Tribute — Not TRIBulation

The Tampa Tribune will be a while living down that fiasco over the wrong editorial that consoled the Lightning over a valiant — albeit losing — effort against Calgary in the Stanley Cup Final. It was among the worst things that can happen to a newspaper — trying to cover your ass on deadline and making the wrong call. The contingency plan from hell: preparing in advance for either victory or defeat — and then choosing the wrong one.

Oh, the average reader moved on the following day, but it took a little longer for the national media — and the St. Petersburg Times — to let go. This was a juicy, “Dewey Defeats Truman” moment. The impact, however, transcended embarrassing media snafu.

It was an opportunity for the ESPNs and other sports media — especially flagship newspapers in markets with well-established traditions in hockey — to pile on the Tampa Bay area as a less-than-deserving venue for such major sports success. The Trib, alas, provided Exhibit A to the usual naysayers.

Ultimately, however, it comes down to this. To hell with ’em. The editorial. The apology. The cheesy, cheap shots.

The Cup is where it belongs. Worthy of tribute — not Tribulation.

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