Tag Archives: Pittsburgh Pirates

Congratulations – Pittsburgh Has Already Won


via hockeybeasts.com

by Ivan Cole

Usually, my writing is directed to Steeler Nation as a whole, but there is at least one way that the community can be partitioned. There are Pittsburgh fans, and then there are Steelers fans. The common denominator for these two groups is the allegiance and devotion to the Steelers.

Pittsburgh fans are most commonly natives, emigres and expats who are committed to the totality of the Pittsburgh sports culture. Beyond the football team, Steelers fans may be more eclectic, with loyalties that reflect the diversity of their backgrounds. It is a principle desire of a sports fan to realize a championship experience. Indeed, one of the key reasons for the existence of such a robust base of Steelers fans who are not tethered to geographic loyalty. This is based upon the past satisfaction of that desire, (Pittsburgh fans will stick with the team regardless of performance) and a reasonable expectation that it will be fulfilled again. Read more

Character (Ac)Counts: Scouting for Steelers


Keith Srakocic, AP photo

I’ve gotten a bit behind on my reading. How far behind? I just got around to the May 9 edition of ESPN Magazine. I clicked on an article which seemed vaguely interesting  [no more paper subscriptions for me!] and struck gold.

The article in question is called In the age of analytics, putting the focus back on scouting.”  As you might suspect from the use of “analytics,” it’s about baseball. But bear with me.

The article is written about the Midwest Territory scout for the Minnesota Twins, Mike Ruth. As it begins he has shown up to a voluntary workout at Tulane, a week before official practices begin. As he stands in the cold, nearly alone except for a few university people, who should show up but a scout he recognizes immediately, because he is from another small-market team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Read more

In Memoriam Stonn the Invincible: The Psychology of Losing

Stonn the Invincible

Stonn the Invincible

As fans we get caught up with our teams fortunes, for good or ill. This is what makes it fun, of course, but some of us take it way too seriously. Take my Steelers garden gnome Stonn. The picture at left is Stonn, proud and free, in the early days of last season.

The picture below is Stonn after the Steelers were eliminated from the playoffs. I kid you not. Stonn resides on top of the bookcase next to my desk, angled just precisely correctly for maximum mojo. So imagine my surprise as I came into my office a few days after the Steelers lost to the Broncos to find him face down in my paper recycling bin. His little hat was broken off, laying pathetically on the floor.

I have no idea whether this was attempted suicide on his part or whether he was pushed, in a fit of temporary insanity, by Cato, my feline game-watching buddy. Cato is pretty laid back about most things, but he does take the Steelers quite seriously.

Of course, Stonn could have fallen after consuming too much alcohol, but I have no idea how he would have gotten a hold of any, unless he and Cato were drinking together. Cato does, after all, have a good deal more mobility than Stonn, but he’s pretty short on opposable thumbs.

However this tragedy occurred, it is an illustration of the dangers of making our beloved Steelers too large a part of our lives. Read more

Staying Out of 2nd and 98

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Peter Diana photo

Steeler Nation, viewed as a whole, could be said to be bi-polar. One week we’re going to the Super Bowl—the next week we are going to be just bad enough to miss the playoffs and still not get a top-of-the-first-round draft pick.

But when you begin talking to individual fans the general attitude varies tremendously, from the “Black and Gold colored glasses” wearers to the Bob Labriola “I live in my fears” type of fan. Some fans even appear to be downright annoyed when their alleged team does well, disappearing from the commenting flow when there isn’t enough to gripe about.

Steeler fans aren’t any different than any other fans this way, of course. As many of you know I also follow the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the gloom and doom on BucsDugout is palpable as it seems about 97% of the commenters there are convinced the Pirates can’t possibly beat the Cubs in a one-game elimination match, assuming Jake Arrieta pitches it. And you can bet that he will, unless some of his major organs shut down between now and tomorrow evening. Read more

Mike Tomlin and the Art of NFL Clock Management

via WTAE

One of the things I’ve been hearing since first becoming a Steelers fan is how bad Mike Tomlin is at clock management. I’ve even been guilty of making such assumptions myself, as you can see from my post-game comments last week. 

A question in this week’s “Asked and Answered” feature on the Steelers website got me to thinking how easy it is to make solemn pronouncements from the comfort of our couches as we watch a game. It’s easy to assume we know more about what’s happening than we actually do, even if we are actually more knowledgeable about the game than are most fans.

So I read Bob Labriola’s answer to the following question with great interest: Read more

If You Haven’t Got Anything Nice to Say…

via Beautifully Invisible

by Rebecca Rollett

…come sit by me. Or so the late lamented Mae West was heard to say. I don’t know if Ms. West was a sports fan, but she would have fit right in with some of the sites I’ve seen.

I love reading about the Steelers and interacting with those who love them too. But I encounter wince-worthy comments on a regular basis. There seems to be an unspoken rule that once someone makes more than x dollars per year (“x” presumably being more than about 5 times the commenter’s annual salary) he becomes public property and may have his name bandied about at will. And since pretty much every guy on an NFL roster makes what seems like a lot of money to most of us, it would appear they are all fair game. Read more