You can prepare for the inevitable as much as you can, but when it finally hits it can still suck donkey balls. Gram Gram is over a hundred and won't live forever. Summer vacation is great but won't last forever. Last call isn't until 3 a.m. but time marches on. And don't get me started on chocolate shakes. Eventually Gramma's gone, school starts, the bartender tosses you through a plate-glass window and your straw makes that empty sucky slurpy noise indicating dessert is done and your gut is expanding. Good times.
So goes the David Price saga, which came to a predictable, yet very sad, conclusion. It surprised nobody, yet there was hope immersed in the hopelessness until the bitter end that came last Thursday afternoon. When I read the news on my smart-ass phone, I put my head down as a nauseous and bloaty feeling overcame me. Then I farted and felt a lot better. I didn't want him to go, but knew the day would come. I wanted the world for him in the trade, but it makes little mathematical sense to unload somebody because we can't afford him only to acquire several studs equally unattainable with the limited funds at our disposal. It would be like dumping HBO to save money then pick up Starz, Cinemax, Epix and Showtime. We're a basic-cable market and all we can hope for is the occasional swear word to sneak across AMC to make us feel premium-channel rich. Good luck, David. Enjoy Detroit. You can actually buy a house for 100 bucks. So with your new contract, you can probably buy a ... um ... Detroit.
To say July is slightly slow in sports is akin to suggesting that the Rays have a wee bit of catching up to do if they don't want to spend October sitting on the couch — a giant luxurious leather couch in front of a 80-inch flatscreen, being fed nachos by topless supermodels so their hands don't get sticky holding their micro-brew. Baseball players are quite wealthy is the general point of the previous stupid joke. The World Cup was a pleasant distraction for the awkward pauses between bar conversations, the All-Star game was great if you were actually there (and you were 12), and of course, the ESPYs (*cough*). So, in order to come up with enough content to fill the necessary minimum requirements to call this steamy pile of words a "sports column," I had to dig deep.
Usually that's when things get weird.
Great googly-moogly, it's hot (did I mention I was recently promoted to the rank of captain of the obvious? It's pretty sweet). As I type this sports mess, it's currently 94 and cloudy. Cloudy. If the sun peeks through it will cut like a laser beam and your body will explode in a mess of sweaty balls of fire. It is so hot (how hot is it?) that you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, my seat-belt buckle and in my pants. It's also the time when we celebrate our nation's independence by further aggravating possible heat stroke by spending the day outside hovering over a grill and blowing shit up. America ... F*** yeah.
So in the wake of drinking, sweating and possibly losing a finger, let's get you caught up on the world of Tampa Bay sports.
Godfather III ... the best of the Godfather franchise by far. I could watch that steamy hot scene where Andy Garcia made dough balls with Coppola's daughter over and over again. Did I mention they played cousins? Italian hillbilly awesomeness. If you missed it, grab a sibling, push play and enjoy the express elevator to hell. Not because of the incest, but because by the time the movie is over you'll wish you watched Smokey and the Bandit III, Jaws IV and Rocky V in a row with a wasabi colonic. (That's right, there are three Smokey and the Bandit movies.)
Yessir, that movie was a colossal turd, shaming respectable mobsters everywhere into telling people at cocktail parties they sell shoes. But there was one line that folks will always remember whether they've seen t or not.
"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in."
Welcome to the Rays famiglia.
The best part about spending the night clutching the toilet and barfing your shoes out through your nose is the exhilarating relief you feel when it eventually stops. So goes the 2014 season of the worst team in baseball. After losing 10 in a row, our beloved Rays snapped the shit-streak with a win. And there was much rejoicing (yay). Then, before we could pronounce the "k" sound in comeback, they lost four more. And right before we could get to the last "s" in hopeless, boom: Another win, snapping a 31-inning scoreless streak — a team record. And the vomit subsided ... for now. The highlight of Wednesday night's non-loss to the Cardinals was when rookie outfielder Kevin Kiermaier slipped into a phone booth, popped out faster than a speeding bullet and caught a fly ball in flight with the bases loaded, preserving a 1-run lead. If you don't understand the Superman/phone booth reference, we can no longer hang out. This weekend, the Rays mixed it up with the Astros in a three-game series in Houston ... where they, too, have a problem (BAM!). Sunday, the Rays came out on top for the series by winning the third game 4-3.
Brazil. Home of Carnival, that big honkin' statue of Jesus and the painful removal of every hair follicle from your undercarriage. Also? There seems to be a buttload of soccer games going on up until around mid-July. Teams from all over the world (literally!) descend upon bizarro America. Seriously, the drains spin in the opposite direction, it's winter down there and in Brazil they like their boobs small and their butts big (true story). Yessir, World Cup craziness has definitely set in ... I think. My advice? if soccer just isn't your thing but you like getting swept up in a cavalcade of batshit insanity, get your ass to a pub and mix it up with the hooligans. You may not know what the hell is going on up on the screen, but it won't matter. The perfect mix of jubilation, patriotism and homicidal emotions is a people watcher's paradise. GOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLL!!!!!!!
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.