Tampa's a weird place where weirder things happen. Half of all COPS episodes take place there. Tampan fashion seems to have stopped sometime around 1992--progress, we suppose, since our experience there happened in the mid nineties when everyone was stuck in 1987--and people will still, without irony, wear Oakley's and sleeveless "Big Dog" shirts in public. In fact, people who otherwise would be total shamed shut-ins in other places parade about in public in Tampa, trailing their IV stands behind them while wearing mumus and old Shawn King Buccanneer jerseys. The number one export by weight from the airport is dead bodies of retirees heading back north for the last time.
Bronzer. Loverboy cranking on the radio. Lincoln Towncars going 35 miles an hour in a 55 zone. Tampa.
Tampa, Florida, which has gotta do it their way--or no way at all!
In the midst of all the strip clubs and Sunshine State phantasmagoria, we watched the football equivalent of a rain of frogs happen: Louisville got obliterated at the beginning of their gimme Big East schedule by the lowly USF Bulls. How did it happen? As with all things in Tampa, they did it using their natural advantages:
1. In the first quarter, USF distracted Brian Brohm by blasting the song "Rollin' " by Limp Bizkit. Actually, this isn't special--it's a city ordnance that the song be played at least three times at any public gathering of over 10,000 people.
2. Upon arrival at Tampa, Petrino's team found every major bus company's coaches completely booked for Public Assistance Recipient Day at Busch Gardens. Resorting to rental cars, the team and support staff found itself found itself squeezed into forty-two Fieros and Camaros, whose pleasing handling and bitchin' spoilers couldn't compensate for their total lack of legroom. The team cramped up exiting the fleet of mullet-mobiles and never quite recovered.
3. Dehydration worsened by substitution of Gatorade for Fat Tuesday's Rum Runner Mix (per Raymond James Stadium sponsorship agreement. )
4. Derby Lanes dog-trainers injected entire USF squad with doses of helpful PCP pre-game to ensure optimal game-day performance.
5. Ball slick from fine, omnipresent mist of hair gel coating entire city.
A victory worth a rain of frogs, even if it wasn't Louisville's fault after all.