Monday, June 15, 2009

Are Pittsburgh Sports Fans Spoiled?

It’s been an incredible past six months for Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh sports fans. The Steelers became the first team in NFL history with six Super Bowl titles by defeating the Arizona Cardinals in February. The Penguins capped off an amazing postseason by winning the Stanley Cup on Friday night at Detroit. The University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball team earned the #1 ranking for the first time in school history and reached the the Elite Eight. Even the Pittsburgh Passion made the playoffs! Therefore, I think it is a fair question to ask if Pittsburgh sports fans are spoiled.

Before I answer this question, I want to refer you to the other city that also had great sports success recently: Boston. The Red Sox won the 2004 and 2007 World Series; the Celtics won the NBA Championship last year; and the Patriots won three Super Bowls in four years before going 18-0 during the 2007 season. I think it is fair to write that at best the Boston sports fans have been overexposed and at worst can be referred to as annoying (actually there probably is worse than annoying, but let's go with that). The movie Fever Pitch showed us that the Red Sox are more important than everything else in life. Red Sox Nation had an actual election for its first president which featured a debate moderated by Tim Russert. We also learned that Tom Brady is the biggest star in the NFL. Seriously, how many stories did we see last year after his knee injury plus all of the Gisele coverage? Boston sports also receive significant coverage on ESPN, particularly by Bill Simmons.

On behalf of Pittsburgh fans, I think it's accurate to write that we don't want to be viewed like Boston sports fans. To go back to my original question of whether or not Pittsburgh sports fans are spoiled, the answer is no, or at least, not yet. Why? The Pirates keep us grounded. 16 straight seasons with a losing record will do that. We also don't have the same type of national voice that Boston has. While Boston has Bill Simmons, I guess Pittsburgh has Dave Dameshek. However, Dameshek may have taken the Metro with me this morning, and I would have no idea who he is. In addition, while there is a Steeler Nation, I don't think we'll see any type of election for a president.

I should probably have some epic closing here, but all I've got is this: enjoy today's Penguins victory parade!


Toad268 said...

Now, the past couple years, our dear city has had a ton of success in terms of sports teams and events. We now have two Superbowl wins, two Stanley Cup Finals appearances and a Stanley Cup Victory. The Pirates are finally on a rise, however small, it is still just that, a rise. Pitt is always trying to move up, we will see this coming season. We seemed to be poised with some great success for years to come. That is why we claimed the name, the City of Champions!

Read more »

Sean said...

It has been a nice few years. I hope the trend continues!