Tampa Bay Devil Rays
It has been fun for the past few seasons to notice just how dominating the California / Anaheim/ East L.A Angles have been in the American League. It is only fitting that the best team in a league named AMERICAN goes by the name ANGLES !
This season we have watched a "Miracle " of historical proportions happen down in Tampa Bay, Florida. My former editor and friend, Chuck McGill at the Northern Virginia Daily has been a long standing Tampa Bay baseball fan. If you are a long standing fan of Tampa Bay, that would have to make you a long suffering fan as well. Chuck remained loyal to his team despite the long odds that they would ever turn the corner.
Chuck's belief and loyalty to his TB-Nine reminds me of my link to the power house that is Duke University football. You should stop laughing now...
It was my life long dream to attend school at Duke but I must admit that back in 1978 when I started High School that wouldn't of created a blip on most folks radar screen. That was back when Gene Banks, Jimmy Spanarkel and Mike Giminski led Duke to the Final Four in St. Louis only to lose the title game to Kentucky 94-88.
Way before Coach K made his way onto the scene and turned the campus into a basketball Chapel of sorts (slight poke at the folks down at Chapel Hill). I believe, as Chuck would appear to, in Loyalty is Loyalty and that is a big word in my world. If you are a fan of a College or University, than you should support the entire athletic program.
The decade out in Seattle was interesting in that I spent a fair amount of time with a fellow named Tennessee Tom. A fitting name because he was a DIE HARD UT football fan. I was able to take the non-traveling fan down to Arizona so he could be at the stadium when his team won the National Championship in the False Start Bowl against Florida State. That would be the original BCS title game to those fans that don't remember the amount of penalty flags thrown during the Vols landmark win.
We get back to Seattle and Tom starts talking about his basketball team. I assume he is talking about the Vols but he starts talking about the Kentucky Wildcats. How does that work ? The idea of switching teams to your biggest rival when it is convenient. That would be like Generals-Sign-Guy- Mike telling me that he loves UVA but he switches to Va. Tech during football season because they are better- ARE YOU KIDDING ME ?
That makes me a Duke University Blue Devil Football Fan . One that has attended every Bowl Game we have played in during my life time! You're laughing again... We have played in two of those games in the past 45 years. Steve Spurrier took us to the All-American Bowl (vs. Texas Tech )down in Birmingham, Alabama and a few years later we made it to Tampa, Florida to face Wisconsin. We lost both games to big strong football teams but I was still proud to be there to support the Blue Devils.
That brings us back to Chuck McGill and the Angels/ Devil Rays saga. It was not lost on me that in the VERY FIRST YEAR after dropping the word DEVIL from their team name, the Rays are going to capture the American League East. The same AL East that includes the free spending likes of the New York Yankees, Boston Redsox and Toronto Blue Jays. Is it me or is God trying to tell us something by having the Angles and the Devil-less Rays take the two top spots in Baseball this season?
I am a believer in the message that is being sent from above on this one. I am not sure that it will work for my long suffering football team though. If we change our name to the Duke University Blue will it take us to the promise land? This week will be a fun one for Rebecca and I as her Cavilers (they are 2ND in line for me) will travel down to Durham for their annual football game. Duke is 2-1 and will hope to be competitive with UVA for a change...
Congrats to Chuck and his Rays ! Go Blue____!!
Notes on Duke University Football:
ACC Championships - 7 (Only 1 in the past 40 seasons)
Home Stadium - Wallace Wade Stadium
Post Season Bowl Record 3-6
Played in 1941 & 1942 Rose Bowls - Hosted 1942 Game (Only one not played in Pasadena)
1994- Under 1ST year Coach Fred Goldsmith- Ranked #13 at 8-1 before losing back to back 1 point games to N.C. State and UNC. Then lost Hall of Fame Bowl (Now Outback ) to Badgers 34-21.
1989- Won ACC Crown in The Old Ball Coach's 3RD and final season at the school. Steve bolted to the Florida Gators but stayed and coached his team in the loss to Texas Tech in the All-American Bowl by a final score of 49-21. The Blue Devils were ranked #20 and the Red Raiders were #24.