Ok this might seem silly, but this whole emotional roller coaster with the Pittsburgh Pirates has given me a lot of insight into my self/ how I handle things. For those of you who don't know (and might I suggest, have been living under a rock) the Pirates made the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. 21 YEARS! Not only did they make the playoffs, they had home field advantage for the wild card game, had an outstanding game with record high attendance and people were saying it was more intense than any Pittsburgh sports game they've ever been to, then they moved on to the series against the Cardinals which seemed like we could possibly win it, but then lost after a tough battle in the 5th game of the series.
And all the time during the regular season, there were some people who thought it possible, then there were those who refused to believe. I unfortunately leaned more towards the latter. I had seen this all before and I knew how it would always end: with another losing season. They would get our hopes up and then they would be dropped in a collapse. I have however stood faithfully by the Pirates each year because of my love for baseball, but I never allowed myself to get attached or hopeful for fear that it would end badly again.
This year was different.
As it got closer and closer to the end of the season, and I noticed that they kept winning and winning, something changed. I started becoming more emotionally invested. I would try to bring myself back down to earth with thoughts of "Oh, they'll probably lose this game." or "I wouldn't be surprised if they lost" or "Just brace yourself for the collapse". As soon as they would break a winning streak and lose one game, I would immediately put my guard back up. Then they would win a few more and I would slowly be put at ease, but one loss and the walls would go back up. It's like I was afraid to allow myself to enjoy it because I didn't want to feel "hurt" or "let down". Always dwelling on the negative.
Even when they did make the playoffs and have the incredible games that they played, I still found myself bracing for a loss. When people would talk on the radio about them going all the way, I would scoff to myself. Just you wait. But at the same time, wanting so badly to believe it possible myself. And now I find myself in the position where they did lose. October has ended for Bucco nation. Do I feel any better because I was "prepared" for this? Heck no. Now instead of focusing on the positive, the fact that they made the playoffs in the first place, all I can think of is "well, they didn't take us all the way". I wish I didn't automatically think like that. It really brought awareness of how much I live in fear of 'getting hurt', or fear of failure, or how much I focus too much on the negative. Maybe I am too cynical. But for whatever reason, if you are out there feeling the same as me, maybe we need to work on looking more at the good then the bad. Maybe we need to not be afraid. I don't want to always live my life like that. I don't want to continually bring myself down because of fear that "something bad will happen". I don't want to live with my heart in a box.
It was an INCREDIBLE season, full of ups and downs, excitement, drama, success, wins and loses, but ultimately it was a season that brought hope back to Pittsburgh baseball. I wouldn't have wanted to miss it for anything.
Here's to the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates. Here's to an excellent season and the prospect of only going up.
Let's raise that jolly roger with pride.