Monday, February 2, 2009

Apparently, I root for the wrong team from Pittsburgh

It's official -- the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first team to win six Super Bowls by beating the Arizona Cardinals in what will go down as one of the great NFL championship games.

I'm a Denver Broncos fan and I was rooting for the Cardinals, but it's really hard to not be happy for the Steelers. That is, without a doubt, one of the finest and hardest-working franchises in the NFL and a team that has earned the respect of football fans everywhere.

Having said all of that, I've come to the conclusion that I root for the wrong team from Pittsburgh. yes, I have the great misfortune of being a Pirates fan and I'm still not sure why I expect the team to do anything but stink and upset me.

It's the same thing every year. I start out following the Pirates closely and then start watching the St. Louis Cardinals in late April or May when the Bucs are mathematically eliminated from the World Series.

How bad are the Pirates? The team hasn't had a winning season since 1992 and hasn't won a World Series since 1979. Rooting for a team like Pittsburgh will cause one to look at fans of the lowly Chicago Cubs and mumble, "Lucky bastards."

Cubs fans, see, have hope and pull for a team that actually manages to post a winning season from time to time. The Pirates, on the other hand, are the Detroit Lions of the MLB.

So, after watching the Steelers tear through the AFC once again, set an NFL record for winning six Super Bowls and generally being the envy of football fans everywhere, I've got to ask one question -- what the hell is going on with the Pirates?

I've heard about enough of that "small market team" nonsense and I'm almost sick of hearing about salary caps. Hey, I'd love to see a salary cap in baseball as I do believe it will lead to more competition -- it's certainly worked out that way in the NFL.

Still, let's take a look at the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, a scrubby team that can afford to pay their starters a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a 1973 Ford Pinto. That's a team that went to the World Series last year in spite of being underfunded and stuck in a small market.

One can only conclude the Tampa Bay management has at least a casual interest in winning, whereas the same can't be said of Pittsburgh. Here's how things go with the Pirates. Let's say Pittsburgh has a great player. The team will trade said great player for, perhaps, three prospects.

Out of those three prospects, let's say that one turns out to be a great player. That one will be traded for more prospects whereas the other two will become franchise players. The Pirates, see, just seem to slit their own throats every year and it's maddening. It's hard to build a solid franchise when you're constantly dealing your talented players away for prospects that will get dealt if they turn out well. I've been watching that perpetual cycle for the past few years and I'm sick of it.

I hope this is the year that the Pirates will learn a lesson or two from their cousins across town and even the Devil Rays. We Pirates fans are just about out of patience.


Da Old Man said...

You know, I could probably hook you up with a Yankee hat.
Just sayin'

Krissi said...

Did anyone see the commercial for NFL by Sprint that was ALL D-Mac??? I almost pee'd in my pants a little when it came on! I was so proud that he hails from our great state :) said...

As Simon and Garfunkel might have said, "Where have you gone, Willie 'Pops' Stargell and Dave Parker?".

The Natural State Hawg said...

Da Old Man -- If I switched teams, I start pulling for the Cardinals.

You know my dad is a Yankees fan, as was my grandfather. I asked my uncle how he wound up rooting for the Orioles, seeing how he grew up in a house full of Yankees fans.

"I used to follow the Yankees with your dad and grandfather," he said. "But rooting for the Yankees seemed kind of like pulling for the Nazis against Poland in 1939."

He may have had a point.

Krissi -- I missed that one. Glad to see D-Mac getting some respect, though. He's been injured for most of the season, plays for one of the worst teams in the NFL and has already been called a draft bust.

Paul -- It's a sad thing, isn't it?

Rich Dansereau said...

Sounds a lot like what that other Florida team does as well. Develop players, win World Series, FIRE SALE!