Christmas is in the air. Office parties, neighborhood parties, that friend of your wife's friend is having a party, two parties or more every Saturday — December just flat out rocks the party scene. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh had evolved into Booze, beer-guts, bloodshot eyes and bare butts on the copier. Jesus would be proud. Have you all been good little boys and girls all year? Because the NSA or "Santa" knows all and if you're not careful, you'll get a lump of coal in your stocking and your Dad may get a neck tie AND an audit. Santa don't play.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have waved the right to ask for a Red Rider BB gun this year and went for Santa's go-to gift.
"How about a nice … football?"
"Football? What's a football?"
You know, the pigskin you get paid handsomely to throw, catch, kick and spike? Well, you spike it after a score. You may have seen a 49er do it a few times. We'll circle back around to that later.
The Bucs ended their last home game of the year with an ultimately hard fought for naught loss Sunday against San Francisco, 33-14. The latest turd guarantees another double-digit loss season for the lovable losers, leaving fans once again slack-jawed and sick. Coach Greg Schiano has two more games to convince Glazer Clause to leave a 2014 job under the tree. If they finish the season strong without inspiring Buc Nation to suck a candy-cane down to a Ginsu knife sharp poker and cram it into their eyeballs, he may get his wish. Let's face it, when you have fans furiously leafing through programs every time we make a play just to find out who the hell that guy was, it's a bit of a challenge.
Have you gotten your office Bowl pool turned in yet? Well, you had better hurry the hell up before Saturday or you're shit out of luck for the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and the Viagra Perpetual Stiffy Bowl (One of these is made up...take your time). And that's just the beginning of the festivities. All told, there are only 68 teams lucky enough for the highly coveted post-season. If anybody needs an additional painful reminder of how bad Florida had to be to miss out on the cavalcade of the bowl bonanza, you need to look no further than Rutgers who snuck in with a 6-6 record, finishing 5th in the ultra-competitive American Athletic Conference. Pee-you. Iowa and LSU will meet New Year's Day in Tampa for the Outback Bowl, which is becoming more and more entertaining each year. Some of you may remember seeing last year's highlight play 157 thousand times of South Carolina defensive end Jadevee … Jadoovee … Jad … Okay, in 3-2-1 … South Carolina defensive end Clowney knocking Michigan running back Vincent Smith's helmet off like a champagne cork. That play happened 100 feet in front of me and all I have to say about it is this: Television did not entirely capture the full intensity of that universe-jarring collision. My hat blew off. Outback officials predict Smith's helmet will return to earth around Halftime. Heads-up.
Honorary Afterthoughts: On Tuesday, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria's girlfriend, baby-mama and former Playboy Playmate (of course she is) announced the couple's engagement … on Twitter (the couple is registered at Facebook Farmville 2); Some Canuck named Cromartie might be interested in the Rays (He hasn't targeted the Rays specifically, nor does he have the money for a team or a ballpark, but some local knucklehead decided to stir up the tired attendance debate and invent a story); The NFL stated that the Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin's hit on Bengals punter Kevin Huber was illegal because even though he was pursuing the ball-carrier, Huber is still considered a defenseless player because he's a punter (NFL to English translation: Punters are pussies).
And Finally …:The year is 2017. Two years after Back to the Future and two years before Bladerunner. Everybody owns a flying car, Harrison Ford is blowing away Replicants at will and Tampa is hosting the college football title game. That's right, folks. By the time the college playoff system has had a chance for people to find something to bitch and complain about, the two best programs in the country will meet at Raymond James Stadium for the indisputable Champion in all of college football. By then the trophy will be awarded by a one hundred foot hologram of the late Brent Musburger, who requested the height so he could look down blouses of all the lovely ladies in attendance.