.  Instead of doing something to make yourself happy, learning a new language, or curing cancer, you watched some 26,000 innings of losing baseball.  You refused to acknowledge that the sport was actually better with steroids and cocaine.  You talked yourself into guys like Bobby Hill and Andy LaRoche, even as the Yankees were throwing $20 million at utility players.  And here we thought we were making an entirely rational and completely justifiable position not to pay attention to any of it.* 

Now, as we look for a seat on the Bandwagon with the understanding that we are still not obligated to watch an entire game, we ask for your indulgence.  Don't dismiss us out of hand.  We know we need to earn our seat at the table.  Kindly show us the patience you usually reserve for Pedro Alvarez when he is batting .208.  Open your hearts.  Embrace the fact that we're asking you what the score was last night when it's possible the team didn't even play.  Invite us over to watch a game.  We'll bring beer, and we'll almost definitely be late.

Respectfully Submitted,

* We were busy watching the Penguins lose like 200 games in four seasons pre-Crosby.

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