I will admit as a Tampa Native I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the Buccaneers and the NFL, and local politicians who’ve given way too much to both.
My dad has always hated the team and even volunteered to drive them out of the city for free when there was talk of moving them from Tampa. Never more than when his property taxes were increased to pay for what was to be Tampa Community Stadium only to fall to the corporate gods and take the name of Raymond James and Associates.
Fast forward to 2020/21 we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, when it seems like only professional sports teams have the resources to keep themselves and their investments, umm employees healthy, and continue to be profitable. The media anointed hero of the Stupid Bowl, not a man known for his ethical or moral compass even benefitted from the PPP program. Is this because of his friendship with the previous president? Or just because of name recognition and a ready access to capital? (I’d like an investigation) Not one reporter has dared ask.
Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals) spoke to us, “sports is a reward for a functioning society.” We didn’t listen, since he made that statement last July the death toll in this country has quadrupled. If you’ve figured out how to keep sports teams going during a global pandemic but, not public schools; is your society functioning? When keeping people safe and healthy according to the current science (we know science changes based on the evolution of data) is politicized; is your society functioning? Not one bit. We are an exceptional country, exceptionally selfish, callous, and uneducated.
We are the only country reaping benefits of work we did not do, the Stupid Bowl. A trophy for 400,000 dead, “celebrating” first responders, doctors, and nurses, who’ve given of themselves so selflessly during this crisis. Only to watch people pour out into the street in what seemed like every neighborhood in Tampa, which will only cause more needless suffering. I weep for what’s to come.