I think we’re all resigned to the fact that something bad is going to happen. Heck, for all we know, the Pirates have already begun a 20-game losing streak from which they won't recover. The only question is: what’s going to cause it? Or what did cause it? As rabid sports fans we all know that results aren’t determined on the field, but by unseen forces who decide to mess with athletes due to random things fans do or don’t do. Over the last two decades, we’ve dealt with plenty of these so-called “jinxes.” In 1999, Jason Kendall had one of the most gruesome injuries in Pirate history, which was caused by Mitch Henry of Bethel Park letting his wife watch the game with him.
In 2001, John Minto of Monroeville didn’t knock on a piece of wood while talking about the Pirates’ search for a new GM, and the Pirates hired David Littlefield the next day!
In 2011, Bono and the band U2 played at Heinz Field. Derek Pridmore of Braddock is there that night and stated, “You know, these guys aren’t that good.” That night Jerry Meals blew a call that sent the Pirates reeling for the rest of the season. Jinx can tell bad taste.
In 2012, the Pirates go from 16 games over .500 on August 8 to a losing season. This one is still baffling to experts, but you’re out there, and you know what you did. Shame on you.
So what’s going to do the Pirates in this season? We all know it’s a given. Be it Sports Illustrated saying on its cover that the Pirates are “playoff-bound.” Or it could be this piece that ran on SportsCenter that already has the guy who produced it worrying that he may have been the culprit.
It also could be because of any one of us. Think quickly: Have you stuck to your routine? Have you watched each game the same way? Have you declared in no uncertain terms that a winning season for the Pirates is a “forgone conclusion”? No, of course not. After the last two seasons, who could possibly make such a statement? If you’ve thought about it and you’re safe with those things, think about this: have you sacrificed any goats recently? I know it’s one of those things that hard to keep track of, but think hard.
When loss number 82 comes this season, and it will, don’t blame Clint Hurdle, don’t blame Neal Huntington, don’t blame Bob Nutting. The culprit could be staring straight back at you in the mirror.