It was a privilege to grow up in the greater Pittsburgh area in the 70s-80s. These were the years of the Steelers' strength (Greene, Swann, Bradshaw, Harris), the Pirates' predominance (Clemente, Stargell) and the Penguins' greatness (Lemieux, Coffey). It was especially my love of ice hockey, Lemieux-style, that led to my directiing WESU Sports radio in college. While my play-by-play probably left a lot to be desired, the camaraderie (and the Div 3 status) made my years with WESU a total blast.
I eventually married a Yankees fan, and who wouldn't be a Yankees fan in the late-90s/early part of this century? I always kept an eye on my Pittsburgh teams, though, and watched as their light flashed and faded in recent years...
Today, though, I think I have to formally terminate my affinity for the Pirates. Today, they signed two athletes from India who have never played baseball in their lives. Seriously -- they signed two dudes based on the outcome of a reality TV contest in India. I'm thinking of returning to the work force myself, and I've never played baseball either... so perhaps I, too, can become a Pirate! I can hit a mean tennis ball after all -- there must be some relevance in that.
I'll hold on to my Terrible Towel, since the Steelers still bring it periodically, but, from now on, my pinstripes will be blue and white, thanks. Pittsburgh... WTF?
P.S. The Guv's comment on this story? Imagine the merchandising revenue they'll make in a country of a billion people. If anyone in India buys a baseball jersey, it'll be a Pirates one. Wow... I didn't even think of that, but I have to think that's about as far from "for the love of the game" as it gets.