It's Spring Break, bitches. (Bitches ... that's punk/bimbo-speak for "Ladies and gentlemen", right?) The time of year when the young men and women who represent the future of our country take a well-deserved break from not studying on campus to not study on the beaches of sunny Florida. A time when lazy parents turn an even lazier blind eye to their hyper-hormonal children for a week, and turn them loose on tiki bars up and down the coast armed with beer bongs, thongs, condoms, fake IDs and a pair of muscle-bound lungs endlessly loaded with "Whooooooooo!!!" and "Partaaaaaaay!!!!!" Let the boob-flashing, girl-girl kissing, stomach-pumping, balcony-hopping, old-folks terrifying extravaganza begin. 911 operators are standing by.
Our Tampa Bay Rays officially began their version of spring break by meeting in Port Charlotte to throw, hit and catch the baseball for six weeks of training and upside-down Margaritas (allegedly). Plenty of familiar faces, and a couple of new ones here and there, hit the diamond for the Grapefruit League grind against teams whose home fields are currently cesspools of dead grass, snow, tundra and depression. Manager Joe Maddon decided to become one with nature this year, by staying in an RV named "Cousin Eddie" throughout spring training. I don't seem to remember cousin Eddie's ride being equipped with a second bathroom, king-size bed, dance floor, bowling alley and stripper poles. But apparently Maddon has at least two of those. Way to rough it, Skip. So far, highlights include shortstop Yunel Escobar batting a thousand as of Monday (going 4 for 4), David Price still being a Ray, and the nomadic Paleo-Indians that used to chase woolly mammoth through Port Charlotte around 10,000 BC. That's not a joke; somebody told me my articles can cause brain damage, and I wanted you ungrateful bastards to learn something before drooling on your jean-shorts.
Keeping with the lame spring theme, our Buccaneers have sprouted new life in the form of different uniforms, in hopes of washing away the recent memories of suck. For those of you who haven't taken the time to give it a look-see, imagine an XFL player and a character from Any Given Sunday had a baby who grew up and jumped off a tall building — if you set fire to the mess on the sidewalk and put it out with a wet chain, it would be almost as tacky as what will take the field in September. Okay, that may be a little harsh. The truth of the matter is, people never look at a new uniform and say, "awesome." It's just not in our nature. Does anybody remember swooning after the pewter pants came out in 1997? No, we were all horrified at the instant (and the accelerated visibility of butt-sweat). After a couple of wins, we won't even notice. Hey, it seemed to work the last time we rebooted the wardrobe. Why the hell not? Now shut up and start buying the new merchandise. Don't pretend you won't. The Glazers need a new pair of houses.
The Lightning are back after the Olympic break and, much like you on a date after too many Jell-o shots, seem to be having a hard time finishing (Zing!). Marty St. Louis has gone from a sympathetic and unappreciated underdog, consistently and impressively making doubters and haters look like total dipshits for years, to a possible crybaby threatening to take his puck and go home. After the original snubbing of the Canadian hockey team, rumors have surfaced that he wants out of Tampa Bay and away from Lightning GM and co-author of said snub, Steve Yzerman. This alleged attitude may be expected after a 15-year-old figure skater falls on her ass at trials, but the thought of the 38-year-old captain of a professional athletic organization wishing to abandon his team and town because he didn't get what he wants gives me diarrhea. I haven't wanted to be more wrong since the day in 2nd grade when I thought Tracy White gave me cooties when she poked my PB&J with her bare hands.
Honorable Afterthoughts: The Florida Gators are still ranked number one, one game away from being the SEC champs and six more after that from cutting down the net to the syrupy sweet tunes of "One Shining Moment" (Head coach Billy Donovan and football coach Will Muschamp have together transformed UF into a basketball school); The NFL is considering banning the N-word (Nice hit, Nincompoop, Nickelback and Natty Ice would all draw a 15-yard penalty. Knucklehead still a debated loophole); and Bucs head coach Lovie Smith admitted he would consider picking up Tim Tebow off of free agency. Just kidding. I just love pissing you angry lunatics off.