Wednesday, May 15, 2013

On the Road: PNC Park (Part 3)

Still MORE stuff I learned while watching some baseball with my father in the 'Burgh...

*"Turn It On Again" by Genesis is a pretty cool song in the right circumstance: PNC Park played this Wednesday night to get the fans excited...then abandoned it. Hey, it's a pretty good "get pumped" song. I am all in favor of more Philbert Collins at the ballpark. I would support a campaign to make him Official MLB Ambassador of Getting Pumped.

*The National Anthem is also pretty stirring, even in a 'Burgh accent: Before Wednesday's game, the Steel City Enrico Caruso several rows behind us sang along to the "Star Spangled Banner" in full Pittsburgh voice. In fact, I was surprised the guy didn't sing, "O, say, can yinz see?"

After his spirited, entertaining, but not disrespectful rendition, the guy told his companions he was "fired up." Was it the game? Was it the song? Was it Phil Collins? I suspect it was the beer, as I heard him mention he had been drinking earlier. (Un)fortunately, he was pretty quiet once the game started.

*Pittsburghers, like fans everywhere, can have the dumbest arguments: And of course the level of discourse in the stands is inversely proportionate to the amount of beer flowing. The second night we were at the yard, Dad and I overheard some of the most inane chatter imaginable. A fan of that night's visitor, the Atlanta Braves, was in a heated running debate with some tanked hometown faithful about 10 rows down.

I can only hint at the conversation because we unfortunately forgot to send a self-addressed stamped envelope and request a transcript before we left town. Basically the talk degenerated quickly into hockey boasting, with the Bucco booster asking, "Does your town have an NHL team?" He said it more like a statement than a question, as if it alone was the definitive end to the baseball argument they were having. This led, of course, to an attempt to compare Stanley Cups won and Super Bowl rings.

The oddest thing about this chat session, and the thing that made it one of the most absurd I've ever heard in my life, was the fact that the Atlanta representative was wearing a Pirates hat. This stimulated a natural question, namely, "Why are you wearing a Pirates hat?" The unhelpful but amusing (to us) reply? "I NEVER liked them!"

This whole scenario was a solid argument in favor of cutting off beer sales at a certain point in the game, but I will say that at no point did it become too obnoxious. It mostly ran throughout the evening as occasionally jarring but mostly entertaining background chatter. Dodger fans get to take a radio and listen to Vin Scully as they sit and enjoy a game; Pirate fans get to sit back, stretch out, and take in the sounds of intelligent conversation such as that.

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