With the Tampa Bay Lightning entering the second round of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Tampa Bay Rays on top of the American League’s Eastern Division and preseason expectations for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers arguably the highest they’ve been in the franchise’s history, it’s safe to say the overall caliber of Tampa Bay professional sports is at an all-time peak.
And currently, nobody can see any of it in person, due to the quarantine restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This suits South Tampa’s Gilbert Farris just fine. “I never go to any games. It’s just too far of a drive”, he says from his home which is 15 miles from Tropicana Field, seven miles from Raymond James Stadium and seven miles from Amalie Arena. “I’m glad they’re all doing good, I guess. I’ll try to remember to put some flags on my car this weekend.”
Christina Yorch of Carrollwood says she only goes to Rays games, and then only when the New York Yankees are in town. “I know I live here but I’ve been a Yankees fan ever since I was born because they won the World Series that year. I stop liking them when they suck, like when they don’t make the playoffs or they go to the World Series but don’t win.” She added, “I think one of my grandfathers lived in Brooklyn or something. I don’t really know. Since I didn’t go that often, I don’t really miss it much.”
“I usually catch a lot of crap from my friends because I never go to any games”, says Vince Whipswallow of Brandon, who says he’s too busy. “But now nobody can say anything because they can’t go either.”
Marcy Clatter of Clearwater says she, her husband and kids like sports but it’s just too expensive for a family of four. “Tickets are hundreds of dollars each with even more outrageous prices on food and souvenirs and the money all just goes to a bunch of millionaires. No thanks! We get our family fun at Disney every weekend.”
“Yeah, you could say I’m a pretty rabid fan of all the local squads”, says Dustin Grayson of St. Pete who also never attends games in person or even watches on television. “Vinny and Marty are so good together for the Bolts. The Devil Rays are hard to beat with Price and Longoria and now that the Bucs have a decent quarterback to throw to Alstott and Sapp, they should be great too!”