On September 4, 2012, the Pirates beat a historically dreadful Houston Astros squad 6-2 at PNC Park.
From a baseball standpoint, there was little that made this game especially memorable. Sure, the loss would drop the Astros to a 42-94 record (Remember how terrible that team was?) and Wandy Rodriguez actually pitched well enough to get the win despite of a rain delay. The only other notable thing you could get from the box score is that Brock Holt went 4-for-5 that night, giving the fans a glimpse of the skills that would help earn him an All-Star bid with the Boston Red Sox this season.
Yet, despite of that date in Pirates lore being generally nondescript from a baseball standpoint, I’d argue that date might be one of the darker days in franchise history.
That’s because by most accounts, this was the unofficial debut of the “woo” at PNC Park.
The woo… The #&*@ing woo.
For those of you who have been to PNC Park or listen or watch home broadcasts, the woo has become a consistently annoying distraction that spreads like a virus and infects all. Some games it gets so bad that Greg Brown can barely get a word in edgewise, and the color commentary of Bob Walk is overtaken by attention deprived yinzers who need to get a life.
Yes, I said it. You need to get a life.
Though the topic has been the buzz the last few days after a particularly awful example of the wooing on Tuesday when the Pirates defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in 15 innings, plenty of fans have been fed up with it for much longer.
Newsflash to all you “wooers” — We are not impressed, and the guy a row over is probably ready to punch you in the throat.
No, really. He’s seriously bordering on violent behavior.
Lots of remarkably horrid things have gotten a good laugh and might even be popular for a minute. I mean people voluntarily did the “Macarena” and bought Milli Vanilli albums. Heck, some of you probably still have Justin Bieber on your playlist.
That does not mean it’s not crap, it just means you need to reevaluate a few things. You know, get it together my friend.
Sure, it’s a free country, and though I am in complete agreement with the vast majority of non-mouthbreathers who would like to see the “woo” go the way of the dinosaur, we all know that’s not likely to happen any time soon.
Like a clearly exasperated Clint Hurdle himself said, “what happens when you tell a kid not to do something?”
Therein lies the problem, in a world full of trolls and wannabe attention getters, you can rest assured the “woos” will only get louder; that’s how trolls roll.
My advice is if you can’t contain yourself, maybe you can leave the game a little early or even better, consider staying home and “wooing” in the comfort of your own home. Trust me, the vast majority of us never thought it was clever or funny and can do without you, quite happily I might add.
Ladies and gentlemen, the “woo” has jumped the shark. Sorry if I hurt your feelings, but it’s time to shelve it once and for all.
Fanshaming is not OK. Look, just because what they’re doing is annoying to you, doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to do it. Some people think the wave is annoying. Some people (me) despise Cotton Eyed Joe. Some are undoubtedly upset that the fan in front of them showed up in full pirate regalia, including a nine-inch high tricorne hat.
They paid their money, and they aren’t saying or doing anything that is harmful or hurtful to anyone.
Furthermore, banning a certain noise at a sporting event would put the team on a slippery slope. Why is one noise banned but not another? How would the team even enforce such a ban? What is the standard for a noise to be banned?
At least they’re still paying attention to the game, unlike the aforementioned wave, which is one poorly timed foul ball away from seriously injuring someone.
• It’s organic. When you go to a baseball game, or any other sporting event, the crowd has been conditioned to applaud when told to. My daughter, who is seven, even pointed out that the closed captioning on the PNC Park scoreboard tells you when to clap, if you aren’t paying close enough attention to notice that the other people around you are clapping.
You barely hear a “Let’s Go Bucs” chant at a game these days except when prompted by the organist. Something, anything, fan-derived in 2015 is refreshing.
• Plus, it’s loud. Really loud. I understand that some people find it obnoxious, but this is the same crowd that was lauded for their raucous behavior and chanting that helped overwhelm the Reds in the 2013 Wild Card Game.
Part of the allure of being in the crowd at a sporting event is being able to affect the play on the field. If it’s annoyed enough people to show up in a newspaper column, my guess is that it annoys the other team, as well.
Perhaps it could be fine-tuned a bit to occur only when the opposing team is pitching, as football crowds usually reserve their loudest for when the opponent is trying to direct the offense.
• It’s also unique. While I understand that it’s essentially a carbon copy of the noise that professional wrestling star Ric Flair has made his trademark, it’s not something you’re going to hear any of the other 29 Major League ballparks.
There’s only so many ways to say, “Go, our team!” Because of that, “Let’s go Bucs!” and “Let’s go Pens!” sound an awful lot like “Let’s go Mets!” and “Go, Leafs, go!”
This is something that doesn’t fall into the typical stereotype of a fan cheer. Maybe that’s why some find it annoying. It’s also why I think it should stay.