Game On!…with Rob Kriete – DECEMBER 23
Game on for the most unique holiday season this guy has ever experienced. Choosing not to travel this year has been rather delightful for me this holiday. My holiday wish for everyone is to be safe in 2021 and the ability to gather safely once again. Hey, they did it last season without Steven Stamkos, mostly.
I know the Tampa Bay Lightning are wishing for a return to the Stanley Cup finals! But the Bolts will have to do so without their leading scorer, Nikita Kucherov, who will have surgery on his ailing hip and miss the 56-game regular season minimally.
The Rays of Tampa Bay are wishing to go further with less, yet again. After already losing clutch-pitcher Charlie Morton to a lack of wanting to pay him his worth, the Rays are reportedly looking to move 2019 Cy Young award-winner Blake Snell in the right deal. Tampa Bay seems to replicate public education annually by doing more with less; this challenge will be great in 2021.
The yet-to-play Tampa Tornadoes are wishing for a successful inaugural season in the National Arena League. With enthusiastic, fan-centric owners to go with speedy receivers and a strong defense, the Tornadoes are looking to blow sports fans away in 2021.
The “new” Tampa Raptors, on loan from Toronto, are wishing to be a force again in the NBA Eastern Conference this season. A year removed from winning the NBA Championship, the Raptors will be playing their home games in sunny Tampa this year, albeit without Kawhi Leonard, who led that team to their only NBA championship in 2018-19 campaign. Nonetheless, the Raptors expect to be in the mix as a strong playoff contender this year.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to wish for a playoff berth (not guaranteed yet!) Since their last playoff game, a 24-14 loss to the New York Giants in an NFC wild-card game on Jan. 6, 2008, at Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs have had six head coaches, three general managers and, as of this year, four winning seasons. Here is to continued success for Tom Brady and the Bucs going into 2021.
However, and whatever you celebrate, be it with a tree, candles, a leg-lamp, or even an aluminum pole, I hope you are safe!