As the Pirates enter the last weekend of home games, play-by-play announcer Greg Brown’s signature call, “Raise the Jolly Roger” — based in dark pirate history — is raising the jolly spirits of the new Pirates Nation.
Fans are buying Jolly Rogers by the thousands, with Pirates retail sales now equalling those of the Steelers, even with the NFL season underway. Retailers are gushing. Fans are celebrating. And the entire region is marching toward the playoffs under skulls and crossbones.
And it all started decades ago, when Mr. Brown had a crazy idea as a Pirates front-office employee.
He thought the historic pirate theme could be exploited, so he marched to a team executive’s office, knocked on the office door, and entered to find the exec’s face buried in paperwork, glasses balanced on the bridge of his nose.