Being a San Francisco 49er fan since the John Brodie days of the early 1970's, it's been an absolute thrill to see Jim Harbaugh revive the franchise over the past three years. In fact, Harbaugh is the first coach in NFL history to take his team to the Championship game in his first three years in the league. But each time, the Niners have lost late in heartbreaking fashion. Last year's Super Bowl ended when Colin Kaepernick couldn't get the Niners in to the end zone from the five-yard line with a minute to go against Baltimore in the Blackout Bowl in New Orleans.
And two weeks ago, well, we all know what happened. The most famous defensive back in football now, Richard Sherman batted down a Kaepernick pass destined to be caught by Michael Crabtree in the end zone in Seattle, allowing the Seahawks to come out on top in an absolutely epic contest.
But of course I'll watch the game. But who to root for? To most fans with no dog in the hunt, Manning is the compelling player in the game, and thus the Broncos will become "America's team" for 3 1/2 hours on Sunday night. Some folks may end up rooting against Seattle because of Sherman's antics. This is the rare game in recent years where the two top seeds are competing against each other, and in Manning vs. Sherman you have the two main players leading the top offense in the league vs. the top defense, respectively.
I've grown to like the Seahawks in the past couple of years (when they're not playing SF). Love their green uniforms, their cool stadium, and their Marin County-based cool coach, Pete Carroll. They were the best team in football, top to bottom all season long (But if they had played the Niners on a neutral field...). I think Carroll hoists up the Lombardi Trophy late Sunday night, winning 24-21.
Now back to the news. Among the stories we reported yesterday included Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern's announcement that she is leaving her race for Hillsborough County Commission due to health issues. She will remain on the council.
Also: It was potentially a big day for home owners in Pinellas, Pasco & Hillsborough Counties living in flood zones who are facing draconian insurance rate increases. The Senate voted to delay Biggert-Waters for four years, but surprisingly one major voice who doesn't support the delay lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the District.
A new poll released yesterday shows that a huge majority - 73 percent - support raising Florida's minimum wage law to $10.10 an hour. And so does Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.
Will David Jolly continue to contrast himself to Alex Sink by saying she's essentially a Washington D.C. tool? Yesterday three separate GOP Pacs announced that they would be spending a combined $1.2 million into the race on behalf of the former aide to the late Bill Young.
It may be symbolic, but no doubt members in the LGBT community are appreciative to Rick Kriseman's letter yesterday sent (along with two other Florida mayors) to Russian President Vladimir Putin telling him that he should repeal his anti-gay law that he signed into law last summer.
In two weeks the Tampa City Council will host a workshop on potential uses of downtown tax money that will be freed in 2015. It's been mentioned as a possible funding source for a new ballpark in downtown Tampa, but several city council members (and the public) don't support that idea. Mayor Buckhorn says it's a bit premature for such speculation.
And we've got the first report on what some of the residents who may be moved out of their public housing in West Tampa have to say about that big "bodacious" (in the words of Bob Buckhorn) plan to redevelop the west bank area of the Hillsborough River.