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Mitch Perry Report for 5.25.16 — The agony and the agony

Tampa Bay area sports fans were hit with a double whammy of negativity on Tuesday.

I also had a poor night watching people play games for profit.

First of all, the Tampa Bay Lightning blew their opportunity to close out their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and face elimination tomorrow night in Pennsylvania. The Lightning played a listless game for two periods; the Penguins, playing with their season on the line, were by far the more aggressive team. The good news for Tampa Bay is that they’re still tied, and equally are just a game away from returning to the Stanley Cup.

My favorite sports team of the moment (and much of the country’s when it comes to basketball), the Golden State Warriors, laid another ugly looking egg on the floor of the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, losing badly to the Thunder again last night, and now trail in their best-of-seven series, three games to one.

What the hell happened to Steph Curry, the two-time NBA MVP? Some say he’s injured. Whatever. His game was pretty horrific last night, throwing lazy passes away and blowing a number of layups. The Warriors had the greatest regular season record in league history this season, and are being out-hustled, out-rebounded, and outplayed.

The other blow to the Tampa Bay area business/sports community yesterday was the NFL’s opting to eliminate Tampa from playing host to upcoming Super Bowls taking place in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Yesterday the league chose Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles to host those events. For the record, Atlanta and L.A. will have spanking-new stadiums by the time their events are scheduled. That’s de rigueur these days for the world’s richest league. Miami didn’t build a new stadium, but owner Stephen Ross spent $400 million to upgrade Sun Life Stadium, which was close enough.

The Bucs? Hey, they are about to spend $100 million to upgrade Raymond James, which wasn’t apparently enough for Roger Goodell and friends. So, we’re looking at 2022 before Tampa might possibly play host, which will have been 13 years in between the last game hosted here, in January of 2009.

The business/sports community can feel good about the fact that the NCAA football championship will be played here next January, but it ain’t nearly the same thing.

In other news …

HD 69 Democrat Jennifer Webb says she’s for a complete fracking ban in Florida, and questions her GOP opponent Kathleen Peters‘ views on the subject. Peters says Webb doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

Connect Tampa Bay, the pro-transit group based in Tampa, called it quits earlier this month.

The Hillsborough County Teachers Association is backing Cindy Stuart and Alan Clendenin in their respective races for school board.

Vern Buchanan is tired of waiting around for something spectacular to happen when it comes to his GOP colleagues in the House of Representatives allocating the full $1.9 billion the Obama administration has requested to combat the Zika virus.

Bob Buckhorn went into attack dog mode against Donald Trump yesterday, blasting the presumptive Republican nominee for his decade-old comments regarding how he could benefit from the housing crisis.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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