Has anyone lost more than Tampa Bay’s fans?

by Gary Shelton on May 31, 2020

in general

Would Morton be as good as last season?/JEFFREY KING

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Everywhere, there is hope.

The baseball season was supposed to be in its infancy. The hockey season is supposed to be in the middle of the playoffs. The football season has reloaded.

And still, we wait.

But who has lost more momentum than Tampa Bay?

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

Oh, there are options. In Los Angeles, they were watching the Lakers, and they were anticipating the Dodgers, and they are hoping the window hasn't closed on the Rams. In Kansas City, they hope there will be a difference to the way the Chiefs defend a title. In Green Bay, they are hoping Aaron Rodgers has more to do before he's shoved out the door. In New York, they've tried to buy another pennant. In Houston, they'll try to short-cut their way to one.

But here? Here, there was a restart of hope. There was intrigue. There was star power.

And still, we wait.

No, Tampa Bay is not the sun in the sports universe. It's been a long time since a title, hasn't it. But each team had a reason to hope, a reason to dream. Each team could make you imagine the possibilities.

By now, we should know if the Lightning was going to lay another egg in the playoffs as they did a year ago. That was a collapse for the ages, a President's Cup-winning team that was swept from the playoffs. But Steven Stamkos should be back by now, and he joins a star-laden lineup that should, on paper, be able to make a run at the Cup. But they saw their last 12 regular season games canceled, and they wait on a new 24-team playoff format.

By now, the Rays would be 61 games into their season, and we should have glimpses to see if this team can match last season's promise. We should have a hint if Blake Snell is going to be special or a one-year wonder. We should be able to see if Willie Adames continues to grow, and if Austin Meadows becomes a star.

By now, we should have some images of Tom Brady on a Bucs' practice field. Those initial practices in OTAs were going to be the most hyped quarterback play in the history of ever for this team, and every pass that Brady threw over 10 yards was going to feel like a victory. You can argue about how much Jameis Winston was responsible for the losing, but you can't argue that his turnovers didn't contribute. And so Brady should have taken those first steps to show he still has juice in his arm. As for the rest of the Bucs, they have to prove they have put the proper pieces around him.

By now, the conversation might have worked its way to USF football. No, the Bulls don't matter as much to as many fans. But new coach Jeff Scott makes the team interesting again. Who's the new quarterback? What are the new expectations? It's a nice little addition to the sports menu.

Look, we have lost enough. No Masters. No Final Four. No Olympics. No Opening Day. None of it.

But those things have been lost everywhere.

Here, alone, it seems worse.

Previous post:

Next post: