Best Of 2021

Metropolitan Ministries and Feeding Tampa Bay

Hunger has always been an issue in Tampa Bay, and we’re not talking about the kind of pangs you feel when scrolling through foodie Instagram, either. We’re talking about the kind that can turn a family on its head and drive folks to do things they normally wouldn’t. Thankfully, pantries like Metropolitan Ministries and Feeding Tampa Bay have always been there—and stepped up especially huge in the peak of the pandemic—for the community. Powered by donations and volunteers, these essential nonprofits do work that we hope isn’t necessary one day—until then we’re glad they’re here to feed the city. and

Gay Commie Skate Crew

For more than a year, the crew has taken the streets and skateparks of Tampa Bay by storm. The crew is hell on four wheels (they love Halloween), but they’re so much more at the same time. They bring their queer, leftist, mutual-aid based mission to the spaces where they skate and they fight for causes like #landback, as well as resisting polluting oil pipelines. They give to the needy and protect each other in a sport usually dominated by males. Together, they’ve found solidarity and protection, and through their activism, they’ve extended those same values to complete strangers. @gcsc.tampabay on Instagram

Andrew Harlan of St. Pete Supper Club, I Love The Burg and Tombolo Books

He’s everywhere. Editor of, co-founder of the St. Pete Supper Club Facebook group, marketing coordinator at Tombolo Books, Andrew tells us what’s going on, what’s good to eat and what’s good to read with an open-hearted enthusiasm that’s infectious. How does he have the energy to cover all this territory? Not sure, but he says he walks 10 miles a day; look for him on Central Avenue or another boulevard near you. @harlanyoung on Instagram

Fight For 15

Workers’ fight for a $15 minimum wage, in Florida and across the United States, has been years in the making. While last year’s $15 Minimum Wage Amendment Campaign was bankrolled by Orlando attorney John Morgan, the real heroes to get Florida on track toward a $15 minimum wage by 2026 were the workers—particularly unionized workers with unions like the SEIU and workers organizing with Fight for $15 and a Union. From leading car caravans through McDonalds drive-thru lines in the Tampa Bay area, to knocking on thousands of doors to secure votes, Fight for $15—and its allies—scored a resounding victory for Florida workers, garnering bipartisan support for higher wages. Solidarity.

Dave Bautista

In January, former WWE star, “Guardians of The Galaxy” actor and ripped defender of the animal kingdom Dave Bautista offered $20,000 for information that led to an arrest of whoever wrote “TRUMP” on the back of a Florida manatee. And just last week the bald dog daddy adopted Sage, a puppy found with a metal chain embedded into her neck and chin (he also offered $5,000 for info that led to an arrest of Sage’s abuser). One day, Dave’s gonna find these dipshits and do a Drax the Destroyer on them. @davebautista on Instagram

Effort to save USFFP

Over the summer, student groups started a movement asking USF officials to hit the brakes on a university inquiry into developing USF Forest Preserve (USFFP) land that’s supposed to be protected by The Wildlife Corridor Act. USFFP also contains at least nine documented archaeological sites, including an Indigenous cemetery, but the public at large might not be aware of the peril the preserve faces without the students who fought to spread awareness via a documentary, rallies and action through student government. The fight’s not over, but a whole lot of the community has the students’ backs.

Tampa Bay Lightning’s drunk Nikita Kucherov

When the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Montreal Canadiens to clinch the Stanley Cup, one man spoke the words we were all feeling in our hearts. In a postgame presser, a fully-bearded and half naked Nikita Kucherov slammed a beer and had some choice words for lame Montreal fans. At one point, Kucherov chugged a Bud Light and then went all in on how Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy should’ve won the Vezina Trophy. But the winger really his his stride when he touched on the team’s one series loss up North. “The fans in Montreal, come on,” said Kucherov. “They acted like they won the Stanley Cup, last game. You kidding me? You kidding me? They’re final was last series, OK.” @nikitakucherov86 on Instagram

Leo Rodgers

Last year’s “Best Cycling Scene Export” may have moved west, been featured in multiple cycling films and earned brand ambassadorships with labels like Topo Designs, but he never forgot home. In August, he returned to visit 2021 BOTB-winner Wellbuilt, cleared the sale rack, loaded 9 refurbished bikes into a van and did a Boards For Bros-style distribution using funds he raised as part of his Leo Rogers Foundation. @slimone1000 on Instagram

Abe Brown Ministries

Abe Brown Ministries believes that people need second chances and literally practices what they preach by helping ex-offenders get back on their feet with bus passes, job training, clothing assistance, and family reunification. The organization has helped over 1,500 people find employment when they might not have otherwise.

Drunk Tom Brady

Of course Tampa Bay turned the little ol’ kombucha drinking, raw food eating, former Patriots quarterback into a walking party. “Noting to see her...just litTle avoCado tequila,” his Twitter said after he needed help walking at the SBLV party. Sure Tom, blame it on the alcohol. See you next boat parade. @tombrady on Twitter