Sports were played in Pittsburgh last night.
Putting aside all the rightful concerns over COVID and what an objectively terrible year 2020’s been, man, it was good to see.
The Pittsburgh Pirates held an exhibition game against the Cleveland Indians. They blew a 3-0 lead to lose 5-3, reminding you they still are the Pirates, but they could’ve been mercy rule’d and it would’ve been worth the watch.
Nine days from now, the Steelers will return to action too with the beginning of training camp. There’s still so much uncertainty about how the season will go, much to player’s frustration, but it’s worth pointing out how valuable sports are to bringing some sense of normalcy to the world. Don’t mistake that for carelessness; player safety is still the ultimate goal and if the season can’t happen with that preserved, so be it. Shut the doors.
But watching the Buccos last night should remind you how great of a distraction sports can be. And oh boy, do we need one.
Honestly, the game didn’t even feel too weird. No fans in the stands made things a little awkward (ok, less so when it comes to typical Pirates’ attendance), but if the choice is no fans and a game being played versus no game at all, I know which one we’re all taking. PNC Park pumped in crowd noise, played music, and you got used to the atmosphere pretty quickly. I imagine the same will happen for the NFL, who may have at least some number of fans in the stands during the season.
Not that you need me to tell you this, but Pittsburgh’s a great sports town. Even the Indians’ Twitter account sorta had to admit it last night.
Pittsburgh isn't *so* bad. pic.twitter.com/jLWXIrKJ6R
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 18, 2020
How great is that photo? Tough to top.
The only sight better will be Ben Roethlisberger throwing again in a Steelers’ uniform. That’s hopefully just ten days away.
Baseball is back. It’s only a matter of time until football returns, too.