Raffles are a good way to make your gambling addiction feel like a socially conscious act. The Tampa Bay Sports Commission (which is not, depressingly, a hip hop label run by Trent Dilfer) knows this and has assembled for you a prize package of staggering proportions. It is so awesome that only two hundred people will be allowed the privilege of buying a two hundred dollar ticket for this raffle. So what will one of those lucky elect take home? BEHOLD.
1. All 2013 Regular season home Tampa Bay Buccaneers games. The Buffalo Bills AND The Arizona Cardinals are on this home slate. That's sadness you can't just experience through some TV, buddy. Mostly because of NFL blackout rules.
2. All 2013-14 Regular season home Tampa Bay Lightning games. I have no idea what this is. Quidditch, maybe? Let's go with quidditch.
3. All 2014 Regular season home Tampa Bay Rays games. Tampa's best sports team plays in St. Petersburg's best repurposed gypsum storage facility! Enjoy the beauty of America's pastime while wondering how many wasp colonies could be undetected throughout Tropicana Field. (SPOILER: At last count, 78.)
4. All 2013 Regular season home University of South Florida football games. "You promised to take me to dance sign-ups this weekend, Daddy." "Honey, I know, but I spent $200 on this package and if I don't go to USF-Memphis I'll feel like it was a waste." "Daddy, I wish you were back in jail." "So do all those senior citizens I'm going to pickpocket at the game, honey."
5. All 2013-14 Regular season home University of South Florida Men's basketball games. Read that again and tell me it's a prize and not a punishment.
6. All 2014 Regular season home Tampa Bay Rowdies games. It's soccer in Tampa, so the odds are good that this team may not even exist by the time you're ready to use these tickets.
7. All 2014 Regular season home Tampa Bay Storm games. DID YOU KNOW: At some point in the early 2000s, the team ran a promotion encouraging fans to help find Storm Man, the team's mascot at the time. This was not, however, some elaborate marketing version of hide-and-seek. Storm Man was actually missing, in the police investigation sense. I'm pretty sure they later found the outfit, but not the guy, in an abandoned car at the airport.
Anyways, the point is that arena football in Tampa is awesome.
8. 2013 Beef O'Brady's Bowl. ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
9. 2014 Outback Bowl. You'll miss this, mostly because you didn't treat that open wound you got at the Beef O'Brady's Bowl properly, but how were you to know that cashier was lying when he said coleslaw was a natural antiseptic?
10. 2014 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. If you go to this, you're ineligible to receive health or life insurance for ten years. Sorry, but I don't make the rules.
11. 2014 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs. You know how much admission costs to Tampa Bay Downs on a weekend? TWO DOLLARS.
One of you should enter this, win, attend every single game, and write about the experience. Here's a free title: "My Tampa Sports Year - A Deathbed Regret As It Occurred."