by Bill Freitas
Mama always said, never wish your life away. But the air is filled with anticipation like that 1979 Heinz Ketchup commercial. Those brats never took the time to enjoy the slow and steady journey of the thick delicious condiment as it made its way from the bottle to the burger. They just wanted to devour that cow so they could go back outside and play (video games were called "go outside and play" back then). Summer is almost here, so it won't be long before we scald ourselves with our seatbelt buckles. School is almost out, so the malls will soon be filled with horrifying entitled teenage future drains on our tax dollars. And Buccaneer rookies report for their 3-day mini-camp, once again reminding football junkies that the NFL season is three short months away. Hurry up, football! The Rays aren't as awesome as expected, hockey season is over as far as I'm concerned, nobody gives a frog's fat ass about the NBA around these parts and apparently I'm simply not intelligent or enlightened enough to appreciate the complexities and nuances of Rowdies soccer. Sorry, rest of the world. We just don't get it.
Draftees and over 40 very large un-drafted kids will be putting on big-boy pants to practice, and in some cases, audition for a role in the fall blockbuster hit, the 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Head coach Lovie Smith, named after Thurston Howell III's wife, drafted all offense — a franchise first. Most of the talk is focused on the big-ass receivers — 6-foot-5 receiver Mike Evans and 6-foot-6 tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins — picked to join our current big-ass receiver, Vincent Jackson. After last year's dreadful red zone percentage (and receiving ... and offense in general ... and team ... and coaching), having three options who can bring down the football thrown anywhere in their area code could be a decent and immediate improvement. All Buc Nation needs to do now is get over the fact that Smith is happy with the quarterback situation and he may ... just may ... know a little more about the business than you or I do. By the way, Johnny Manziel is going to flop. Believe that. Ryan Leaf is probably giggling to himself about it in rehab somewhere. Did you know he was a Buccaneer for six months in 2001? Yeah, we should keep consulting Tony Dungy about football decisions.
If you're not hopelessly batshit crazy, you probably don't concern yourself with OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, created by the woman responsible for every butt-ugly troll showing skin because she's convinced them that muffin-tops are hot. Anyhoo, Oprah has decided follow first openly gay football player, Michael Sam through his journey in the NFL with a reality show. Great job, Michael. Way to take the what-I-do-in-the-bedroom-is-nobody's-business-so-judge-me-by-my-abilities-as-a-player goal and put it in a bag, set it on fire and leave it at the doorstep of every football fan who never asked. I got a few friends who are gay. Two very close friends. You know what we never talk about? Being gay. We don't avoid the subject. You'd just be surprised at how many things people who like and respect each other have to talk about without discussing where we put our ding-dongs. Enjoy the circus Oprah, you self-absorbed opportunistic twit.
Picture this: It's Thursday night, 1:00am (OK, Friday morning, whatever), Rays are up 5-2, I've got a fantastic buzz after a fine evening of laughing and carrying on with buddies complete with assorted late-night shenanigans, hijinks and tomfoolery. I drift off to sleep looking forward to a well-deserved Friday spent basking in the glow of a 3-game winning streak, and-
"DAMMIT, we lost?"
Yes. yes, we did. Apparently, "closer" Grant Balfour set up the runners on base in the 9th inning and was followed by desperate last-ditch substitute closer Brad Boxberger, who served up the 3-run walk-off homer that put away the game for good in yet another late game meltdown from the bullpen. Mr. Ball-four (hey, it was inevitable) has not only screwed us out of yet another save, but has reminded us that even the games he did manage to put away have been needlessly sphincter-puckeringly close. Congrats, Grant. You're not the only one shouting obscenities like a drunken sailor with turrets.
UPDATE: Rays won Friday night. Balfour nailed it shut. I take back everything ... for now.
Honorable Afterthoughts: While awaiting trial for murder, former Patriot Aaron Hernandez has been charged for two additional shooting deaths in a car at a red light after a chance encounter at a Boston nightclub (no, I don't remember where he went to college. Shut up); after the Rangers' victory over Pittsburgh, the Lightning have now acquired an additional first round pick in the Marty St. Louis/Ryan Callahan trade (get your NHL mock draft ready, bitches! *crickets*); and finally, the father of Heisman trophy winner, FSU quarterback and crab leg aficionado Jameis Winston wants a 24/7 babysitter for his son so he doesn't get into any more trouble. Translation: I'm a shitty father so I'm tapping out. Call me when he goes pro.