On the way in to work every morning Jack and I listen to Mike and Mike in the morning on ESPN. Today, amidst the football banter about Bradford’s injury and the Miami upset, they pointed out that it has officially been 17 years since the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning season. 17 years, y’all…
They pointed out that in 1992 (can you believe that?!) “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men was the number one hit, that Miley Cyrus was born, and that Bret Favre made his NFL debut. Of course I needed to know more. These facts alone didn’t explain why the Pirates have been in losing mode for almost two decades. Here’s what I found out:
- January 8, 1992 — President George H. W. Bush is televised throwing up in the lap of the Prime Minister of Japan.
- February 17, 1992 — A Milwaukee court sentenced Jeffrey Dahmer to life in prison.
- March 30, 1992 — Silence of the Lambs won the Oscar for Best Picture, and Anthony Hopkins won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his 16 minute role as Hannibal Lector (still the shortest performance to garner such an award).
- April 6, 1992 — Microsoft releases Windows 3.1.
- May 19, 1992 — Dan Quayle gives his famous Murphy Brown speech.
- June 15, 1992 — Dan Quayle erroneously corrects a spelling bee contestant on how to spell “Potato.”
- June 23, 1992 — John Gotti is sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to murder and racketeering.
- July 25- August 9, 1992 — The Summer Olympics are held in Barcelona, Spain
- September 6, 1992 — The body of Christopher McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp) was found in the Alaska Wilderness near Denali State Park after wandering the country attempting to live off the land. His exploits inspired Into The Wild and a movie by Sean Penn by the same name.
- October 1, 1992 — Pittsburgh International Airport’s New facility opens in Findlay Township. The new terminal was built as an expansion for USAir and an upgrade from the old facility.
- October 31, 1992 — Pope John Paul II issues an apology and lifts the edict of the Inquisition against Galileo.
- November 3, 1992 — Bill Clinton defeats incumbent George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot to become President of the United States.
- December 9, 1992 — Prince Charles and Princess Diana publicly announce their separation.
- Oh, and Derek Walcott won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Now, I’m not saying any single one of those things has anything to do with the Pirates and their losing season, but only one of those things has to do with Pittsburgh, and only one of those things has (arguably, though not well) been an ongoing disaster for the region.
That’s right. I’m blaming USAir for the Pirates’ 17th straight losing season. And much like other forms of interpretation based on circumstantial evidence, you can’t prove the contrary. You want someone to blame aside from the owner, the GM, the agents, the players, the NBL, the economy, the Loch Ness Monster, the missing B-52 in the Mon, and even the nefarious Easter Bunny. I gave you USAir.