Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Dave Parker: American Hero

A Pirates fan is defined by two things. First and foremost, suffering. Second, a Pirates fan is characterized by the brief period of historical success with which he identifies. For example, I am defined by the great run of division championships in the early 1990s- an era in when real men wore mustaches, just like in the Arab world.

The Tickler

But it's not the mustache-drought that's got me concerned, it's the impending marginalization of my suffering. This season, if things go according to present course, the Philadelphia Phillies will not only finish the season with a worse record than the Pirates, but they'll also notch their ten thousandth all-time franchise loss. Philadelphians bitch and moan just as bad as anybody, but there's a certain malice to it that makes it more entertaining than, say, New Englanders, who are the fucking worst whiners. I lived in Falmouth, Mass for about six months in 2003, so I had to listen to curse-era Red Sox fans slobber pity in their beers over a team that ALWAYS MADE THE PLAYOFFS.

Perhaps the worst fate that could befall a Pirates fan this year is for the Pirates to finally crack that elusive .500 mark but miss the post-season. That would strip the team and the fans of their loser mentality. It wouldn't be unlike the kid who recovers from a bout of chicken pox, returns to school, receives a half-hearted "glad you're back" and within days, he's back to just being the "ugly bowl cut kid."

I know this to be true because, as I said earlier, I'm defined by the Pirates' early 90's success, which, as many remember, came after a solid decade of complete dog shit baseball teams. It took about seven or eight years for anybody to feel sorry enough for Pirates fans to buy us beers. So pull it together Phillies- I'm rooting for you, but not because I care.

Pirates Magic Number: 139