Congratulations graduates. Time to take your vast knowledge of recycling and 2 + 2 = whatever-makes-you-happy and get out there to start blaming others for why you're not a millionaire before 30. If there's one piece of advice I can offer, given the amount of graduation speeches I've delivered, it's this. Having "haters" is not a resume enhancer. Sometimes having haters means you're an asshole.
Another nugget of wisdom which is slowly eroding before our very eyes is, "Quitters never win." Unfortunately, there's a gaggle of Tampa Bay fans in the area who are ... what? ... OK, I never gave a commencement address. Can we move on? Sheesh. Anyway, there's a group of brand-new single-serving New York Ranger fans rooting for Marty St. Louis to win the Stanley Cup this year because he was once a beloved Lightning leader and fan favorite — right up until the time he abandoned his team, his fans and the city because things didn't go his way.
Remember when the younger sibling in A League of Their Own bitched and moaned her way through the entire movie, bubbling over with envy, jealousy and anger because of all the attention given to her older, prettier and more talented sister Geena Davis? The relationship was so strained, the club had no choice but to trade her to another team before the big pillow fight at the end ... I mean series. For those of you who missed the movie, the Americans won the war and the baby won the game. Apparently, there was crying in baseball — and it was rewarded.
Point is, Marty bailed. He quit. He left his team in the middle of a playoff push because he didn't get along with his boss. When your wife runs off with the pool boy, you don't think to yourself, "Hey, we had a few laughs. Hope she wins the Powerball. I'm rooting for her." If St. Louis hoists up the trophy, fathers everywhere can say, "Son, life isn't fair. So if you're ever in a situation that isn't perfect, quit, take your puck and leave town. And someday, you'll be a champion."
GO KINGS (I feel so dirty)
Mark September 14th on your calendars, kids. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will celebrate Derrick Brooks' 2014 Hall of Fame induction and entry into the Ring of Honor with a commemorative bobblehead doll giveaway per ticketed customer. Unless I can wear it or stuff it in my pocket, my giveaways normally wind up a forgotten, crumpled, beer-stained wad under the seat. But I'll be damned if I will leave this priceless tchotchke of awesomeness behind. I may forget my sunglasses, phone or dignity, but #55 is going home with me. Already got the perfect spot picked out between my wedding photo and T-ball trophy for being the only player to ever strike out looking.
Speaking of striking out, lately our Tampa Bay Rays have reminded me of a television evangelist: They both have the ability to make thousands jump up and yell "Jesus!" As of Thursday, they've made a perfect 10 ... losses in a row (if you briefly thought of Bo Derek while reading that, we can hang out). The 2014 season is like a bad movie — or a great movie, provided they're fixing to make the biggest, most miraculous comeback since Jared decided to eat nothing but Subway chicken teriyaki sandwiches for the rest of his life. We can't score more than a couple of runs a game ... oh, we scored six? Yeah, they scored 11. We lose ... again. Sure, there's around 100 games left and anything can happen. But in the meantime, you can pass the time by taking a drink every time somebody says, "It's going to be a long season." You'll be blind by the 4th inning.
Honorable Afterthoughts: The Super Bowl is going to take a year off the Roman numerals because they think "50" looks cooler than "L" (that's a crock of shit — put your thumb and pointer finger into an "L" shape, place it on your forehead and tell me that isn't cool ... I'm waiting ... you're not doing it, are you? Killjoy); Buccaneer DE Da'Quan Bowers reportedly showed up to training camp out of shape. Again (I'd start by knocking off a grand for every extra pound over this blimp tips the scales every day until he makes weight — then cut him); and finally, Donald Sterling decided to drop the lawsuit against the NBA over the LA Clippers sale ... wait for it ... for $2 billion. If somebody offered me that, I'd drop the charges, my jaw and a deuce in my pants.