Black Monday in NFL:

Big League Stew

Pirates OK’d to sell playoff tickets

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(AP)

Well, there's no turning back now. The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced they are preparing for what would be their first postseason appearance in 20 years by selling ... tickets. About a quarter of the regular season remains — and the Pirates find themselves among several contenders— but here they are, after 20 years of disappointment, actually in the hunt.

Via MLB.com, team president Frank Coonelly seems pretty excited he has more baseball to sell than the regular, ol' 162. It starts with season-ticket holders getting first priority, along with anyone putting down a deposit on 2013 season seats. And it doesn't sound like the Pirates are soaking anyone because they're finally a success again:

Friday that their average ticket price for the 2013 season will once again be among the lowest in Major League Baseball. Their average ticket price of $16.11 in 2012 was the third lowest in the Majors, according to Team Marketing Report. The new average ticket price for next season will be $17.21, which is still 36 percent below the 2012 Major League Baseball average price of $26.98.

Prior to the 2012 campaign, the Pirates had not raised their ticket prices in 10 years, which is unheard of in professional sports.

Ten years! Well, it's nice to know that, even as the winning had stopped in Pittsburgh during the post-Barry Bonds/Andy Van Slyke era, so had any price inflation.

There's no such thing as curses or jinxes. Not on teams, not on players, not on players throwing no-hitters for teams that haven't made the playoffs in forever. But there's just a little bit of trepidation here as the Bucs go all in for the playoffs. Once you sell playoff tickets, and fans get them in their hands literally and if ... you don't make it.

No, no. Not going to think like that. Just enjoy the Pirates season as before. Nothing has changed. Well, except everything.

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