Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I think a televised Starcraft match might be more interesting than a Tampa Bay football game. (The "I Guess It's Time To Try To Do An NFL Preview" NFL Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

You'd think, what with the GOP convention going on in Tampa -- a convention that promises to double the money strippers in the area make, family values be damned -- I'd be all set to make a bunch of jokes about Republicans in lieu of actually previewing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and that kind of post would be apropos for me in light of the fact that my Cleveland Browns preview failed to note that Peyton Hillis wasn't a Cleveland Brown anymore, but you'd think wrong.

After all, who wants to talk about Republicans? It's bad enough they're going to win the elections this year, raise taxes on the middle class, cut social services, declare rape legal, end Medicare and Social Security, and subject us to years of looking at Eric Cantor's lying, autism-defunding face:

This man hates children.  He especially hates kids with autism.
But I don't want to make things worse by talking about them, too.  I'm trying to avoid being depressed and I'm hoping, really hoping, that if the GOP wins, then it will also turn out that the Mayans were right.

Unless that's what the Mayans were predicting?

This is the face of the Apocalypse.
Anyhow, on to the preview of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

What I Know About Them Without Researching: I heard somewhere I think that the Buccaneers had a new coach this year.  That came as a surprise to me because when I think about the Buccaneers, I can only name two coaches they've had in their entire history:  Tony Dungy, and John Gruden, and I really only count those as one coach because Gruden just sort of waltzed in there and took over a team Dungy had built and won a Super Bowl and gets all kind of credit, even though he probably shouldn't, right?

Think about John Gruden: Is he a good coach, or not?  He gets all this credit for being a great coach but I'm not so sure that he ever did anything worth lauding.  He went 40-28 with the Raiders, and made the playoffs a lot, but I'm not sure there were any good teams in his division back then.  That was when the Seahawks were still in the AFC West and the year that Gruden had his best year, going 12-4 and reaching the AFC Championship, he had the Broncos, Seahawks, Chiefs, and Chargers in his division.  The Chargers went 1-15 that year, and the Raiders were 5-3 in their division.  There wasn't really a very good team on their schedule that season.

Anyway, the Bucs apparently have a new coach this year.  I don't know who he is. I can't name a single player on the Buccaneers.  I'm not sure who they play this year.  And none of that bothers me because this:

Is there any scenario in which it matters whether or not anyone knows anything about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year? 

Seriously: Can you say that for fantasy football it's important I know about them? Can it be important for me to know anything about the Buccaneers to have an informed view of the NFL season? To have an idea who might make the playoffs?  No, no, and no.  I can't foresee that the Buccaneers will have any impact on the season, negative or positive.  They haven't mattered since Gruden won Dungy's Super Bowl, and so I'm not going to worry about whether I know something about them.

What Somebody Else Said About Them:  I googled "Buccaneers Fantasy 2012," which really is a phrase that describes anyone who thinks the Buccaneers will still be playing in January, 2013, and I got this article from something called Athlon Sports, which mentions that Josh Freeman, who it seems is Tampa's quarterback, is not as fat this year as he was last year; that seems like it's a good thing.

Athlon's fantasy outlook for Tampa is as follows:

Fantasy Impact: New coach Greg Schiano wants to build the offense around a powerful rushing attack, so it was no surprise when he selected Doug Martin to pair with LeGarrette Blount in the backfield. Blount has started the last two years for the Buccaneers, but Martin is expected to lead the team in carries and yards this season. Michael Smith brings a different dimension to the backfield and will see carries as a change-of-pace threat. Lavonte David and Mark Barron are two impact defensive acquisitions and should be monitored in IDP leagues.

That seems unhelpful.  The wrap-up Athlon provides is this look at whether you want Tampa during your fantasy team's playoff run:

Tampa Bay ranked 27th in the NFL in scoring offense and last in scoring defense last season. No offensive players were top-12 fantasy players at their position. Playing the Eagles and Saints in the fantasy playoffs means playing catch-up, so there should be some production. St. Louis was equally bad — 32nd scoring offense, 26th scoring defense. The fantasy title game is a wild card. 

 That is, if you have a Tampa player on your team, you will be playing that person in your fantasy championship as he takes on St. Louis, which Athlon helpfully tells you is "a wild card."  Then they take credit for helping you analyze it.

At least I admit when I don't know something.  At Athlon, they basically shrug and say "Eh. Who knows what'll happen? Can we get paid now?"


What 1980s one-hit wonder song adequately conveys how Tampa will do this year? I have held off until this long mentioning that the strip clubs in Tampa have a choice: offer liquor, or offer fully-naked women, but not both: You can't get drunk and look at a live naked woman in Tampa.

But you can get a lap dance in a spaceship on the roof of a strip club:






That's the 2001 Odyssey, a strip club in Tampa where you can, for $80, get a lapdance in the spaceship on the roof.  Here is a review of that club on Yelp:



I have been to this club twice and after the second try, I never went back. I basically walked in at around 6-7 pm while the admission was supposed to be free. The rude lady at the door led me into a room with 4-5 other dudes sitting around waiting for some action while the only dancer in the room was standing in the corner doing her own thing (NOBODY was on the stage). While I'm depressed by this scene, the rude lady comes up to me and asks me to buy a mandatory drink. At that point I walked out of the club and went across the street for a much better experience. 

There is just too much typical strip club shady stuff going on at this place. The first time I was there, I put up with it just to see what it's like. Aside from the mandatory drinks, they charge you $15 for every time you take a girl in the level 1 dance rooms. If I remember correctly, they have a level 2 room and the space room as well which can cost around $500. The girls are trained to talk you into going to the space room and while they promise the world to you, everybody knows those champaigne rooms are nothing but a big scam. I could call a 10 times better looking girl for half that price. Anyway, if they had no competition, I would understand the arrogance and the shady business tactics. But, when there is a real world class club right across the street, why would anyone settle for less?
 The Odyssey, one article notes, was named one of the seven wonders of the Tampa region, so way to class up the city, Tampa: one of the seven most notable things about your city is a strip club.

I wasn't able to find a complete list of the other six wonders, but I did find out that "Plant Hall" at the University of Tampa also made the list.

Plant Hall is:

the main academic and administrative building for the University, already had an extraordinary history. Formerly the Tampa Bay Hotel, the building represented, and still remains, a symbol of the city and its history. Local historians credit its builder, railroad and shipping magnate Henry B. Plant, with the transformation of Tampa from a sleepy fishing village to what would become a vibrant city of the 21st century.

Also, the Potions class is in the far minaret.
 So the song I've picked out is I Beg Your Pardon, by Kon Kan:




The lyrics say:

There once was a time and there once was a way 
We had something going and to my dismay 
Attention to me seemed to drift 
 Nailed it.

Kon Kan is a Canadian duo that won two "Junos," an award nobody outside of Canada cares about.  More interestingly, the lead singer, Kevin Wynne, is, according to Wikipedia, a "semi-pro video golfer."

But a secret one.  Googling "Kevin Wynne semi-pro video golfer" yields nothing but links back to that article on Wikipedia.  I couldn't even find any information on video golf leagues, but I did find out that there is a professional league devoted to playing the game Starcraft, with the top prize being $40,000-$50,000, which, okay, it isn't Scrabble money, but it still pays more than many jobs at ESPN.

 Previous:

Cleveland Browns

Minnesota Vikings.

St. Louis Rams

Indianapolis Colts.



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