I don't really blame the fans for this, the corporate nature of any team usually does it's best to standardize any type of merchandise. Not many Steelers shirts feature steel workers, and few pieces of Penguins apparel take advantage of the birds themselves. Even the Pirates cheer (Let's Go Bucs) is so generic and un-Piratey that'd you'd almost think you were cheering for the Tampa Bay football team half the time. Our team is called the Pirates...that's as cool as having a team called the Ninjas, or the Superheros, or the Cowboys. These are epic, largely exaggerated characters with their own mythology. These aren't made up words (Dodgers) or generic birds (Cardinals) or boring professions (Brewers) or baby bears (Cubs), these are something with built in excitement that we as a city have not tapped into for years, if ever. Isn't it time to start taking advantage of what we have?
Why am I talking about this? Two reasons: 1) I finally bought a Pirates flag and put it up on the house today...because why not? 2) Shouldn't we, as teachers, be more like Pirates? (I know I'm stealing shamelessly from the book Teach Like a Pirate here). Too often we go about our careers like the boring merchant marines carrying cargo from one island to the other. Isn't it time we start embracing that it's ok to get a little messy, to sale into unchartered waters, to find treasure we didn't know was there, to have logos and catchphrases, and Legos, and sports teams, and movie characters and an entire mythology to build on? Pittsburgh needs to do a better job of building excitement not just around it's players, but around it's "Pirates" idea. As teachers, we need to do the same. While this year is winding down, it's time to start thinking big for next year. How can we be Pirates and make our own mark?