The Pittsburgh culture celebrates sports like few other fans in the country. You have heard the stories about the city being shut down after big victories, like the 1960 World Series celebration. Some Pirates fans can be found at every game, yes, some Pirates fans remain committed to the team. Some Pirates fans still trek to spring training where hope has been eternal each year during this dreadful losing streak.
But cheering for the Pirates in their current condition can and will leave you emotionally drained. Such fanhood can impact your relationship with family and friends. Your wife will begin to hate the sport. She might begin to hate you as well. We also would guess if you are a diehard Pirates fan, you probably have broken things you shouldn’t.
We are here to tell you, it’s not your fault.
There are ways to make it stop. But don’t misunderstand us, your utter love and passion for the Pittsburgh Pirates is a gift. A precious gift.
But remember, it’s important to take breaks. If you are like me, you thought the Pirates were on a roll. The Bucs took the last two series. You, my friend are addicted to the Pirates.
We are here to help. Here are a few creative ways to avoid becoming a Pirateaholic.
1. Set clear goals. Realize that this team probably won’t be making the playoffs anytime in the near future. This will be the hardest part of the intervention. Take some time. Let it sink in. It’s hard. Breath.
2. Get some sleep. Firing through the Pirates blog posts or tweeting into the wee hours of the morning isn’t healthy. The Bucs need your morale at a high level and being irritable after arguing with Nutting Hostage and other message board trolls will make you irritable. Be a smarter fan, not a harder working fan.
3. Spend some time with Mother Nature. It will reduce your stress. Everyone knows the starting pitching is awful. Getting fired up about it doesn’t change it. Go for a walk, be mindful of the beauty of the outdoors. Don’t worry about sunscreen, just go. Be crazy. Find a trail to walk on and scream at the top of your lungs, “Jeff Karstens is the best we got?! What the f@##@$% is happening!” Say it. Let it out.
4. Eat real food. A spinoff from attending too many Pirates games can impact your health. You must reintroduce fruits and vegetables into your diet. Nachos, cracker jack and cotton candy are not meant to be staples of ones diet.
5. Number three had to feel great. Do it again. Think of it as a twisted form of meditation.
6. OK, I am going to say it. Find another hobby. Maybe it’s a hobby that has nothing to do with baseball. Think about it for a while. Maybe it is collecting aluminum cans, teaching soccer, making waterfalls, growing grass, something, hell, anything that will bring you joy. You deserve joy. You really deserve it if you are a Pittsburgh Pirates fan.
7. Ask yourself the tough questions. Why am I doing this? What is the end goal? Are all of these actions good for my heart and soul? The Pirates can be painful. Neal Huntington says dumb things like “Neil Walker will be a utility player,” and it can send the die hard Pirates fan over the edge. Prepare yourself mentally for crazy shit to happen with this team.
8. Teach a youngster in your life to keep score. It could be a nephew, brother, cousin, whatever. Just show them how to record a 6-4-3 double play, a flyout. You can print off a scoresheet from the internet for free. But after you do this, be prepared for them to scream “K!” a lot during Pirates games. That gets irritating, but other than that it’s pretty fun.
9. Drink some water. It has been and will continue to be a long, torcherous season. I’m certain that a Carnegie Mellon student is doing a study on the lack of water in Pirates fans bodies, but until the facts come out, just trust us. Your bodys organs will need water.
10. We trust that you will never give up your passion for the Pirates. Try some of these things, it will improve your life. Maybe even help you live longer. And because it seems like it will be a few years until the Pirates get it completely turned around, adding a few years to your life might be important.
See ya, I am off to the woods to do a number three.