Bill's Sports Binge: Priced out of the market and are you ready for some football? (Spoiler alert: Yes)

You can prepare for the inevitable as much as you can, but when it finally hits it can still suck donkey balls. Gram Gram is over a hundred and won't live forever. Summer vacation is great but won't last forever. Last call isn't until 3 a.m. but time marches on. And don't get me started on chocolate shakes. Eventually Gramma's gone, school starts, the bartender tosses you through a plate-glass window and your straw makes that empty sucky slurpy noise indicating dessert is done and your gut is expanding. Good times.

So goes the David Price saga, which came to a predictable, yet very sad, conclusion. It surprised nobody, yet there was hope immersed in the hopelessness until the bitter end that came last Thursday afternoon. When I read the news on my smart-ass phone, I put my head down as a nauseous and bloaty feeling overcame me. Then I farted and felt a lot better. I didn't want him to go, but knew the day would come. I wanted the world for him in the trade, but it makes little mathematical sense to unload somebody because we can't afford him only to acquire several studs equally unattainable with the limited funds at our disposal. It would be like dumping HBO to save money then pick up Starz, Cinemax, Epix and Showtime. We're a basic-cable market and all we can hope for is the occasional swear word to sneak across AMC to make us feel premium-channel rich. Good luck, David. Enjoy Detroit. You can actually buy a house for 100 bucks. So with your new contract, you can probably buy a ... um ... Detroit.

But never mind that shit, football is back! The new season kicked off (literally) with the first official exhibition (read: fake) game in Canton, Ohio between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants. It may not have had a fraction of the excitement of the 1990 Super Bowl right here in Tampa when Whitney Houston belted out the best rendition ever of the National Anthem before she discovered crack, but when you're dying of thirst and somebody hands you a glass of water, you don't ask if it's Evian. By August, toilet water will do. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If football was cigarettes, all other sports would be Nicorette gum.

The big news over the Hall of Fame weekend, of course, was the official induction of Buccaneer great, Derrick Brooks, who spent 24 minutes thanking everybody except for his kindergarten finger-painting instructor. If you're unfamiliar with the living legend, I would advise you to get to a cemetery right away. Brooks makes the 3rd Buc to make the Hall, and thankfully brought class back to the honor after insufferable douchebag Warren Sapp waddled in last year. What? Oh — I've just been notified he did in fact thank his finger-painting teacher. What a guy.

Let the pre-season begin. It's only a matter of time before temperatures begin to fall to the mid-to-lower '90s, and our beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers take the field. First play-date is scheduled Friday night in Florida's armpit, Jacksonville, to play the Jaguars. Depending on which way the wind is blowing, the air will either reek of coffee or paper. After all of the positivity and intensity coming out of One Buc Place in training camp, it will be interesting and exciting to watch them trade paint on the gridiron with another team for a change, even though it's just a dress rehearsal. By the time we play the Redskins on the 28th, Buc Nation will finally realize they've been drinking toilet water all month and will be clamoring for the good stuff. Said good stuff begins September 7th, when the Bucs host the division rival Carolina Panthers for reals. Welcome back, football. I missed you.

Honorable Afterthoughts: While the Florida State Seminoles enter the season as defending National Champs capped off with not one, but two alumni making the Hall of Fame over the weekend, Florida head coach Will Muschamp looks to improve on the Gators' pitiful, putrid, stinky-poo-poo of a 4-8 season by keeping his players healthy and firing everybody but himself (The good news: Week 1 against Idaho will be a real nail-biter...seriously); "closer" Grant Balfour won another game for the A's Monday night to the delight of the Oakland faithful in attendance — too bad he plays for us this year; and finally, Green Bay Packers Nation has decided to knock it off with all the Brett-bashing and retire Favre's #4 jersey this year. There has been no response as yet when somebody asked if it would come with a purple helmet, a slam on him playing for the rival Vikings, because he probably thought they meant the one inside his Wranglers (Zing!). Okay, I asked. Out loud. Alone ... football!!!!

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