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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF MARCH 15, 2020


A weekly airing of national and local politics, sports and lifestyle items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - much of what is printed here should not be taken literally.


TBRR turns six


(Ed. Note – The official anniversary of our first publication was last week, but all that Super Tuesday stuff took precedence.)

Perhaps you were one of 1700 plus misguided folks to read our first edition back on March 9, 2014; or maybe this is your first stop by these quarters. Either way, we humbly say thanks. A lot has changed over the course of some six years and a quarter million words. We’ve chronicled the changing of the guard at the White House, the continued futility of the Bucs, the demise of two great publications – The Tampa Tribune and The 5:05 Newsletter and continue to endure The St. Pete Times. Ahead, we have two important elections – Clearwater’s this week and our nation’s in November. And we hope to enjoy a Rays World Series victory and, at least, a winning season for the Bucs and Bulls. Hope you’ll stay with us as we continue to view things through our politically incorrect eyes.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Surreal is the way one sports site described the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the sports world – an appropriate word for all of our world with schools closing, going to online instruction and, yes, our recreational pursuits being shut down one by one. It’s all being done with an abundance of caution and anyone who criticizes these moves is simply nuts.

2. And while on the subject, a friendly request to our national and state legislative leaders, work to resolve the issue, don’t politicize it.

3. Joe Biden’s win in Michigan pretty much wraps things up. The Democrats have to win Michigan in November to have a chance at the White House and if you can’t win the Democratic primary, chances are good you won’t win the general election.

4. We were saddened to read of the passing of former St. Petersburg city official Rick Dodge, a truly nice man. Dodge led the quest for a major league franchise for St. Pete first by relocation, then expansion. One of our most precious possessions was a Tampa Bay White Sox shirt Rick gave us during the quest to bring the south siders to St. Pete.

5. With thanks to the world’s best Nana, you’ve lived in the bay area a long time if you remember the thin Top 50 Surveys distributed for free each week by WLCY Radio.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. ESPN either has to deeply refine their “All Access” feature, which we sincerely hope will be confined to spring training, or get rid of it. The audio is awful with the players not being able to hear the commentators; the game on the field is completely ignored and in a couple games, conversations between booth and field were completely in Spanish – fine for ESPN Deportes but not for an overwhelmingly English speaking audience.

7. For a great basketball story, Google Snacks – Jackson State - some precious video.

8. You have to be a bit of a music geek to know the name Hal Blaine. He was without doubt the greatest studio drummer of the rock era adding distinctive drum lines at the beginning of the Beach Boys Don’t Worry Baby and Johnny River’s Poor Side of Town or at the end of Roy Orbison’s I’m Hurtin’ and literally hundreds of other hit songs. Hal passed away a year ago this week, and, to our great regret, it was not mentioned at that time.

9. Answer – J.K Simmons. Question: who is the actor who does such a great deadpan in the Farmers Insurance ads? A couple Simmons tidbits - He won an Academy Award for his role in the 2014 film Whiplash and he actually has a name in the Farmers commercials – Professor Nathaniel Burke.

10. Elizabeth Warren is the latest politician to do a bang-up job on one of the network comedy shows. The tradition goes all the way back to Dick Nixon’s famous “Sock it to me” on the classic Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In.

For sports, the timing couldn’t be worse


As pointed out above, the moves to cancel large gatherings is the best and only course to deal with our world pandemic. But three crown jewels of the sports world will be adversely affected. Principal of those is the NCAA basketball tournament that fans of every size and shape look forward to annually. Next month’s Masters, golf’s crown jewel will hopefully become this fall’s Masters. We feel for those folks who through years of begging and pleading finally got ahold of probably the toughest ticket in sports and hope they can rearrange their schedules. And the oldest major event to be at least temporarily cancelled is the opening day of our National Pastime. And speaking of long standing events, if this world wide crisis is not soon resolved, an event even older than baseball’s opening day, May’s Kentucky Derby, dating back to 1875, may be in danger.

NEXT UP: World Series droughts; Memo to city newbies; Thanks, AAA



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