There's no way I can fully articulate how much today means to me, but I'm going to try my best anyways. Last year, I was in China, so I watched the Pirates' first playoff game in 21 years on a computer screen. Today, I get to watch a playoff game take place mere feet away from my face.
I have been a Pirates fan since I was a speck. The story goes that while my mother was giving birth to me, my father (whom you know as "Billy") was in the hospital eating a peanut butter sandwich and watching the Pirates play the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Bucs won that game, 7-4.
As a toddler, I had many strange habits. One of them was that, after taking a bath, I'd run from the bathroom to my room, wearing a towel like a cape, screaming: "I'm Andy Van Slyke!!!"
In the years that followed, I attended, watched, and listened to thousands of Buccos games in my life. Despite the losing, rooting for the Bucs was an essential part of every Spring, Summer and Fall. And I spent every Winter huddled around the hot stove.
And now, today, one of my dreams will come true. No matter how it ends, I'm going to watch a Pirates playoff game in person. It's happening.
Here is a by-no-means-exhaustive list of some moments I'm excited to witness tonight:
1. Edinson "Eddie" Volquez records his first strike.
2. J-Hay strolls to the plate for his first at-bat.
3. A Pirates hitter flashes the first Zoltan of the night.
4. The first absurdly insulting anti-Giants chant starts up amongst the PNC Park faithful.
5. Cutch hears the words "MVP!" ringing all around the stadium.
6. The Pirates dugout goes insane, for whatever reason.
7. Clint Hurdle hobbles out onto the field, for whatever reason. Our gimpy skipper is going to receive quite the welcome.
I don't know how to end except to underscore what today means to me. Today is a day I feel blessed to be alive, in this city, with these privileges. And I won't be alone. This blog is evidence that love for the Bucs is probably the most important thing I share with my dad. So most of all, I'm happy we're going to watch this game together.
Let's go Bucs.