Today is a historic day, obviously, with Barack Hussein Obama taking the oath of office (for the 4th time!)at high noon today in Washington D.C. The president will be placing his left hand on a bible once owned by the Revered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as direct a connection of any between the leader of the civil rights movement in America and our first black president.
While the country will be watching and/or listening to Obama's speech today, thousands will be participating at the same time in big MLK Day parades in both Tampa and St. Pete.
St.Pete's MLK Drum Major for Justice National Parade begins at 11 a.m. downtown. The route begins on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street at Third Avenue South, proceeds north to Central Avenue, east along Central to Bayshore Drive and north to Fifth Avenue Northeast, ending at Vinoy and North Shore Parks.
Tampa's parade begins at noon at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue at 15th Street (just east of the studios of WMNF radio), then north on 22nd Street past Middleton High School, ending at Osborn Avenue.
As far as inauguration ceremonies go, the Pinellas County Democrats are putting on a big shindig tonight at the Gulfport Casino, though in fact hundreds of local Democrats will be in the nation's capital celebrating in D.C.
But as the title of this post references, today is also the day when fans of the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens woke up and realized that their teams are going to the Super Bowl in New Orleans in 13 days.
As most regular readers know, this reporter is a San Francisco native and longtime Niner fan, so I'm over the moon with the 49ers first trip back to the Super Bowl since just after Newt Gingrich's Contract with America helped the Republicans take over the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. Yes, January of 1995 we're talking about, as San Francisco overcame a 17 point first-half deficit in knocking out the Atlanta Falcons last night, 28-24.
And the only thing better than that for this particular fan was watching Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the arrogant New England Patriots take it on the chin in losing the AFC Championship game last night in Foxboro, Mass. So it's Baltimore-SF for it all. With the game in New Orleans, going to this game would be awesome. Unfortunately doing a quick check on some websites last night for tickets found the cheapest ones in the $2,000 category, a bit too rich for this working stiff reporter.
The 49ers and Ravens played on Thanksgiving night in 2011, with the Ravens winning 16-6 in Baltimore. But that was BK - Before Kaepernick!
One of the things the president may or not may mention today but is at the top of his agenda is trying to pass some new regulations regarding gun safety. Yesterday on Meet The Press, New York Senator Chuck Schumer debated Texas freshman Republican Ted Cruz on whether such regulations are appropriate in the post-Sandy Hook world.
Locally the guns issue is playing itself out in Hillsborough County, where superintendent MaryEllen Elia was rebuked last week by her board on pushing a plan for security officers in elementary schools next year. On Friday, Elia spoke out about the issue.
We're within a week of the Florida Democratic Party finally deciding who their next leader will be. On Saturday Tampa Democrat Alan Clendenin published a memo separating what he said was fact from myth about his candidacy.
And how about local Christian conservative Terry Kemple? He's asking his supporters what race he should enter next, but will probably be sidetracked as he decides to crank out some anti-gay rhetoric in the coming weeks.