From the editor
TAMPA-Here I am in warm, sunny Tampa, sent here by Wednesday Journal to cover Super Bowl XLIII between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals. Sure the newspaper business is suffering during these tough economic times, which have forced several layoffs and extreme pay cuts, but who am I to remind my bosses of those troubles?

And, yes, I realize the players, the coaches, the teams, and the referees in this Super Bowl offer not even one tenuous connection to Oak Park or River Forest, but, of course, I needed to come down here first to find that out.

It was a most comfortable plane ride, but why wouldn’t it be when you’re sitting in first class sipping a chilled mimosa. When I arrived at the airport in Tampa, I was met at baggage claim by a tall, lanky man named Marvin, who would be my limousine driver. Marvin is cordial yet intense. I surmise he knows 27 ways to and from the airport and 27 ways to kill a man. Therefore, Marvin will double as my bodyguard-got to do my part in helping the paper save some money.

I’m staying at the Don CeSar Beach Resort & Spa in St. Pete Beach. It’s not exactly in proximity to Raymond James Stadium where the Super Bowl is being played, but the resort’s many luxurious amenities are in line with my tastes. Why, this morning I had a most relaxing, 60-minute Swedish massage before a catnap in my penthouse suite, which, of course, overlooks the shimmering Gulf of Mexico.

I had Marvin call the wife to let her know I had arrived safely. After he relayed the information, I heard him quietly say, “I will let the master know of your bewildered frustration, Ma’am. Now have a nice day.” Marvin, being the professional he is, never relayed my wife’s message, allowing me to stay fully relaxed here in paradise. I like Marvin. I may just love Marvin.

Anyway, time to talk a little about the game. I mean, that’s what they’re paying me to do, right? Well, Pittsburgh is going to win.

Did I mention I chartered a yacht earlier this afternoon and went swimming with stingrays? It was a delight. After all the frolicking with those water birds, I ate lobster bisque and bathed on the deck while the crew fanned me with large palm fronds.

No worries, I’ll expense it.

I’m currently wading into the ocean off the hotel’s beach, while Marvin shoes away the seagulls honing in on my bruschetta. Later, I plan on dining at Bern’s Steak House. I may even bring my scraps to Marvin in the car.

So, remember, the Steelers will beat the Cardinals. Their defense will shut down wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and Kurt Warner’s osteoporosis will flare up in the third quarter.

Got to go, I’m up to my waist in Gulf surf, holding another frozen concoction, of course.

Huh? Ehhh, I’ve never drooled while daydreaming at my desk!


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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...