The Pirates are third

Another fun day in Pirates land:

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a candid and surprising admission: Not only are they perennially in last place in the NL Central, they’ve dropped into last in their own city.

The Pirates rank third among the Steel City’s three major sports franchises from a marketing and business perspective, team president Frank Coonelly said.

There’s no shame in being less popular than the beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, who are seeking an unprecedented sixth Super Bowl title on Sunday. But for a major league baseball team to acknowledge it has slipped behind an NHL team in its marketplace is nearly unprecedented, except perhaps in Canada.

Obviously change the “are seeking” to “won.”

I don’t know that this is as shameful as the tone of the article suggests. I mean really, I like to make fun of hockey as much as the next guy, but it is a major sport, the Penguins are good, and Sidney Crosby is a megastar. Sure, maybe they still wouldn’t be eclipsing baseball if the Pirates have had even a semblance of a clue for the past decade+ — the Penguins had Lemieux and a couple of Stanley Cups in the early 90s, and I don’t think they were more popular than the Bonds-Bonilla Pirates — but it’s not a mortal insult to be less popular than a hot team with the game’s hottest star on it.

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  1. Matt Mitchell said...

    The Pittsburgh situation now reminds me a lot of the Chicago Bulls during the Jordan years. For many of the same reasons as the Penguins, they were arguably the most popular team in town, ranking right up with, if not ahead of, the Cubs and Bears, blowing by the disintegrating Blackhawks and staying ahead of some good White Sox teams in the process. It would be something to note that after Jordan left, it took almost a decade for the Bulls to become close to that relevant again, and one could argue now that among the major sports in Chicago, the Bulls are 5th after the other teams mentioned here.

  2. Charles Kitchen said...

    “game’s hottest star on it.”

    Alexander Ovechkin….

    I’d say the Nats are in the same situation, market wise, as the pirates.

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