Last night and this evening, the Tigers are playing the Pirates at PNC Park, and I've seen A LOT of Tigers gear on people walking through my city the last couple days. It got me thinking.
We Pittsburghers loathe when national TV comments about "how well Steeler fans travel" because most of those fans DIDN'T travel; they live in those cities now as a result of the diaspora (as some of us call it) created by the collapse of the steel industry throughout the 1970s. I'd be a lifelong Pittsburgher if not for my father losing his job as a part of the early 80s economic collapse here causing us to move away for a few years. We Pittsburghers are well represented in the DC area, down through Charlotte, and into Atlanta, across the Sun Belt, and even in Denver.
Before Googling this, I talked with some Tigers fans downtown today and heard a story about father-son ballpark trips before school started, students attending Pitt & Carnegie Mellon, etc, but figured I'd cast a wider net here. Am I seeing the result of some Detroit area/Southeastern Michigan movements as a result of some of Detroit's recent economic issues and the changing economy in Pittsburgh? Am I reading far too much into this? Or was it just that random groups of Michiganders sought a long weekend in Pittsburgh?
(The Red Wings fan base is also represented quite well at Pens games; yours' is one of our favorites to interact with for a myriad of reasons, like the memories of the hard fought 08-09 Cup Finals, your passionate and largely knowledgeable fans, and you're not giant douches like the Flyers fans.)