Man Crush of the Week: Pittsburgh Pirates
I spent most of last month in Pennsylvania, driving the Lincoln Highway, going to the capital of the United States (for a day), and taking in Pirates and Phillies games.
I’ve been to PNC Park a strange amount of times for not actually ever living all that close to Pittsburgh (my buddy and I did do a day trip there to see Barry Bonds in a doubleheader once). It’s really one of the best parks in all of baseball, top three for sure.
But there was something different about this time. The park was packed. Not a seat to be had. I had been used to paying $10 and sitting anywhere I wanted. I paid $60 for decent seats in the infield. The whole city was wearing black and yellow. It was a sight to be seen. I briefly considered moving there since I pay about three times more in New York.
Then the Pirates started to stumble a bit. They lost their division lead. So what did they do? Went out and got the surprisingly good Marlon Byrd and then traded for former MVP Justin Morneau.
That’s how you fix problems.
And then even better, the Pirates clinched their first winning season since the George H.W. Bush administration, ending the longest losing season streak in professional sports.
But here’s what I really love about the Pirates. They’ve worked so hard for this. They’ve suffered. The city has stuck by them in really quite an amazing way. Cities like Pittsburgh are dominated by sports, everyone grew up rooting for the same team making it really probably the strongest tie to one another in the city. Every year it seemed like it might be the year they would turn the corner but they would add Derek Lee and think they’d be set. This is different. It’s a likable, talented team, one that looks like they might even make the playoffs.
And I didn’t realize what that meant for Pittsburgh until spending a week there. It’s everything. A whole generation knows nothing about winning baseball in the town. But they’re about to.
Douchebag of the Week: Johnny Manziel
In a way, Johnny Manziel is taking back the word “douchebag” and owning it. Johnny Football is clearly a douche. Nothing he has ever done has ever suggested otherwise, going even beyond the autograph scandal.
First let’s get this out of the way. Manziel is awesome at football. And when you are really good at something, you tend to get a little douchey. After Manziel served all his time for breaking NCAA rules and putting his amateur status in doubt, amounting to 30 minutes of watching a football game (and one that Texas A&M weren’t exactly doing awesome in) Manziel entered the game and did awesome.
And then Manziel got into douche mode. Except for him, douche mode is kind of awesome.
After running for eight yards on a 3 and 8, he motioned to a defender that he was going to either not sign an autograph or didn’t want his autograph. That is classic.
The next play he threw a 23-yard touchdown pass. And how did he celebrate? The douchiest way possible. He made a counting money gesture. Even more epic.
Later in the game he ended up talking trash with some Rice players, got flagged by the ref for an unsportsmanlike penalty and was benched by his coach for the rest of the game.
That is how you be a douchebag. Just a master class in douchebaggery. And I love him for it. This is maybe the first time the Douchebag of the Week is actually a good thing.
Manziel clearly gives no f’s. And it was ridiculous how the NCAA was going to suspend him for signing an autograph. He was playing with a chip on his shoulder to begin with. And he turned all the drama in hate-fuled douchey awesome. If you are going to be a douchebag, back it up. Earn it. And Johnny Manziel is the King of Doucheworld right now.