The guy who believed.
I was the guy who drove the stat geeks crazy because I believed. Like Lou Brown, the manager of the fictional Cleveland Indians in the movie “Major League”, I believed that with a little luck these guys just might surprise some people.
I’ve been a Pirates fan for almost my entire life. I remember putting a sticker on my bike when I was eight or so. It was the old smiling Pirate logo and I stuck it on the fender of my bicycle (ah for the days when bikes all had fenders!) I’ve been a fan ever since through thick and thin. Two World Series wins and three hundred loss seasons. We Are Family and Operation Shut Down.
In all those years my Bucs never broke my heart. Last year when they played pretty well in the first half I began to hope that maybe we’d break the consecutive loss streak only to have them collapse in the second half. I sold myself on the belief that they had to learn how to win again. That this season, 2012, would be the one to turn the corner. It really looked like it was going to happen. We led the division at one point, we were 16 games over .500. 16 games! Surely even if we came back to earth some and missed the playoffs at least the consecutive losing seasons would be over.
And then they broke my heart. This season will end for me with the taste of ashes in my mouth. Barring a miracle (we need to win the last 5 games of the season) this will be yet another losing season. The no-hitter thrown against us tonight sits like a stone in my throat. It has been a collapse of historic, maybe even epic, proportion. Virtually every member of the team has collapsed.I can not even find the words to say the feeling in my heart.
A part of me has died.
The part that believed.