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.
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.