Could it be… SATAN? 

When it comes to local sports… sure could.

Good day, godless heathens. Bill Freitas reporting from the pits of Hades to bring you this week’s Binge, Halloween-style. Evil is real, boys and ghouls. (Yes, there will be puns). And it’s quite amazing to find after some investigative (grave) digging, our very own dark lord has more influence on the Wide (Nether)World of Sports than we first anticipated. So after an exclusive interview with Beelzebub himself, I’m better able to understand a bit of the past, present and future events that have frustrated your average Tampa Bay sports fan. Grab some candy corn and a cold draft of witches’ tit brew. The church lady was right. Satan… is everywhere. No, not there, dude. That’s gonorrhea.

The career that wouldn’t die. The 75th last chance given to Buccaneer CB Aqib Talib not only results in a free set of steak knives, but one inescapable conclusion. Talib is a zombie. Punch a cabbie, he’s back. Fight teammates, he shows up again. Aggravated assault, charges dropped. Drug suspension, he keeps… coming… back. If his name were Michael Myers we’d be watching Halloween Does Sun City. Jamie Lee Curtis would be wearing a sequined baseball cap and a wet diaper, running away in a scooter screaming and coughing up yuck. It’s getting old would be the general point I’m trying to make here. Satan has an autographed 25 jersey that says, “Stay cool. Get it? LOL… Aqib.” Even his jokes are evil.

The Head(coach)less Saints come to town. If you Google “New Orleans haunted,” you will get almost 8 million hits. Haunted tours, French Quarter Phantoms, ghosts, vampires, voodoo and women with ding-a-lings. This city isn’t so much located up to 10 feet below sea level as it is 10 feet closer to hell. And their leaderless band of head-hunting misfits pretending to be Saints are headed to Tampa Bay. Their head coach (Sean Payton) is currently serving a year-long suspension for condoning a bounty program where injuries inflicted on opponents resulted in cold hard soulless blood money.

“One of my favorite teams,” cackled the devil. “But they’re not as bad as the beer prices at Raymond James Stadium, am I right?”

I must admit, I gave him a hearty high five for that one. Eight bucks for a domestic draft is uncut pure evil.

Without the “Devil,” the Rays got better. But not quite good enough. A paradox? In 2008, the Devil Rays said, “Get behind me, Satan!”, became the Rays and went to the World Series. Coincidence? Since then, the team has tasted the top of the heap, but never made it back to the big show.

“You must fully commit to evil in order to win a title. Just look at the Yankees,” grinned Satan. “The sunburst on the Rays logo is God-like, so my adversary is a bit of a fan. But the team is like a haunted house. Without bats, it’s just incomplete. Ha! High five, Bill.”

I left him hangin’.

The lockouts. When I asked about the NFL referee lockout, the Sultan of Sin beamed with pride.

“One of my proudest accomplishments. Nobody likes the referees. Nobody! Part-time employees who get a starting salary of $78,000 to blow calls and piss everybody off. I got an entire population of hard-working citizens to root for those turds for doing nothing but defiantly sitting on their asses while the game suffered. When they came back? Standing ovation. Meanwhile, the hard-working innocent replacements were ridiculed and forgotten for doing their best. You know the phrase, ‘No good deed goes unpunished’? Got that on my coffee mug. Father’s Day gift from Jerry Sandusky. See you soon, son!”

I then asked about the NHL lockout for a comparison. He waved it off.

“You have to be too big to fail before you threaten the masses with failure. Plus, I hate ice. Let me know if the Hooters in Channelside is in any financial danger, then I’ll get involved.”

The future? Satan said he doesn’t mess with the future since he bet with Bin Laden last year that Tebow would lose to Pittsburgh.

“I have to wear a 15 jersey for Halloween,” he frowned. “Osama thinks he’s hilarious. But he’s kind of a dick.”

The dark lord admitted he’s very excited about the Super Bowl in New Orleans this season, appropriately in the year ‘13, and offered one prediction.

“My posse and I are going topside for this bitch. Nobody notices the horns and pitchfork if you toss them some beads. Look for at least one NFL player to get arrested.”

I asked him if he knew something I didn’t.

“Logic, apparently,” he winked.

Happy Halloween!

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