As a person without Pittsburgh roots, there are certain traits that give me away as a non-native. I’m the rare sports fan who is completely indifferent to football, something that’s particularly uncommon in “Steeler Country.” Though I love hockey and food, I try to keep my feelings about Penguins and Primanti’s to myself.
Then there is the fact that I really like baseball. For the longest time that reality has appeared to separate me from most of my Pittsburgh peers. However, it seems that this year the city of Pittsburgh is coming around to my perspective. And I must confess that we’re meeting in the middle, because the Pittsburgh Pirates are the one local sports team that I can’t help but get behind. Between the ballpark, the bike trails to the ballpark, and the team’s treatment of its fans, rooting for the Pirates is a pleasure, even when things aren’t going well. Now that the tide is turning and the Jolly Roger is on an upward trajectory I’m so glad the city is taking note.
Having said that, there are two concerns I have with the Pirates’ fan experience (aside from the soon-to-be-vanquished-yet-seemingly-perpetual habit of losing more games than winning).
1) Can we please stop shooting hot dogs? Seriously, shooting hot dogs out of a gun offends my sausage sensibilities. The hot dog has too much inherent worth to suffer such an ignominious fate. It should be placed on a pedestal before it’s shot from a gun like so much worthless shrapnel. In fact, I believe all food deserves more respect than to be hurtled through the air and likely never eaten. How about instead of shooting hot dogs from a gun the Pirates shoot vouchers for one free grass-fed beef frankfurter from Franktuary into the crowd?
2) Why is it that during the pierogie race each participant is presented as “Condiment” + “Anthropomorphized Name” except for Oliver Onion. We have Jalapeño Hanna, Cheese Chester, and Sauerkraut Saul. Then we have Oliver Onion. I always root for Oliver because he’s “highly intelligent.” Since he’s the one pierogi that appeals to me, I’d like to get to the bottom of his asymmetrical name.