“Arrrrrr! Garrett Jones is on the plank, Andrew McCutchen is on the poop deck, and Andy LaRoche is in the hole. Arrrrrr!”
“IN SOVIET RUSSIA, PIRATES NOT SUCK!”
The name Pittsburgh Pirates refers to both the athletic club and the alumni of Pirate University (Pittsburgh) – a major league academic institution dedicated to the furtherance of piracy arts and sciences, and the preservation of pirate heritage into the 21st century.
A second campus, Pirate University Tampa Bay, opened in 1976 on the 100th Anniversary of the Institution due to the renewed interest in organized depredation, though for the purpose of distinction their graduates are known as Buccaneers.
Pirate University was originally a training camp established in 1876 by Oswald Rice, in response to the diminishing number of pirates worldwide. For lack of a better plan, Rice visited the local chapter of the YMCA in search of a few good men for his new venture.
Fortunately for him, many of those he approached were ambivalent about spirituality, and were more interested in opportunities for fun, companionship, and a bit of sport. The lure of raping, pillaging, and extended nautical voyages in cramped quarters with scores of sweaty, nameless, faceless strangers proved only too enticing to their moral and sexual ambiguity.
By 1882, Rice decided to forgo further seafaring in favor of life as a landlubber, full-time. Historical accounts disagree as to the rationale for his change of heart. Rice's personal memoirs relate that after a time, the routine of plunder, marauding and despoliation with the same recruits became too tiring. His writings suggest that he felt that by formalizing his training program into a school, he could pass along his wealth of experience to whole new generations of future pirates. However, the personal diaries of a number of former crew indicate something more sinister was at work: mutiny.
It appears that in the latter campaigns, increasing numbers within the ranks refused to submit to Rice's direct orders. While the reasons are not spelled out, the subtext strongly hints that Rice's motivations in starting a school had less to do with sharing his experiences than it did with sharing his personal collection of many varied social diseases with a new and unsuspecting population.
Pirate University is proud to carry on the spirit and traditions of Mr. Rice, and it is in his memory that the sacred initiation ceremony – The Jolly Roger – is carried on.
Admission and program requirements
Interested candidates are required to have a casual attitude about the value of human life, and other widely embraced social norms such as the importance of honesty, hard work, compassion, forgiveness, and sympathy. Previous experience in wanton acts of cruelty is highly desirable, though applicants with an academic understanding of seminal works of philosophy, such as Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince will also be considered.
Candidates are assumed to possess (or agree to obtain prior to orientation) relevant tools of the trade, including but not limited to: a parrot (mandatory), a hook (preferably only on one hand), an eyepatch (preferably only on one eye), a stump leg (optional), a peg leg (on the aforementioned stump(s)), bandanas (optional), pistols (recommended), a cutlass (recommended), menacing facial scars (almost certain to be received, if not already possessed), a curly moustache, and a pirate hat (required, and available for purchase at our "Pirates Of The Caribbean Bookstore and Gift Shoppe").
Students seeking the Bachelor of Piracy degree need to pass each of the following courses with no less than a grade of P, and maintain an R average overall. Those who fail to meet academic requirements are thereafter ineligible for the Bachelor degree, but may elect to transfer accumulated credits toward a Diploma in Banditry (1 year) or a Certificate in Pillaging (6 months).
|AAAAAAAAA!||Exceptional||Shiver me timbers, ye shall be the terror of the high seas!|
|R||Excellent||Well done, matey!|
|P||Meets expectations||Aye. A pirate ye be.|
|W||Needs improvement||Shape up or ship out, and shark fodder ye shall be, plankwalker.|
|X||Fail||Marks the spot where ye bones do we bury.|
- PRT 1003: Curly Moustache Growing—Students will demonstrate a basic proficiency in the care and cultivation of upper lip hair. Three month evaluation period. Five months for lady pirates.
- PRT 1004: Introduction to Head Wear—Basics covered include earring selection and a discussion of scarves versus large raffish hats.
- PRT 1107: Parrot Care & Feeding—Students will obtain understanding and utilization of the theory and technique of avian care, including minor veterinary medicine. Final exam consists of student's bird being clubbed. Pass/fail course.
- PRT 1209: Approved Sea Shanties—Actual singing talent not required. Students are graded on overall presentation including lyric memory, fear-inducement, and improvisation while drunk.
- PRT 1305: Language Arts—Choose from Arrr, Arrrrrr or Arrrrrrrrr. Final exam is by way of individual student presentations of original monologues that utilize classic pirate phrases and those of the student's own invention.
- PRT 2101: Booty Pilfering—Students will develop skills in treasure location, campaign planning, and actual larceny. Final exam is conducted live in the field. Pass/fail.
- PRT 2203: Timber Shivering—Students will develop advanced proficiency in sailing, mast and sail repair, crows nest use, and spyglass surveillance. Prerequisite course for Ship Scuttling.
- PRT 2204: Ship Scuttling—Advanced skills in attacking and other vessels are the objective of this course, including: cannon firing, rope swinging, sail cutting, sword fighting and plank walking.
- PRT 2308: Accounting—Basic and intermediate swag management are covered in detail including the unfair disbursement of pieces of eight, doubloons, jewelry, and other varieties of booty.
- PRT 2401: Visual Acuity Training—This course instructs the student in the proper use of eyewear, i.e., an eyepatch. Students will learn how to locate other vessels on the horizon as this correlates directly to the health/wealth of the pirate-to-be. NOTE: An advanced course is being considered, Pirate Psychic Ability; this will apply to students who have mastered the art of wearing two eyepatches.
Students with an AAAAAAAAA! average have the option (in their second year) of pursuing an undergraduate level thesis with the assistance of a senior faculty advisor. Some topics in recent years have included:
Bob, B. B. (2001). New psycho-therapeutic interventions in coping with quadruple amputation
- phantom limb pain. Unpublished undergraduate thesis, Pirate University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
Kahplah, K. W. (2002). Best served cold?: An analysis of the validity of traditional assumptions
- about revenge satisfaction. Unpublished undergraduate thesis, Pirate University, Pittsburgh,
- Pennsylvania, USA.
Mhaille, C. (2004). Tensile strength and flexibility considerations in plank material selection
- and manufacturing. Unpublished undergraduate thesis, Pirate University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
Pre-suck era (1891 founding – 1992)
The story of Pirates baseball began with some dude named Honus Wagner. His parents must've been cool freelance Dutch stoners. Then came Willie Stargell, the huge teddy bear who could hug you to death. Then came Roberto Clemente who was born on Mars despite common belief. Last but not least, Barry Bonds came in and tore over twenty new buttholes into the National League.
Suck era (1992 – present day)
Let me start this off by asking: what moron would draft John Van Benschoten and Bryan Bullington? Okay, now on to the worst 25-year period in sports history. Barry Bonds left and Pittsburgh was all pissed. Everyone became a Steeler fan and Penguin fan. Fast forward to 2011. The Pirates actually seemed to put something together, but all changed right after the annual All-Star break. They still sucked, but nonetheless, they were over .500. So one July night, the Pirates played the Braves. It was the bottom of the 19th inning, and White Cutch had already thrown 6,653 pitches. The bases were loaded and whatnot, and whoever was at bat hit a crappy groundball, and it was thrown to the Pirate most badass catcher in 20 years, Michael McKenry. McKenry obviously tagged Julio Lugo out, but umpire Jerry Meals thought he was gonna get laid if he left earlier and called him safe. Thanks to Jerry Meals, the Pirates continued to blow. In the offseason, A.J. Burnett was acquired and told Brandon Phillips to "Sit the f*** down" at a later date. Andrew McCutchen continued to look like a pothead and hit like Tiger Woods did on women. They continued to suck after being ten victories over .500 at one point in the season. The moral of this story is... please don't be a Pirates fan. That is, until 2025, when the Pirates win their 7th consecutive World Series.