At the beginning of the MLB season, ESPN released a This is SportsCenter commercial featuring reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The commercial is simple, and McCutchen says just five words in the ad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjbRh56WG9E

McCutchen’s “plunder the lox” line is on the road to being one of the great quotes in This is SportsCenter history, right up there with Charley Steiner’s “follow me to freedom!”. But what’s happened in Pittsburgh since the commercial has aired is what’s taking this to the next level.

https://twitter.com/Chris_Zurcher/status/465625817981403136

That’s right – the Pirates are now selling “plunder the lox” t-shirts.

It’s a genius bit of marketing from the Pirates, and one that just fell into their laps. If ESPN never tabbed McCutchen to star in that commercial, the line would have had absolutely no significance in Pittsburgh. But with the commercial taking off like a rocket, and McCutchen becoming one of the most recognizable and revered stars in current Pittsburgh sports, this was an opportunity that the Pirates couldn’t pass up. And really, they shouldn’t have – it’s such a simple concept that is already gaining traction among a fanbase that is more in love with the Pirates than they have been over the last 20 years.

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About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.