Have you seen the front page of today's Post-Gazette?
In case you can't make out those statistics at the top of the page, here they are:
81: Number of victories by the Pirates so far this season, guaranteeing they will not have a losing season
20: Prior to this season, the number of consecutive losing seasons, a record for the four major sports
1,374-1,796: The Pirates' aggregate win-loss record in the 20 losing seasons since they lost Game 7 of the 1992 National League Championship Series
7: Number of losing seasons between the Steelers and Penguins during the Pirates' losing streak
And we're not the only ones who think the Bucs are cover worthy. Sports Illustrated announced today that the team will also grace the front of its Sept. 9 issue.
You may remember that closer Jason Grilli was on the cover of the July 22 issue. Two Pirates on the cover in one summer? Here's what Sports Illustrated has to say about that:
For the first time in 21 years, the Pittsburgh Pirates will finish with at least a .500 record and for the second time this season, their magical summer has landed them on the cover of Sports Illustrated. All-Star closer Jason Grilli was featured on the front of the July 22 issue and this time it’s another of Pittsburgh’s five All-Stars, centerfielder and MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen, who gets top billing. That’s appropriate because McCutchen might be the single biggest reason the Pirates enter play on Wednesday with a two-game lead in the National League Central as they chase their first division title and playoff berth since 1992, which is also the last time they finished with a winning record.
Oh, and just for kicks, this was the Pirates' presence on the front page of the Post-Gazette on Sept. 4, 2012:
Just a teeny-tiny mention in the skybox ... of the team's loss to Houston the previous night. What a difference a year makes, huh?