Saturday, November 25, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay should say no thanks to these sporting events

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Tampa Bay has become the Break-Glass-In-Case-of-Emergency City.

When the NHL decided to pull out of the Olympics, it needed someone — and quick — to host this season’s All-Star Game. Tampa Bay stepped right up.

When the NFL realized that the new football stadium in Los Angeles wouldn’t be completed in time to host the Super Bowl in 2021, it needed someone to hurry up and host the big game. Tampa Bay stepped right up. That became official on Wednesday.

In both cases, we were excited to do so. NHL All-Star Game? Super Bowl? Are you kidding? Who doesn’t want those things?

But not every sporting event is worth hosting. So, already, we’re saying, "Thanks, but no thanks,’’ when it comes to certain ones.

Here is what’s on our list of events we do not want in Tampa Bay:

NFL Draft

The NFL announced earlier this week that next year’s draft will be held in Dallas. Good, Jerry Jones can have it. Why would we want a sporting event that is not an actual game? If I wanted to enjoy a draft, I’d go to Buffalo Wild Wings every night in August and watch fantasy drafts. And, trust me, I’m not doing that because there are two things in this world that I don’t care about: salad and your fantasy football team.

The past two NFL Drafts have been held in Philadelphia and Chicago. This after years of it being held in New York City.

And that’s where it should be every year. Radio City Music Hall, close enough where Jets fans can boo whichever bust the J-E-T-S make with their first selection.

Olympics

This would be a logistical nightmare.

I can’t drive from St. Petersburg to Disney at 3 in the morning on a Tuesday without getting stuck in the parking lot otherwise known as I-4. Now add 10,000 athletes competing in a hundred events with maybe a million coming to watch and they should hand out gold medals if you can make it to the events on time.

That’s not the worst of it. Add a price tag of about $11 billion (yes, that’s with a B) and our great-grandkids will swimming in debt.

If you’re in Tampa Bay, the Olympics should be held in one place and one place only: our televisions.

Mr. Olympia

You know something is cheezy when Las Vegas becomes its permanent home.

That’s the case with this annual competition to determine the world’s best bodybuilder. Past winners include Arnold Schwarzenegger and a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of.

Oh, wait, Jay Cutler has won it four times. Uh. Nevermind. It’s not that Jay Cutler.

The thing is, these guys give me the willies. No one should look like that and we don’t need to host such a thing. I don’t want to have to fight one of those guys for the last can of Crisco the night before the competition.

Pro Bowl

Orlando has hosted the NFL all-star game so it’s not inconceivable that we would get this game.

But here’s my golden rule: if the players don’t even want to be there, why should we want to be there?

NFL Combine

Indianapolis has become the permanent home of this event and they can keep it. Trust me, I never need to see someone run a 40-yard dash like quarterback Landry Jones did. (Google it if you’ve never seen it.) Basically, the combine is like watching a guy take a physical and then catch football for a few minutes.

Pro Bowlers Tour

I know I’m being a snob, but I just can’t wrap my brain about watching people do something that I do twice a year only because I literally can’t think of anything else to do. I don’t want to watch people play darts or play cards or play PlayStation. Point is, if I can do it and do it reasonably well, I don’t want to watch anyone else do it. I know Spring Hill hosts an event ... which I do not attend.

Men’s Division I College Basketball

Hold on, being told we actually do have Division I college basketball in Tampa.

PGA Championship

The golf major is being moved from August to May starting in 2019, meaning the state of Florida is back in play for this event. But we’re unlikely to get it because we host the Valspar in the spring. (Psst, okay, don’t tell anyone, but we’re using reverse psychology here. It would be great to host the PGA Championship, but maybe if we tell them we don’t want them, that will make them want to come here.)

Contact Tom Jones at tjones@tampabay.com. Follow @tomwjones

 
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