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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



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


USF lets our community down


Pinellas and Hillsborough counties have well over 32,000 teachers and no institution has provided more of those than the University of South Florida. The 32,000 figure does not take into account the number of teachers in contiguous counties (Pasco, Polk and Manatee) that also have been provided by the University of South Florida’s School of Education. Now USF is shutting down the School of Education which it says will save $6.8 million over the next two years – a very paltry sum when compared to USF’s $1.8 billion dollar budget. It is little wonder that outrage has been expressed in local education circles – most of whom were not even give a heads up on the move. And what of local high school graduates who plan a career in education? Sure, there are other options in Florida – options that require dorms rather than living at home, travel and, often, the loss of opportunities to hold on to a part-time job that will help defray educational costs. This decision was not at all well-thought out, and we suspect (and hope) when the tidal waves of protests come, a decision that should be revisited in conjunction with local education officials. 


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Quote of the Week from an observer of the Senate Judiciary Hearings on Amy Coney Barrett: “Joe Biden needs a teleprompter just to introduce his wife at a campaign event. Amy Coney Barrett handles 10 hour hearings with no notes in front of her.”

2. The guys in St. Pete who put out that twice weekly rag should hire the editorial writer for The 5:05 Newsletter. To wit: Editorial: To me, members of the current U.S. Congress are like "Post Turtles." You are driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top. That is a "Post Turtle." You know it didn't get there by itself. It doesn't belong up there. It doesn't know what to do while it is up there. It is elevated beyond its ability to function and you just have to wonder what kind of dumb ass put it up there to begin with. Best Congressional commentary we’ve read since Mark Twain’s “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”

3. Anticipating the wailing and gnashing of teeth when some ballots don’t get counted in next month’s general election, we offer the following advice. Mail the ballot tomorrow! There are over two weeks until Election Day. Don’t cry crocodile tears if you mail your ballot two days in advance and it doesn’t make it on time.

4. The Pinellas Sheriff’s race is getting ugly with some attack ads from the Democratic Party against incumbent Bob Gualtieri regarding his office’s handling of rape cases. The Sheriff claims the Democrats are using rape victims as “political pawns.” Perhaps so, but this is not the first time his office has been chided for categorizing rape cases as “a waste of time” or worse.

5. Let us try to understand this: many of the same people who support or actually have knocked over statutes of Christopher Columbus are more than willing to take the second Monday in October off with pay.



Sports, media and other stuff:


6. The recent passing of Conchata Ferrell at age 77 reminded us again of how much supporting actors add to the flavor of shows. Can you imagine what Two and a Half Men would have been without the beloved Berta? The same holds true for Wayne Knight’s Newman on Seinfeld; Edward Winter’s Colonel Flagg on M*A*S*H; Jack Riley’s neurotic Elliott Carlin on The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart himself as Professor Proton on The Big Bang Theory. And there are dozens more just like them.

7. This post season oddity: twice in the NLCS the Atlanta Braves’ Ozzie Albies homered and both times Braves closer Mark Melancon caught the ball in the Braves bullpen. The Braves ace has caught more home runs (2) in the bullpen this season than he has given up on the mound (1).

8. Two weeks in a row, we, with sorrow, report the passing of a pitching immortal. Last week, it was Bob Gibson; this week “The Chairman of the Board” Whitey Ford, a stalwart with the Yankees for 16 seasons. Whitey was 91. Also passing away was Red’s star second baseman Joe Morgan at 77.

9. Strange managerial moves. The White Sox say thanks for getting the team to post-season for the first time in 12 years by firing Manager Rich Renteria. And the Red Sox tell Ron Roenicke thanks for helping us get out from under a cloud of cheating by firing him after one season - curious set of values.

10. From an internet friend: You know you’re getting old when “friends with benefits” means having someone who can drive at night.


Things we are glad we still have


As a corollary to our TBR&R Remembering article of 9/27/20, here are a bunch of people, places and things we are glad we still can enjoy: The Stanley Cup as well as both a major league baseball team and an NFL football team, both relatively successful this year; Capogna’s Dugout; the scenic docks at Tarpon Springs; one of the world’s best beaches; the Beachcomber; one of Florida’s best fishing fleets; a good minor league affiliate (most years) in the Threshers; Ferg’s in St. Pete; some good television stations headlined by Channel 13; the Frenchy’s seafood chain; top notch higher learning institutions –St. Pete College, UT and Eckerd College; the county’s outstanding library system; Keegan’s on Indian Rocks Beach; Morton Plant Hospital; WFLA’s Jack Harris; Publix; The Sweet Sage Cafe on North Redington Beach; our three bay area Spring Training sites; our favorite diner – the Largo Family Restaurant; the people at Regions Bank; Pier 60; the Sheraton Sand Key; and most of all, our family and friends.

NEXT UP: Scary quotes; Century old landmark; Q for Don & Joe



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