Tampa, Florida

[Warning: profanity follows.]

After over 26 hours in a charter bus this weekend, I'm finally back in Chapel Hill. Most people would be excited to travel down to Tampa for the weekend, to get away from the "hum-drum" of their normal lives.

My professional assessment of the Florida trip: that state is fucked. You can tell when you enter the god forsaken place. Things just look and feel different. The entire state is like a massive marketing ploy gone wrong. The colorful houses, the obnoxious billboards, and the grossly rich and terribly poor just rub me the wrong way. It's become so touristy it's almost like the state has lost all other identity. The cities -- Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa Bay area -- seem normal enough. But when you get to the rural parts of the state you enter a whole 'nother world.

It's like their desperately trying to catch up with the business boom of the big cities. Trying to attract the traveling tourists to their orange stands, alligator farms and even the Drag Racing Hall of Fame. The place is so obsessed with this idea of advertisement and attracting people to them that they don't seem to care about the people that are actually there. The place is run down. That's the best way to put it.

But people don't want you to see that part of Florida. That's why they put you up in $300-a-night hotels, like the one the band, football team and cheerleaders stayed in this weekend. The Grand Hyatt, Tampa: a picture perfect example of what the fuck is wrong with rich people in America. They make the unnecessary necessary. I'm not going to lie and say that I didn't enjoy the hell out of my seventh floor view of the Tampa Bay, but I was disgusted by the other things I saw, like the Armani Lounge on the top floor, or the $20 breakfast buffet (which included fruits, cereal, sausage and eggs. I thought it was a continental and free breakfast. I was wrong) that men in their neatly pressed blue sport coats and women with painted faces and flashy dresses greatly enjoyed, as if a ten dollar breakfast would not have been good enough for them.

But that's enough about materialism. Let's talk about the state of UNC football.

It's dead, as far as I'm concerned. Saturday was the worst football experience I've ever had. Our group of 40 band members sat in the corner of Raymond James Stadium (the same stadium that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play in) and watched our Heels get spanked by the University of South Florida Bulls. It was ugly. On top of that, we had drunk guys yelling at us to our left, and it started to rain during half time. We left the game wet, angry and demoralized. Welcome to the Butch Davis Era.

O.K., that was a little uncalled for. I like Butch, and it's not his fault that T.J. Yates likes to throw to the other team's defenders, or that wide-receiver Hakeem Nicks dropped more balls than a kid going through puberty. It's just that I expected more from this team, and I thought I was going to get it after watching the first two games of the season. I guess I was wrong.

I really should be working on my color feature for class ("Football Saturday in Chapel Hill"), but I'm really not in the mood right now. I have a draft and I'll just edit it and turn it in tomorrow. It's much easier for me to rant right now than it is to write coherently for my feature class.

I'll probably post the feature later this week, unless it gets raped by my professor, in which case I'll edit it and put it up later.

Until then...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't like Florida? Stay the fuck out! Glad your team lost asshole!