Colin Dunlap: Go Crazy, Pirates Fans
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My Lord, you want it all, don’t you?
Careful. Be very careful here.
Don’t get greedy; make sure you aren’t becoming insatiable.
When the Pirates earned their 81st victory of the 2013 season on Tuesday night, assuring the franchise will have a first non-losing season since 1992, everyone with a rooting interest in the organization celebrated in their own way.
Some went crazy.
Some thought of ones now departed who they were with the last time the Pirates had more wins than losses in a year.
Some thanked the players.
Some thanked the management.
Some never, in all sincerity, thought they would live long enough to see this.
Some will wait for the 82nd win to really stamp this home.
Some — because this is Pittsburgh — still found a way to be miserable.
As someone fortunate enough to field calls hosting my show at Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan deep into the night after the win, I served as the conduit between your voice and the masses.
It was my pleasure. Truly.
But there was one faction of fans that raised some concern, and it is a bloc of Pirates fans that appears to be growing steady.
Said fan generally points out that having a winning season is “nice” but — with an emphasis on “but,” breezing past it — they are set on something much bigger, and now that the Pirates are in a pennant race, reaching 81 or 82 wins really doesn’t mean much to them.
Careful, mind what you say.
Don’t get caught up in the enormous garden of a National League Central pennant chase and forget to stop and smell these roses that signify a non-losing season.
For a long time, I have been someone who has said that when the Pirates rid themselves of this streak, when they assure more wins than losses in a season, Grant Street should be closed down for an afternoon and we should have a tickertape parade, complete with convertibles, marching bands, fire trucks and — at the end — the ceremonial burning of Sid Bream’s Atlanta Braves jersey.
The scary part? I’m mostly serious.
Such an event will never happen.
However, I will settle for this …
When the Pirates return home from this nine-game jaunt that currently has them in Milwaukee, will take them to St. Louis and then to Texas, I think it is vital for the franchise to make mention of the losing skid being snapped publicly.
The club will next play a home game on Sept. 12 against the Cubs and I’m not asking for much to happen at PNC Park, but something should.
How about just a simple announcement of the accomplishment when they take the field? Or flash a quick montage on the scoreboard to denote this momentous achievement and the pain that so many Pirates fans went through to finally get to this day.
For me, just because the Pirates are thick into a pennant race shouldn’t brush aside the historic event that has transpired with this franchise in having the first non-losing season since back when Johnny Carson was still on every night.
Relish it, honor it and don’t let what else is going on diminish just how big it is to so many people, even as some want to breeze right through it as not much of an accomplishment at all.
For so many, like me who lived through every inning, it is enormous.
I’ve used this analogy before, and I think no more time is appropriate than now to use it again: Pirates fans, for the longest time, were the personification of a man who couldn’t get a date no matter how hard he tried, no matter how much he gussied himself up.
Now, all of a sudden, some Pirates fans — after two decades going without date — will only settle for the most attractive, striking, intelligent, eye-catching, sought-after, gorgeous Belle of the Ball who is coveted by every man.
That’s a bit much, isn’t it? Going from beggar to being highly selective in just 138 baseball games.
Certainly, it’s wonderful to have ambition.
Dream big; aspire to huge things, no one is telling you not to do as such.
But, please, keep some perspective in all of this. There’s a huge modicum of success to be had just by accomplishing a feat not secured since 1992; a giant accomplishment in having a winning season, even if the Pirates fall flat from here.
After all, they got someone to go out on a date with them after all these years.
That’s cause for enormous celebration.
Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weeknights from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his bio here.
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