Sports Magazine

Black n' Gold Blitz : For Pirates Fans .500 Can't Be Enough

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
The Pittsburgh Pirates are on the cusp of opening day and kicking off the 2013 season. All the experts have talked about possible expectations for the season, and of course, the dreaded 20 year losing streak always bubbles to the surface. Immediately after the streak gets brought up again, the past 2 seasons where the team has sank like the Titanic down the stretch is always sure to follow. With the constant attention to the "streak" and the team's recent failures, Pirates fans have been worn down to a stump. Fans are left asking themselves what is there to be excited about?

I must say that as a Pirates fan I find it shockingly awful when I hear fellow fans say "All I want is a .500 season!" At what point has mediocrity become okay? Maybe as Pittsburgh fans we are spoiled. After all, the Steelers have more Super Bowl titles than anyone else in the NFL, the Penguins have won the Stanley Cup 3 times, and this once proud franchise of the Pittsburgh Pirates has now accepted losing and mediocrity. There have been numerous articles written about the "potential" this team has, and the fact that it is a patchwork team is an understatement. However, are these players the every day "lovable losers" or are they the team that is going to change the trend in Pittsburgh? Turning PNC Park into a house HOPE and less of a house of HORRORS.

If you are reading this, then you are a Pirates fan, but if for some reason you don't know the rich history of the franchise, let me refresh your memory. The Pirates have won the World Series 5 times, and have produced some very memorable names that are now adorned in Cooperstown, NY (the Baseball Hall of Fame). Willie Stargell, Honus Wagner, Bill Mazeroski, Ralph Kiner, and the great Roberto Clemente - just to name a handful of the 40+ players who have worn the 'P' on their hats for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This once proud franchise has been dwindled down to kindling the last 20 years. As sad as it is, I can still tell you the entire starting rotation and roster of the 1992 team that lost in the NLCS to the Braves...and I was only 9 years old.

Pittsburgh is a proud town. Proud of their heritage, and proud of their sports teams. Believe it or not, Pittsburgh is a baseball town. When the Buccos are playing well, the whole town is alive. PNC Park is a beautiful ball park, and ranks up there amongst the finest that I've been privy to actually seeing in person. Nonetheless, Pittsburghers have become accustomed to the Pirates losing. How can you not when some fans have NEVER seen the Pirates be anything but losers? I guess this article is a "call to arms" of sorts for all of Buc Nation (as it is now being called). Don't be satisfied with just a .500 season. Were you okay with the Steelers being 8-8 this year? Would you be okay if the Penguins finished a full season 41-41? If you are a real fan the answer to that is a resounding NO. Then why be okay if the Pirates finish 81-81? Pittsburgh fans deserve a winner...I realize that. We, as fans, can complain about the Nuttings, can complain about the manager, but when it comes down to it we deserve better. The only thing we can do is not show satisfaction if the streak ends in 2013. Instead, we should only show satisfaction if/when the Pirates are playing meaningful games in the post season...not just for winning just as many games as they lose.

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