Tuesday night I watched the Buccos play on FSN Pittsburgh and I saw the promotional ad with Nate McLouth that concludes with him saying earnestly into the camera, “I’m a Pirate.”
Twenty-four hours later, that was a lie.
Pittsburgh’s newest explant motivated me out of my “what is the meaning of my blog?” funk, because it’s clear that the culture surrounding the flow of people into and out of Pittsburgh still needs voices. The diaspora has many good minds helping to analyze it – Jim Russell, Mike Madison, and Bill Toland, for example – who actually understand the civic and economic underpinnings of migration. And then there’s me. Head and heart, I guess. I don’t really get it, but I know how my experience feels.
And I know how sort of outraged I feel when something happens that subtracts from Pittsburgh, especially when the top headline on the Pirates’ website proclaims, “Trade is history.” It is? I’ve barely absorbed its implications at all. One rainout and a win later and now we’re in the next chapter? And you don’t even want to see ESPN’s headline. The prophecy of SI’s big write-off fulfilled, I find myself in a familiar position when it comes to the Bucs – looking stupid for my optimism. Jack Wilson’s out with a stomach bug, I don’t feel so well myself.
But as a side effect, I am reminded that I still have a reason to be here. My experience of living away adds something to the city, and makes it just a bit less likely that the overall optimism about Pittsburgh will end up looking as stupid as any specific hope for any specific Pirate all-star.
And all of you who are Out of the ‘Burgh.