Friday, March 27, 2009

5 Things I Hate About You Sunny South Florida

These are supposed to be out on Tuesdays, well, guess what, I didn't do it. So today we get a chance to rag on those Gulf of Mexico flounders known as the Tampa Bay Lightning. As always, if you particularly dislike these guys for some reason, pipe in.

5. Sunny Day, Sweepin' the Clouds Away

The Lightning opened the season on October 11, 2008. The high temperature that day? 87 degrees.

The Lightning came back from the All-Star break on Tuesday, January 27. The high temperature that day? 81 degrees.

The Lightning will close out the home slate this year on Thursday, April 9. The expected high temperature that day? 84 degrees.

From all the Northern hockey fans out there, I would just like to say, go to hell Tampa. Go. To. Hell.

4. The Barry Melrose Show

I think we goated this sucker what seems like eons ago. But let's rehash it. So the guy with 3 years NHL coaching experience, well over a decade ago, gets hired to coach the Lightning. The guy with 1 winning season to his name (yeah, as if it's hard to have a winning season with Gretzky and Robitaille ) and 2 losing, yup, that same guy gets another shot.

And yes, just 16 days later, after all sorts of a shitshow in Tampa, Barry Melrose was fired, and replaced by a felon. How's that for a bitch slap?

3. The Grand Experiment

So, while the NHL began to see proud franchises in hockey areas like Quebec, Hartford, and Winnipeg begin to struggle in the early 90's, they decided it would be a great time to expand (Bettman took over in '93, so this cannot all be blamed on him...unfortunately). Ottawa and Tampa awarded franchises in '92, Anaheim and Miami, FL in '93.

This was the beginning of the NHL's expansion to "non-traditional" markets, aka markets with no fans, no reason to be fans, and a struggle for survival. How's this Grand Experiment turned out? Tampa's been sold, Phoenix is struggling to make ends meet, and Florida plays to half empty arenas, so, you tell me.

2. The Jerseys

I can seem to find a reason to bitch about anyone's jersey or logo, and guess what, Tampa is no exception. Yup, according to some cartography experts, Florida does indeed look like a giant flaccid penis. Tallahassee is actually a ball sac, explains so much about Bobby Bowden doesn't it?

Now I know I already made mention of this, but seriously, tell me it doesn't looked wrapped up and used. Dirty, dirty.

Now let's look at some awesome mid-90s style! I don't even have to ridicule this, unto itself it is simply bound for ridicule. It looks like a badly designed roller hockey jersey.

1. They've Got A Cup. The Tampa Bay Lightning Have A Cup.

How sad is that? Many a proud organization haven't tasted cereal from Lord Stanley, but the Tampa Bay Lightning have. The Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts. St. Louis Blues, been in the league since 1967, no cups. The Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks, both founded in 1970, no cups. But the Tampa Bay Lightning, founded in 1992, does. It's bullshit, and as a Sabres fan, utterly depressing.

Honorable Mention: The lightningbug mascot, insanely hot female fans, playing in the Southeast Division, Seen Stamkos?, Darren Puppa, 7th All Time leading scorer? Chris Gratton.

Got anything else? Why do you hate the Lightning? As always, check out the previous entries.
Fact: BanginPanger is not meant as an insult to the one and only Darren Pang, nor do I claim to be him. The views and opinions presented on BanginPanger are of my own, and no other namesake of the site, the NHL, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, or anyone else.