This is it. Tonight is the Super Bowl between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs and it’s going to happen right here in Tampa Bay, home of the reigning American League champion Tampa Bay Rays, Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and USL Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Rowdies.
If we win, it’ll be because of course we’re going to win. If we lose, it’ll be because of course we’re going to lose. When it comes to professional sports, we’ve been the shittiest and we’ve been the greatest. We’ve almost never been mediocre. What the fuck is the point of a .500 record and a third place finish? Go huge or stay home, all or nothing!
Granted, it’s mostly been years and years of staying at home with nothing. But not anymore! The point is that what would be considered extreme elsewhere is business-as-usual here.
Win, lose or draw, which is a stupid thing to say because ‘draw’ means ‘tie’ and obviously there isn’t going to be a tie in a championship, which is what the Super Bowl is, in case you forgot amid all the hype and hoopla… no matter what happens, Tampa is gonna Tampa tonight!
And that means all of us, all of Tampa Bay. St. Pete. Clearwater. Brandon. Sarasota. Bradenton. Even Dunedin, the Bay Area’s weird, artsy cousin who wears kilts, rides around in golf carts and is into quirky (but frankly, quite good) independent films.
We’re either going to celebrate or whatever the opposite of celebrate is, but no matter what, tonight Tampa is a verb as well as a noun and we are going to Tampa like we have never Tampa’d before. It might even be an adjective.
We’re gonna Gasparilla. We’re gonna drive badly. We’re gonna strip club. We’re gonna Cuban sandwich. We’re gonna Ybor City (okay, maybe we won’t Ybor City). We’re gonna Garden our Busch’s. We’re gonna paint unauthorized street murals. We’re gonna act out inappropriately with utterly inexcusable behavior at the worst possible moments. We’re gonna run our mouths when the smart thing to do would be to shut the hell up already. We’re gonna Rays Up, Be The Thunder and Kick In The Grass. And we are definitely gonna Raise The Flags and Fire The Cannons.
One thing we don’t do is riot, though. That is not our thing. We know how to have a good time without that nonsense.
But have no doubt: we are going to Tampa the ever-loving Tampa out of Tampa like it’s never been Tampa’d before.
Also, Bucs 38, Chiefs 27.