When I Leave Town, Teams Win

03Jul08

I saw the movie Hancock last night, and I began to wonder… do I have super powers, too? Should I make myself a black form-fitting leather uniform? Can I drink and fly, and get away with it?

Creating title towns in one U-Haul move… I am Champion, Master of the Rings! *burp*

I have a theory that I do possess certain “abilities.” I believe I have the power to turn professional sports teams into winners. Dare I say, Champions. I just cannot be in the same city in which they play. Ever.

Case #1: THE TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

When I was in the 5th grade, I could name every starting player for the NFL’s orange creamsicle doormat, the position they played, and the number they wore. This commitment to winning was not reciprocated by the actual play on the field. I moved from St. Petersburg to Indianapolis in 2000. Three years later, the Bucs routed the Oakland Raiders 48-21 to win their first Super Bowl. I made it happen from my couch.

Case #2: THE TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

This is a hockey team. Yes, hockey is a sport. And yes, there is a professional hockey team in Florida. Two, actually. I was there when they opened the Florida Suncoast Dome, which became Thunderdome, which became Tropicana Field, which came to be known as The Trop. The Lightning once shared this “facility” with the Tampa Bay Storm – an arena football team. After 12 years of irrelevance, they brought home the Stanley Cup, defeating Calgary in 2004. A Florida team beat a Canadian team. I did that.

Case #3: THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Dammit if these bastards didn’t come close almost every year that I lived in Indy. They had even acquired the greatest coach in Bucs’ history, Tony Dungy. But, every year I found myself sitting in Buffalo Wild Wings, drinking the pain away. I moved to L.A, in 2005. Two years later, the Colts won the Super Bowl. I wished it from afar.

Case #4: THE TAMPA BAY RAYS

No titles yet. No rings. No playoff games. But, after 10 years of suckage and uniform combinations that have included the colors purple, yellow, and green, these guys are winning. They’ve swept leading contenders like the Cubs and the Red Sox. Even Yankees’ ownership wants it players to play more like the Rays. Yeah, it’s too early for champagne. We’re just coming up on the All-Star break. But it’s pretty damned cool to look at the wild card standings and not see your team – because they’re leading the AL East. The Rays. Leading. All because of me.

These are just a few examples of my amazing powers. But, I want to use it for good. I want to share the wealth. Perhaps your team is in a bit of slump. Haven’t won the World Series in a hundred years? Never been to the Rose Bowl? Want home field advantage in the NFL playoffs? Hire me. I will move to your fair city for one year. Consider it free-agency. It will be a time for re-building. You may not see an immediate payoff. But, wait ’til I leave. I guarantee your team will start winning.

This is what I do. I turn teams into Champions.

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