* Sports is an integral part of our society, our culture and our economy. It’s also part of our value system, which can be sobering. To wit: The minimum–MINIMUM–salary of NFL players is $495,000. And that’s the lowest–LOWEST–among the major sports. MLB: $555,000; NBA: $582,000; NHL: $650,000. And, BTW, the annual salary for POTUS is $400,000.
*We’re all aware of the Rays continuing status as a franchise that struggles with attendance. Such that it foments ongoing speculation about its status in this market. Last year it ranked 31st in attendance out of 32 franchises. The Bucs, on the other hand, have seen the focus on underperformance on the playing field, inconsistency in front office player assessment and Jameis Winston for all the obvious reasons. However, attendance has also become an issue. Increasingly so. This season, the Bucs ranked 30th in the league in attendance. But they have a first-class facility in the right part of the market in a sport that is an American media magnet–and are not going anywhere except, hopefully, upward toward playoff eligibility for the first time in more than a decade. Hopefully.
* A pick-six in overtime to end this roller coaster season and maybe Winston’s Buccaneer career. Perversely appropriate.
* Aren’t the New England Patriots too good to be so conniving? Or maybe having a Trump-supporting owner with a fondness for the wrong day spas speaks volumes.