Bill's Sports Binge: Yankee fans suck, A-Rod record stuck and Bucs spend a few bucks

Rookies, veterans, coaches, controversy, critics, optimists, pessimists, realists, armchair quarterbacks and Escalade Cadillacs. Will this be Coach Raheem's last chance? Will this be Josh Freeman's breakout year or will the young quarterback only breakout in blackheads? Will the offensive line "gel" for the first time since, um, will the O-line gel? Will Michael Clayton catch more touchdown passes than I do? Is the defensive transformation from AARP to YMCA a good thing? So many questions; nobody knows. So, everybody knows. The anticipation is the highlight of the year before fantasy gives way to reality as the loss column clicks off a few maddening, hair-pulling, sphincter-puckering digits. The tailgate party before the season. God help me, I missed you, football. Welcome back.

The Storm (and a fan) takes it on the chin by the Predators. The War on I-4 may have meant nothing in the playoff picture Saturday, but you'd never know it in the stands. An Orlando player thought nothing of strolling into the Forum crowd to hand a ball off to his father (brilliant) when a predictably negative reaction ensued. A fan slapped it out of his hand, creating a melee for the ball and knocking the nincompoop's dad off his feet. The player instictively threw a punch at said fan resulting an a "fracas" and the ejection of at least 10 fans and two Predator players. Now who can match that kind of player accessibility? Oh, the Storm got the crap knocked out of them 75-60.

[image-1]Quicker Hits: Left tackle Donald Penn finally ended his 45-second holdout Saturday and signed a six-year, $48 million dollar deal (pretty important postition unless you want a dead quarterback), Gator Nation man-crush Tim Tebow signs a five year, 11.25 million dollar contract with the Denver Broncos with $8.7 million guaranteed (8 million big ones; you have any idea how many Filipinos you could circumcise with that kind of scratch? Me neither, but I'll bet it's a lot) and Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has failed a conditioning test three days in a row and counting. You see kids,  just because you intentionally slice somebody's face open doesn't mean you can't later command a $100-million salary for being a whiny, out-of-shape, fat pile of shit.

Rays win the series. It may take days to get the smell akin to a pile of dead wet rats along the Bayshore at low tide out of Tropicana Field. The assembley of obscene, misdirected, obnoxious, elitist, egotistical collective attitudes of Yankee fans with 727 area codes once again comes to an end. The arrogant mass of pale pudgy humanity bum-rushed the joint in another half-assed attempt to take the Trop hostage over the weekend and give us hicks an unsolicited ear-splitting lesson on how to be a "real fan" (while ironically living down the street), then left, losers of the series. You could almost hear the sound of a toilet flush.

This just in: If you are not a resident of New York, you can like the Yankees all you want for whatever personal front-running rationality you've come up with, but they're not "your team." And this is not up for discussion. It's the very reason why a generic scoreboard is labeled "Home" and "Visitors." If you are neither, then you have no identity. And I pity you.

GO RAYS! (or go Greyhound)

Swing and a miss. And a miss, and a miss, and a miss. Cheating slum-lord pretty-boy Alex Rodriguez hits a perfect 0-fer the weekend. Every at bat was met by ignorant Yankee fans with cameras and phones aimed at what could possibly have been the historic home run that would crack the 600 mark. Their disappointment was delicious. The 600 club still only has 6 members, four if you eliminate Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa (as I have). Thank the sweet Lord. Had the tainted milestone been met in my beloved backyard, I would have vomited with monumental eye-rupturing, forehead-vein-pulsating, ab-crunching ferocity not felt since seeing Madonna in Playboy when I was in junior high. Those hairy pits haunt me to this day. Honestly Alex, how did you not contract anything after hitting that?

Are you ready? Well ready or not, break out the marshmallows, kids. Buccaneer camp is full swing.


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