What up world? This Earl and I’m back with another edition of The Blog About Nothing. Tomorrow, the 20th, happens to be my birthday so I’m sitting here preparing for the new year to come. Jane Grey, author of Musings From The Bench, also has a birthday on December 20th. That’s funny that two of the three weekly columnists on this site, share the same birthday. Well, not the same year. A man isn’t supposed to tell a woman’s age (unless she’s family . . . LOL), and I have no clue how old Jane is anyway, but I wish her a happy birthday. We share a lot of our Sagittarian qualities and it is amusing that we frequently end up with the same results on those Facebook quizzes. I guess there is something to the shared birthdate after all. So, Happy Birthday Jane and Happy Birthday to Me!
I’m a bit of a family man. Not sure by choice, to be honest, but my family and I tend to do the vacation thing around Christmas so I rarely get to spend the holiday in Brooklyn. This year is no different. I’m currently looking out at palm trees, as I’m currently in the Sunshine State. Yup, your boy is in Florida. So I’ll be making this blog a Sunshine State specfic blog. Sounds like fun, huh? Let’s do this!
As I sit here in Central Florida, I am asking myself why don’t the Tampa Bay Rays move to Orlando? The Rays are struggling in attendance figures, and Tropicana Field where they currently play is more than a bit outdated. The dome and it’s quirky catwalk is a bit of a dump, and doesn’t draw in fans at all. The Rays are trying to find a new home in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area but they currently are having a hard time doing so. This is why I don’t understand why the Rays don’t consider moving to the Orlando area.
Orlando is the 26th largest metro area in the United States, and the 6th largest metro area in the Southeast (as per the 2010 census). The City Beautiful is home to the National Basketball Association’s Orlando Magic, Orlando City SC which is soon to join Major League Soccer, the Arena Football League team the Orlando Predators, and a successful college sports program in the University of Central Florida. Orlando already has a viable stadium in the Citrus Bowl, that would have to be reconfigured for baseball, but there is already a strong baseball influence in the area with the Atlanta Braves holding their spring training near Walt Disney World. The Houston Astros also have a spring training hold on the area with their facility in neighboring Kissimmee.
The Citrus Bowl would only be temporary and a new stadium would have to be built. A new soccer specific stadium is being built for Orlando City SC, and overall there has been a lot of growth in the area. New housing developments, as well as hospitals (and other facilities) have gone up in the area in recent years. It also doesn’t hurt that the area is full of great entertainment options such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.
Of course it will take the Rays finding the available land and coming to an agreement with the City of Orlando, or with Orange County (or Osceola County if they choose to build south of the City) but I can’t see why the Orlando area wouldn’t be more viable than Tampa.
Orlando appears to be an area that is growing daily with transplants from the Northeast (as well as the Caribbean since there is a large Puerto Rican community in the area) so I can’t see why Major League Baseball doesn’t recommend to the owners of the Rays to look at the Orlando area. While it would be a loss to Tampa, it would be a bigger loss if that franchise is moved out of the State of Florida all together. So how about the Orlando Rays? Makes sense for The City Beautiful if you ask me.
Staying in the Sunshine State, I have to say a mea culpa to Florida State University. When it comes to college football I’m a self professed University of Michigan fan, but I keep an eye on the boxscore when it comes to the University of Miami. Why the Hurricanes? One of my cousins is a graduate of The U, and I had the pleasure of spending a few days on campus back in 2001. I found the campus to be more beautiful and exciting than most cities. It was a great experience and I still have the Ken Dorsey jersey I bought at one of the campus bookstores. However, with that said, I have to apologize to Florida State for being an illogical Seminoles hater.
I rooted for Florida State to lose every game they played this season. While I still hope the University of Oregon Ducks stomps a mudhole in them when the two teams face off on New Year’s Day at the Rose Bowl, I have to give quarterback Jameis Winston and the Seminoles some credit. Florida State finished last season undefeated and the National Champions. To repeat the undefeated thing again this season, while going through a lot of off the field drama with Jameis and a few other players, is a credit to head coach Jimbo Fisher. Coach Fisher navigated a tough enough schedule, and dodged the off the field land mines to get his guys into the National Title hunt. All of my rooting for them to lose came to naught. At least this far.
In this new era of college football the Seminoles will have to play two more games in order to become back to back National Champions. College football has a playoff system now. The Seminoles and Ducks face off in a semifinal game at the Rose Bowl. The winner of that game will get the winner of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide versus Ohio State Buckeyes in a National Title game in Dallas, Texas on January 12th. The Crimson Tide or the Buckeyes would be another tough out for the Seminoles but despite my hate, and the fact that I want to see Oregon beat FSU on January 1st, I’m starting to feel that it’s just fate for Jameis and the Noles. Hate to say it but I’ve got a good feeling that the Florida State Seminoles will repeat as champs. As much as the Noles hater in me hated to admit that, I can’t help but feel that it’s a fait accompli.
Finally, as I bump this Trick Daddy Thugs Are Us album, I turn my attention down to the 305 and discuss the aforementioned University of Miami Hurricanes. To those of you who don’t not know nann, the Hurricanes finished last season 6-6 and will be playing the University of South Carolina Gamecocks in the Independence Bowl. South Carolina underachieved this past season, but Miami’s drop off was a bit surprising.
Now, the Canes did start a true freshman quarterback in Brad Kaaya and Kaaya did look good at times this season, but head coach Al Golden and his 6-6 season should have led to his firing. If you watch ESPN you might be familiar with their ESPN 30 for 30 series and their two documentaries on The U. The U documentaries detailed the brash but recent winning history of the University of Miami program. It also talked about the State of Miami. The State of Miami in essence is the Hurricanes effort to lock down the top talent in West Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Dade County. Those counties produce elite talent year in and year out and in recent years many of those players have left South Florida.
Many of those players like Dalvin Cook and Ermon Lane found their way to Tallahassee and played for those damn Seminoles. A few found their way to Gainesville and suited up for the University of Florida Gators, and more than a few ended up at out of state schools like Clemson University in South Carolina. To win at Miami you have to keep kids at home. Now Miami has done things like hire former Miami Northwestern (high school) head coach Tim Harris (father of University of Florida quarterback Treon Harris) as part of the staff, and the staff is full of solid recruiters but in order for Golden to go from 6-6 and back to the 9-4 season he had the year before he has to keep the local kids.
Miami has seemingly bypassed the kids that the rest of the country would give their arms and legs for and instead of recruited the out of state kids that turn into busts. Makes no sense to be honest. Al Golden, a Pennsylvania native, seems more willing to get kids from the Northeast, instead of recruiting kids who are a short car ride away. He might need to sit down with Howard Schellenburger, or Jimmy Johnson, or Dennis Erickson, or Butch Davis, or Larry Coker. Those men all were winners at the University of Miami and they all understood that in order to win they had to win the State of Miami. Time to get back to that Al Golden. Keep the kids home and turn the program around. Go Canes!
I’m done. Instead of clanging away at a keyboard, I should be knocking back drinks and enjoying the sunshine. I’m out of here. Have a Merry Christmas, and if I’m unable to post a blog next Friday, have a Happy New Year. Thanks for supporting www.7poundbag.com. Peace.
Tiny URL for this post: