CL’s top A&E stories of 2020 prove you either really love or hate Tom Brady

They also suggest you’re possibly interested in beheading politicians.

It’s mostly all you sunburned Tampa Bay people, but salty Patriots fans are also flocking to in 2020 just to read about ol’ Tom Brady. He dominated web traffic, and in some ways, all the A&E headlines this year, but here are some of the posts and stories that got the most attention in our A&E vertical.

Tom Brady arrives in Tampa Bay From the day he signed a two-year agreement to be the Buccaneers quarterback, Tom Brady has unsurprisingly attracted TMZ levels of attention. In April, we all learned that the G.O.A.T was moving into Derek Jeter’s 21,796 square-foot mansion on Davis Islands. Zillow estimated rent for this house at $44,321 a month, but we wouldn't be surprised if Jeter gave the fellow Michigander a better deal.

The home comes with seven bedrooms, and nine bathrooms, as well as a pool and two boat lifts, but it also came with boat-driving stalkers unafraid to pull right up to the back of the pad.

"I forgot people could drive up to your house," Brady told Howard Stern in April. "Here they can pull right up to the back of the house. Derek did a pretty good job of screening it. I am a little bit of an introvert. I feel like my house is my place I can relax. When you are outside the house, you understand everything with being me... in the backyard there's a lot of boats that have pulled up and people at the front."

But the fun didn’t stop there. A few weeks after the Stern interview, Tom Brady tried to get some workouts in but was kicked out of a Tampa park closed due to the coronavirus. A few days after that, Brady accidentally broke into some guy’s house when he barged into a home owned by local man David Kramer looking for Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. Kramer told TMZ he was sitting in his kitchen talking on the phone, when the G.O.A.T. just walked in without knocking, carrying two duffle bags. "I literally was just sitting here and I watch this tall guy just walk into my house… He didn't even look at me. He just dropped his duffel bags down on the floor and just kind of like looked up at me and I'll never forget the look on his face."

The rest of the year has gone well for TB12. The Bucs are 9-5 and in control of their playoff hopes, and no one seemed to care in March when Brady’s TB12 company announced it was selling a non-FDA approved, homeopathic medley of vitamins that allegedly will “activate your immune system.” In fact, no one cared when Brady—a man with a two-year, $50 million deal with the Tampa Bay Bucs and over $260 million dollars in career earnings—bought a 40-foot super yacht despite his aforementioned company receiving a $960K PPP loan (those loans were supposed to go to the hardest hit companies, including many Black and brown-owned endeavours with historically troubling relationships with banks that have systematically discriminated against people of color).

So, yeah, go Bucs, amirite?

The $1,200 in your coronavirus stimulus check is exactly how much you need to build a guillotine With recent news of another round of stimulus checks, it’s a good time to remind you that there’s an ethical way to spend your coronavirus stimulus check—but screw it. It’s finally beautiful outside, sunny and temperate, and seeing as how absolutely everything everywhere is pretty unsafe on account of a global pandemic, you've probably already gotten caught up on all the yard work you could possibly do. Now what? Might we suggest getting started on a new project? Specifically: Maybe you should build a guillotine! Where is the cash for this project going to come from?

Luckily our country's own wise and benevolent leaders saw fit to cut the vast majority of us a check for $1,200 in an effort to stimulate the economy. And while you’ll only get half in 2021, in a stroke of luck for the fan of the homemade guillotine, you can link up with a friend and combine your checks because $1,200 just so happens to be the exact amount the internet says it would cost to build one.

But remember, this is just meant to be a fun project, not a tool for the people to use against a corrupt ruling class, as was the case in France. Our own federal governmental response to this current pandemic obviously went great—we're currently no. 1 in the world as far as confirmed cases are concerned (being number 1 is good right? USA! USA!). What grievance could we even need redressed?

Everyone should watch this stand-up comedian’s love letter to Tampa In May, stand-up comedian, and CL favorite, Steve Miller had some thoughts about his hometown of Tampa, like how we should be proud of our rich tradition of inventing things like the lap dance, the Cuban sandwich and “a parade for a pirate that doesn’t exist just so could get drunk and pee on rich people’s lawns.”

As part of the Straz Center for Performing Arts’ Tampa Total Request Live series, the video followed Miller around Tampa as he posed in front of familiar landmarks, while keeping his mic stand and a tallboy of Bud Light Lime with him at all times.The video hits on a few key reasons Miller misses Tampa, and how people from New York City are all trying to move here.

“I miss not being able to find a place to sit at Armature Works,” says Miller. “I miss driving over the bridge to St. Pete to buy kombucha and crystals (pretty sure that’s all that they sell there). I miss waking up on a Monday morning for the thousandth time swearing to myself that I’ll never drink liquor at The Hub again. But most all, I miss you, Tampa.” 

Marc Maron has some thoughts on Tampa and Orlando: 'Bad food, we had bad food in Florida' Podcast king and comedian Marc Maron was in Florida over Valentine’s weekend, and he had some interesting observations about Tampa and Orlando. In an episode of his “WTF” podcast, Maron spendt the opening minutes of the episode talking about his shows at Orlando’s Hard Rock Live and the Straz Center for Performing Arts in Tampa.

“Audiences were tremendous, great audiences. But despite that my opinions on Florida have not changed at all,” Maron said. “Shit went down, some weird shit went down. Nothing violent or hostile or even painful, but Florida is Florida, and if you know what I’m talking about, you know what I’m talking about.”

“Bad food, we had bad food in Florida,” he said about Orlando, which he admitted to being “nervous about” since he didn’t know anything about the town. 

“It’s only an hour-and-a-half to Tampa, but there was no fucking way—no reason—to hang around Orlando,” he said. When he got to Tampa, Maron was perplexed by “hundreds of people” walking around downtown Tampa in period costumes as part of the big real-life “Clue” game happening on and around the Tampa Riverwalk. Maron was also unimpressed by Tampa’s changing downtown in general.

“Downtown Tampa, again, I don’t want to judge, but it looks like it halfway happened,” he said. “It looked like there was an attempt at some point in time to kind of make it hip, to do something with downtown, and it might've happened for a month or two, or maybe a year, but it’s definitely on the other side of that.”

Tiger King protesters and porno In April, Facebook 'Tiger King' trolls made a plan to storm Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue by posting a Facebook event calling for a gathering at the big cat sanctuary on July 10. That never happened, but social media is a great place to waste hours of your life, especially when your state is under a stay-at-home order. Speaking of staying at home and going online, one of the true constants in life is that everything you enjoy will eventually end up as a porno parody in some form or another, and the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" is no exception. In May, Tampa-based Blazed Studios announced that it started casting calls for a “Tiger King” porno that will be filmed once the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us.

Clearwater resident and WWE wrestler Hulk Hogan suggests ‘maybe we don’t need a vaccine’ In April as coronavirus continued to radically disrupt everyday life, including canceling Tampa’s Wrestlemania event, former WWE wrestler and Clearwater Beach resident Hulk Hogan had a very religious moment… then posted about it on Instagram. 

“In three short months, just like He did with the plagues of Egypt, God has taken away everything we worship,” wrote Hogan. “God said, "you want to worship athletes, I will shut down the stadiums. You want to worship musicians, I will shut down Civic Centers. You want to worship actors, I will shut down theaters. You want to worship money, I will shut down the economy and collapse the stock market. You don't want to go to church and worship Me, I will make it where you can't go to church." 

Then he got into the heavy stuff. 

“Maybe we don't need a vaccine,” says Hogan. “Maybe we need to take this time of isolation from the distractions of the world and have a personal revival where we focus on the ONLY thing in the world that really matters. Jesus.”

Despite what Hogan says, we absolutely needed a vaccine—and now we have one. We hung in there, brother, hope you did, too

An artist made a Mario-style map of Tampa Bay It’s a-me, Tampa Bay! In May, French artist Lazare Viennot (@sir_lazz) said  he was recently commissioned to create a Tampa Bay map for a client, and it’s actually damn near perfect. A few things you might notice is Fort DeSoto State Park is an actual castle, which is very appropriate. But so is the Citrus Park Mall, and there’s a giant tower where MacDill Airforce Base is supposed to be. In a Reddit thread on r/St.Petersburg, Viennot reminded everyone that he’s not actually from Tampa Bay, and did the best he could with the info he was given.  “I... Honestly do not know those places!... My client gave me a small rundown of the places he wanted to see in the map but I'm not from there, so it's very possible that I forgot a lot of things.”

Either way, the map is great and prints are currently available, which allows you to get this on a phone case, a t-shirt, a mug, a throw pillow or whatever you’re into.

Carnival cruise ship stuck in Tampa sends love, spells ‘we will be back’ using cabin lights Cruise ships still obviously aren’t on the water much these days, but one Carnival crew stuck in the Port of Tampa while the coronavirus wreaks havoc on our lives had a message for Tampa Bay: “We will be back <3”. The love note was made using cabin lights, and a PR rep for Carnival said all its ships visible from land displayed the message. Sadly, the cruise ships aren’t back yet, and Carnival stocked dropped on Dec. 21 after the U.K. started stricter lockdowns in the wake of a new strain of coronavirus.

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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