Bill's Sports Binge: Bolts swept, Rays struggle and is it too early to talk football? (NEVER!)

Perspective is a wonderfully fascinating state of mind after frustrating results. It's a time when losers are left to make statements through gritted teeth they don't quite mean. "It was an honor just to be nominated," "We were just happy to be here," "It's Bush's fault." But pain plus enough time eventually clears the brain of all stinkin' thinkin' in time to see the delicious pickle left over right after the last bite of a shit sandwich.

The Lightning, despite a few questionable calls by les referees who were clearly huge fans of baguettes and Jerry Lewis, were simply beaten in every way imaginable in a four-game sweep by the Montreal Canadiens. They fought to the very end, but ultimately surprised nobody when it became obvious they were just not ready for the post-season...yet. To call it a pleasant surprise to see the Boltz get anywhere near the playoffs given the circumstances would be a humungous understatement. Like saying Christie Brinkley looks "pretty good" for a 60-year-old. (That's right, folks. National Lampoon's Vacation came out over 30 years ago. Depressed yet?)

Only one team walks away with a win at the end of the season. Well done, boys.

It's been feast or famine (mostly famine) for our Tampa Bay Rays so far this season, what with the temporary annihilation of the pitching lineup. After the bats woke up for games two and three against the New York Yank-mees over the weekend (Wasn't that just lovely?), it's been, oh how shall I put this...just God-awful to watch, win or lose. The situation is what it is. These boys need to get a little pissed. Calm, cool and easy-breezy only works when you're knocking the cover off the ball while sending fans home with free pizza coupons after 10 or more strikeouts. But after you keep me up till almost midnight on a school night only to take a team 12 innings and lose...again...I want to read a story the next day about manager "Merlot" Joe click-clacking his butt into the clubhouse and tearing him some brand new assholes. Stop joking around in the dugout and get a killer instinct transplant, for God's sake. Okay, sorry. If I don't get 12 hours of sleep I get a little bitchy. Lots and lots of games to go. What are we, Red Socks fans? Hell, no. Injuries heal, bats eventually come around, and even World Series Champions lose over 60 games. Everybody just have a drink and get comfortable. The previous sentence had nothing do do with the Rays or even sports in general. Just straight up solid advice. Cheers.

Too early to talk Buccaneer football? Tough toenails, sissy-pants. The Buccaneers are in the middle of mini-camp (like regular camp, but adorable), the NFL Draft is just around the corner and the 2014 schedule just came out. First game is at home against division rival Carolina on September 7th, which should be a gorgeous afternoon around 95 degrees (Hellooooo, butt-sweat). Predictions are utterly impossible at this point, but most of the 411 coming out of One Buc Place is good news. After missing the final 10 games last year, running back Doug Martin has been very impressive, guard Carl Nick's MRSA-infected feet are reportedly much less disgusting, and former receiver Keyshawn Johnson was arrested on a domestic battery charge. Yep...all good.

Honorable Afterthoughts: The Buffalo Bills cheerleading squad known as the Buffalo Jills (No, I didn't know that either) will suspend leading cheers this season after complaints of working too many hours for free, groping, sexual comments and having to live in Buffalo… Yankee pitcher and cheating bastard Michael Pineda was suspended 10 games for using pine tar on the ball that was stored on his neck and resembled a poop stain (10 games means he'll miss two starts...oooh, that'll teach him). "I know I made a mistake," said the cheating bastard. No, Michael. Exiting the men's room with your fly open is a mistake… And finally, Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts tossed a baseball souvenir to a little kid only to have it snatched away by a fully grown selfish asshole, or "Boston fan" if you're PC.

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