Grab a chair and let’s chat about fair-weather fans

Those Who I Am Not Allowed to Speak Of won last night and are above … you know … and that’s a big deal.

This city, as I knew it would, has embraced the team. Those who were boycotting are starting to give themselves benchmarks. “If they’re playing well in August, I will allow myself to attend a game.”

Twitter is crazy with tweets of “RAISE IT!!!!!!!” after every game.

People are creating hashtags like #electricstuff.

My bandwagon is full, but you’re welcome to the roof until those with the flimsiest of constitutions fling themselves off when the team loses three in a row.

I’m seeing more Pirates shirts and caps out and about.

Internet, there are a great number of people in this city who now know the names of like six players on the team. This is huge progress.

Right now, we aren’t sitting under the great burdensome weight of shame and embarrassment of having a ball club that sucks likes it’s their job.

And that means the diehard fans are NOT VERY HAPPY. At least some of them. They hate the bandwagon fans. They’re not REAL fans. They’re fair-weather fans.

And some of those diehard fans look down on the fair-weather fans. Wish they’d stay away. They’re making too much noise. They don’t understand what slugging average is. They scream things like “HIT THE BALL!”  — or the really, really drunk and clueless, “SHOOT IT!”

Stupid fair-weather bandwagon fans messing up your enjoyment of the team and the game.

[blink]

Oh, pah-leeeeeeze.

Please, Pittsburgh, for the love of Ronny Cedeno’s socks, don’t be like that.

I wrote a column for the magazine over a year ago in which I admitted I’m a bit of a fair-weather fan (can’t find it online right now). I went long stretches not caring about the Penguins because they sucked and I remember once posting that I didn’t want to get too close to a Pens jersey lest I get some of the suck on me. Suck is hard to get out.

Doesn’t mean I didn’t care about the game or the players or the team. It just meant why torture myself by watching a consistently losing team? What fun is spending money to watch suck?

Those that hate the fair-weather fans, those diehards of you shaking your head at the new “fans,” I ask you, if your most favorite band in the whole world suddenly started releasing shit albums — terrible song after terrible song — would you continue to buy tickets to the concerts? Would you continue to buy the shit albums full of shit songs like “Where is My Chocolate Covered Monkey?” Would you be in the front row after shelling out $100, wearing your band t-shirt, scream-singing along at the top of your lungs, “I LOST MY CHOCOLATE COVERED MONKEY OH WHERE COULD HE BE!? I THINK I SAW HIM HUMPING A ZEBRA COVERED IN HON-EY! I LOST MY FREAKING CHOCOLATE MONKEY …”

Really? Or would you continue to follow the band, but maybe not go to the concerts so much and refuse to buy the albums full of shit songs until such a time as they start behaving and performing like the band you first loved? Would you finally get fed up enough after an album called “My Poop Was Green and the Corn Was Red” to actually voice your displeasure?

You might not see it that way, but those of us who tend to support the home teams in times of winning are looking at it that way. Why support crap? The Pirates have sucked harder than red-corn-sprinkled green poop, is what I’m telling you. They have recorded historic numbers of losses.

Why cheer for crap?

That goes against the laws of the universe. YAY, CRAP!

Diehards, embrace the new fans! Good for you for sticking with the team during bad times, but the new fans are pouring money into the team that desperately needs to spend more money on more talent or to keep the talent we have. They’ll slowly gain a better understanding and appreciation of what’s happening on the field. They’ll learn the players. The rules. The love of the sound of a satisfying thwack to the bleachers. They might just become a diehard like you.  New fans are new blood and new money. I guarantee every ballplayer on the team would rather play in a stadium filled to the top with screaming, cheering fans of all kinds, than a mostly-empty stadium dotted with the diehards who never left.

Who knows where the team is going from here. Maybe the string of terrible albums is finally ending and we can celebrate them for the true rock stars we’ve wanted them to be all these years.

Maybe their next album will amaze and win awards. Or maybe it will be called “My Nipple Hair Tickles” and the fair-weather fans will leave and you’ll be left in the front row scream-singing, “OH THE TINY TICKLES, HOW THEY EX-CITE ME! I AM SO GLAD MY NIPPLES AREN’T HAIR-FREEEEEEE!”

We don’t know.

All I know is this, I love the new fans this year. And this is the year I finally understand what the hell a slugging average is.

Let’s go, … you know.





61 Comments


  1. YinzerInExile
    June 16, 2011 6:04 pm

    I have been a Pirates fan all my life. When I close my eyes really tight and concentrate, I can still smell the inside of my closet–which is where I was standing when Slowass Sid Bream chugga chugga’d his way into the World Series and also my nightmares. I think it’s irritating and lame when people who like a particular sport denigrate their home team in said sport because they are not living up to expectations. It irritates me because it’s your home team for a reason. You don’t get to pick your home, so you don’t get to pick your home team–it’s the cross you bear. Don’t blame me; I don’t make the rules. Because of that, I reserve the right to feel smug in the presence of fairweathers . . .

    BUT

    All that said, nothing brings me near to weeping like the image of a packed PNC and a city that doesn’t look at me like I have lobsters coming out of my ears when I wear Pirates gear in public. So to all the fairweathers, though I feel inwardly smug and superior, I welcome you. And will probably buy you a beer or six because I’ve probably already had a beer or eight and this is good times.



  2. VAgirl
    June 16, 2011 7:26 pm

    I have to disagree with Loren, I loved Grux and it was great seeing Dave at PNC last summer. I do keep buying my fav’s music even if some of the tunes are like choco monkey but then you may bet a little nutella mixed in. Love baseball and the Pirates are one of the reasons we retired in ‘the burgh”. My love’s requirement was a major league ball club!



  3. bucdaddy
    June 16, 2011 7:46 pm

    Rich D,

    I’ll take four Barry Bondses and four Albert Belles and a couple Dick Allens on the bench, and if they don’t kill each other in the clubhouse first I will beat the snot out of your mentors at least 161 out of 162 games.

    I’ve seen enough mediocre veteranosity to last me a lifetime, thank you.

    Otherwise, we can agree to disagree. I don’t think your contrary opinion makes you a bad guy.



  4. Butcher's Dog
    June 17, 2011 7:04 am

    No fair-weather here, since I started following in 1957. You could look up that record. Bucs were the Gunner and partner/s on the radio, sometimes the car radio in the driveway if that one was the only one pulling in KD. Let’s remember that novelty always attracts, but by definition lacks staying power. We’ll find out soon enough about the new fans.

    As for team pride, though, I think that’s what Hurdle has brought. There’s an ancedote about Bear Bryant. A reporter said, “Coach, you have a coach for offense and a coach for defense. What do you coach?” His response, “Son, I’m the Pride coach.” That’s what I think Clint is: the Pride coach.

    @bucdaddy in all postings: Church! And get well, Virginia. Soon.



  5. Rege
    June 17, 2011 7:58 am

    Here was a column I wrote for Mondesi’s house on the Buc’s a few years back. I think it is still relevant. It’s still how I feel for the most part.

    http://www.mondesishouse.com/2008/03/rege-ryan-plea-to-pirate-fans.html



  6. JennyMoon
    June 17, 2011 8:17 am

    Rege you are psychic and also great analogies!



  7. Rege
    June 17, 2011 9:26 am

    @ JennyMoon, Thank you for the compliment. I havn’t written about the Bucs in a long time. Don sometimes would have to edit my stuff because it was way over the top.



  8. Rich D
    June 17, 2011 10:08 am

    @Bucdaddy – Hopefully I’ll see you at a game late this season and be able to buy you a beer!



  9. rickh
    June 17, 2011 11:01 am

    Get well soon Ginny, and Let’s Go Bucs!



  10. VAgirl
    June 17, 2011 8:35 pm

    Ginny, you probably will not read this , but i wish you a speedy recovery. Most importantly is to take care of yourself.
    “insha allah’



  11. Will C
    June 19, 2011 6:14 pm

    Late to the party, but that is because I am currently working in India on the behalf of a Pittsburgh company.

    You lost me half way through the article. I don’t know if you wrote something smarter after that, but it just felt like you were shitting on those of us that have paid full price when they sucked to keep the team here.

    Yeah, that’s right, the only reason teams stay in markets when they suck is because of the die hard fan. I’ve seen several name Boston, but guess what, even when the f’n sucked, they sold their ballpark out, same with the Cubs. It takes the people that do that to keep teams around.

    You wouldn’t be so cavalier about it if you saw Sidney Crosby playing in Kansas City. The Mistake by the Lake had to live with this before, you don’t want to feel their pain. Give due to those that pay $$$$ to support their city’s team even when they suck.