Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, November 30, 2021

kicked off
Well, I said there was some sort of football voodoo afoot, and today, Martin Gramatica got stuck in the behind with it. The Bucs released their all-time leading kicker today, replacing him with an Arena League refugee.

That’s business. Gramatica was undoubtedly slumping, and he wasn’t doing the team any favors with his heartbreaking misses. By the same token, his teammates and coaches weren’t doing much for him with their equally horrid performances. Maybe he can shake off whatever’s been bugging him and hook up with a playoff-bound team.

Marty will always occupy a special place in my heart. He was the inspiration for the very first headline I got approved during my newspaper days: DRAMATICA. It was a game where Gramatica nailed four field goals to give the Bucs a 12-10 lead, securing what wound up being a 19-10 win. We had the perfect photo of Marty throwing his head back and celebrating after the last kick, and it all came together nicely.

From Dramatica, to Automatica, to this. So it goes.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/30/2004 10:21pm
Category: Football
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gimme a break
Asking for a $1-million property tax break in the midst of a labor dispute takes balls, even when you’ve got a Stanley Cup in tow. But that’s what the Tampa Bay Lightning are doing.

What’s the motivation? Keeping up with the rest of the Tampa Bay area’s sports Joneses:

The hockey team says it simply wants the same deal as Tampa’s other professional sports teams, the Buccaneers and [Single-A minor league] Yankees, which pay little or no property taxes on their stadiums.

“We’re just looking for consistent treatment,” said Sean Henry, the Lightning’s chief operating officer.

So let’s see if I have this clear: When players seek their fair share of the pie, they’re selfish, spoiled and overpaid. When the owners do it, they’re exercising good business judgement. Just checking.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/30/2004 09:54pm
Category: Hockey, SportsBiz
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Hurricanes here in Florida, torrential rains in California, pestilence in Mexico: They’ve all conspired to create a national tomato shortage, leading to poor quality and prohibitively high prices.

How high?

Feola’s Pasta Factory in Largo is going to start offering a cup of soup to customers who forgo a tomato slice on their sandwiches. J. Alexanders in Tampa, which boycotted tomatoes for a short time, is reluctantly bringing them back.

McDonald’s, Subway and Taco Bell haven’t raised prices or cut back the tomatoes on their products, but at least one fast-food giant is taking steps to cut costs. Last week, Wendy’s put up notices at its 6,500 locations saying tomatoes would be available on sandwiches only upon request.

The idea of having to actually request tomato on your sandwich cheers me no end. Why? Because I hate tomatoes, with a passion. So every time I eat out, I have to order my burger or sandwich and specifically request that no tomato be added. And no means no, as in: No putting the tomato on, then removing it, thereby leaving a disgusting residue of tomato juices. I don’t want it anywhere near my dish, period.

Thanks to this development, the tables have turned. So now, the greater tomato-loving world will have to experience the bother I do, in having to make a specific request for their perfect dish. And I can order a Wendy’s chicken sandwich from the drive-thru window without worrying about an unwelcomed tomato lurking under that bun.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/30/2004 09:35pm
Category: Business, Food
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hit hyperspace!
A dimly-lit pizza parlour. Blaring television set, greasy smell wafting throughout. And strategically situated, a circa-1980 Asteriods coin-op machine.

A scene from my long-departed childhood? Nope. It was the scene from half an hour ago, when I hit the nearby north St. Pete West Shore Pizza. I went in due to a craving for a couple of slices of pie, and was happily surprised to see the relic Asteroids sitting right there. And no one else around! I got a few quarters (it was only 25 cents for a game!) and jumped on it.

It was the same as it ever was. I got my name on the high score (which wasn’t hard, as it didn’t look like it had been played much lately), and after my second and last game, my fingers started aching in that old-time Space Invaders Wrist kinda way. Golden!

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/30/2004 09:17pm
Category: Videogames
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