Uniforms, scandals, the Bucs — 2011 was chock full of ugly. Get ready to get angry all over again.
USF not bowl-eligible for the first time in six seasons. Predictably, the Bulls came out strong early, then — also predictably — shit the bed in conference play, finishing 5-7, with five one-score losses, a few of which could have easily gone the other way in the final minutes. If we see another year like this, Lou Holtz Jr. might have to Skip town.
Scandal in Miami. The Hurricanes declared 13 football players ineligible in August as a result of an investigation of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro. Starting quarterback and NFL prospect Jacory Harris was counted among players the NCAA determined to have received ineligible benefits.
Rolling Stone tackles Tebow the Almighty. Contributing editor Matt Taibbi’s first line in "God Fumbles!" (Nov. 24) says it all about the former Florida Gator and Heisman winner: "God must not know shit about football if Tim Tebow is his idea of an NFL quarterback." Taibbi also penned the angry-atheist's "God Can Suck My Dick" for The Exile in Nov. 2001. Responding to hate mail, Taibbi claimed not to be bigoted against Christians; it's just that "Tim Tebow trying to throw a forward pass looks like a moose trying to fuck a washing machine."
Rays finish regular season strong, exit postseason early. A miraculous late-season comeback, coinciding with Terry Francona's Boston Red Sox crashing and burning, put Joe Maddon's Rays in the postseason again. Game 1? A 9-0 spanking of the Texas Rangers. Then Tampa Bay lost three straight — by a margin of 4 total runs — in another ALDS KO by the consecutive World Series losers.
Lightning unveil new logo in February. Seriously, these new jerseys are ugly. I get that it's a new era of the team and owner Jeff Vinik wants to distance himself from the chaos of Koules and Co., but the most recent incarnation is hideous. Also, the radio-frequency chip that's sewn in for season ticket holders may be innovative, but it's also pretty damn creepy.
Miami Marlins give Rays fans stadium envy. The public money they used for their new digs allowed them to go on an off-season spending spree. Rays fans: Commence bitching! The Fish managed to lock down fiery manager Ozzie Guillen and hot commodities like shortstop Jose Reyes and left-handed ace Mark Buehrle. But seeing Ozzie and Buehrle less each year as they move to the National League is actually good news for Tampa Bay — Buehrle is an annoyingly good pitcher and Guillen is an annoying human being.
Urban Meyer heads to Ohio State. Shock! Betrayal! Exclamation points! Gator Nation erupted in fury when former head coach Meyer signed on to helm the Buckeyes. Swamp rats named him traitor but neglect the fact that they already have a head coach signed to a five-year deal. The program moved on, as they should have, when they inked Will Muschamp long-term. Were they supposed to dump Willy and expect Meyer to waltz back in like nothing happened — again?
Miami’s Big 3 play like no. 2. I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love. It apparently is no guarantee when it comes to NBA championship rings either. The Heat, led by the bank-breaking trio of Heat veteran Dwayne Wade and offseason additions LeBron James and Chris Bosh, fell to the Dallas Mavericks in six games, proving that there’s no room in the sport of basketball for words like “triumvirate.”
Rangers rookie blasts basement-dwelling Bolts. After notching a short-handed goal against the Lightning on Thursday, Dec. 8, New York's Artem Anisimov pretended his stick was a shotgun and fired at Tampa Bay goaltender Mathieu Garon. It was the most obnoxious goal celebration since the Washington Capitals'’ Alexander Ovechkin dropped it like it was hot after notching his 50th of the year in 2009 — also against the Lightning. What is it with the Bolts and annoying Russians?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers — period.