Sports Outside the Beltway

Our Long National Nightmare is Over

Its official: the Braves will not win their division this year, ending their title streak at 14 seasons.

Its quite an accomplishment, as James noted. However, now that it is finally over, I figured I would post a bit of a celebration.

Because for me, that streak reminded me, every year, that the Pittsburgh Pirates would not win while the Braves did it again.

It has been frustrating. Ever since Sid Bream brought the last post season (and the last winning season) the Pirates were in to a close, the Braves have just kept on going. As they piled up victory after victory, I began to hate the Braves more than any other team in Major League Baseball. More than even the Yankees (though not by much). For me, even now, it will always be the Braves. Whenever I hear their name in the news, I always hope that news of a loss accomponies it, espicially if they are playing the Pirates.

How can I hate the Yankees more, when the Pirates beat them in the last World Series they played them in? When my only baseball post season memories are of the Pirates losing to the Braves? To be fair, they lost to the Reds in my lifetime, but for some reason, I have no memory of that season – I was very young at that time. This was my first real exposure to pro sports. I remember staying up late and watching the games. I vividly remember the Tomahawk chop, the silly gimmick the Braves used to hype up their fans, and wondering why we didn’t have anything like that for our team. I vaguely remember the inability to get the last out in that last series. However, in my youthful optimism, I thought that the Pirates would return to the post season, and hopefully make the World Series. Little did I know . . .

In any event, its over, and this Pirates fan says “Thank goodness”. Now if only the Yankees would stop buying up division titles, I’d be a much happier baseball fan. I do respect the mark the Braves have made, and will give them more credit than I will give the Yankees if they reach that mark (and will actively root against that). However, I had to contribute my side of this story.

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I know I’m really late here, but I agree with everything you wrote about the Braves. I’ve been a Pirates fan since I was 7 years old in 1987. I had never been to Pittsburgh at that point and wouldn’t go to Pittsburgh until 17 years after that (I’m from Iowa). I watched all three NLCS and while the Reds bugged me, the Braves really got under my skin. I was glad to finally see what I wanted to see in 1993 and every season since then: the Braves finish out of first place and below .500.

Posted by Jerry | November 16, 2006 | 12:22 am | Permalink

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