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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



TBR&R is a weekly airing of national and local politics, sports and lifestyle items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - certain accounts printed here should not be taken literally.


Memo to MLB, NHL and NBA, let us relax!


To quote an old Kingston Trio song, these are the times that try men’s souls. We’re fighting an unprecedented pandemic, our jobs are in jeopardy, and we’re being badgered by political ads every three minutes. We need to relax, and at least fifty percent of our population turns to sports for relaxation. The one thing we absolutely don’t need is a bunch of social commentary and other mumbo jumbo infiltrating our brief respite from the rest of the world. We get enough of that nonsense 24/7. Your job MLB, NHL and NBA is to entertain us, not barrage us with junk we can get on CNN, Fox News or MSNBC. We get the feeling if our major sports can’t (or won’t) separate their political agenda from entertainment, folks will walk away. And a goodly portion may not come back.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Joe Biden has a plan to eliminate the coronavirus pandemic. And Richard Nixon had a plan to end the Vietnam War. We predict both plans will have the same success.

2. And about Joe’s running mate Comma-lah: she strongly opposes people’s right to own those deadly firearms, but has absolutely no problem with the murder of unborn children.

3. Idle observation: the weekend before the Donkey convention, FBN shouts “its’ coming, it’s coming,” from the front page. Last weekend’s GOP convention coverage nets page 15 placement. Tampa Bay deserves so much better.

4. Nancy Pelosi moves heaven and earth to get more money for the post office hoping somehow that will get more liberals elected. But on the same day, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows approaches her about getting more money in the pockets of folks affected by the Coronavirus and is blown off. Easily translated – get us liberals elected, the hell with people suffering.

5. A few weeks back (TBR&R 7/19/20) we suggested some proactive consumer action against companies that wish to force their political correctness on us – and their employees. The latest offender is Goodyear and their pronouncement that employees may wear BLM and LGBT garments, but don’t dare show up in Blue Lives Matter or MAGA attire. Like Pepsi and Nike, the good news about snubbing Goodyear, once the gold standard of tires, is there are now far superior options in the market place.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. The passing last week of Paula Caray, widow of the late, great Braves broadcaster, Skip, reminds Brave fans of what a hurtful month August is for the faithful. The three key elements of the WTBS Superstation days, Skip, Ernie Johnson and Pete Van Wieren all passed away within a block of a few years in the month of August.

7. Another baseball broadcasting note: the Southeast, including the bay area, is loaded with fans of the Blue Jays, Braves, Cards, Cubs, Phils and Yankees plus a few others. Those fans can probably understand a blackout on their favorite team’s game when they play at Tampa Bay, but not when the game is played in their team’s home park. Fans play over $100 a year for the privilege to see their team and their announcers on cable. MLB should revisit this broadcast policy.

8. Be honest, did you know the NBA playoffs were even going on? The playoffs ceased for one day in some sort of social protest after which the overpaid NBA stars realized the world would not stop spinning if they stopped dribbling.

9. Mention the name Bert Parks to a millennial and you will get a blank stare. It’s hard to believe forty years ago, the perennial host of the Miss America pageant was dumped after a quarter century with the pageant seeking a “younger look”. It created a furor with many former Miss Americas and TV giant Johnny Carson taking up Bert’s cause. The pageant has not been the same since.

10. Answer – 1910. The question: when was the last time a state capitol was changed? In 1910, the state of Oklahoma moved its state capital from Guthrie to Oklahoma City. Someday, perhaps Florida will do the same and move the capital to a more central location.


Remembering: waterfront places where we ate


(Editor’s note: In each month’s final edition, we take a look back at the people, places and things that make the area what it is. Previous subjects have included Star Spectaculars, Spring Training, the Clearwater Bombers, High School Graduations, Clearwater’s WTAN and Howard the Trader)

Clearwater and environs have been blessed with many fine restaurants over the years. This month we remember some of the best and most popular on or near the water. First would be the granddaddy of top restaurants – 72 years and counting, Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber on Clearwater Beach. Back in the day, its main competitors were virtually across the street – Henry Henriquez’ Pelican and Buckley’s. Just down the road, was possibly the best kept secret on the beach, the dining room at the Clearwater Beach Hotel.   And at the south end of the beach was Fisherman’s Wharf. As you venture away from the beach, you had to make a stop at the Flagship or the double-decked Seaspire on Island Estates. Once on the mainland, there was the down to earth Bay Drive In on the bayfront where they would cook your catch from one of Clearwater’s numerous fishing boats. Lastly, you had the elegance of Siple’s Garden Seat, on Druid Road, with its beautiful lawns that sloped down to Clearwater Bay. All but the Beachcomber are gone today, but what a treat these fine restaurants provided to Clearwater residents in the middle of the 1900s.

UP NEXT: Come to Houston; MLB update; Enemy of the State?



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