Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Now A Word From Tampa Bay

If it’s any consolation, the city that owns Philly isn’t making it easy on its followers.

Tampa Bay has beaten Philadelphia in too many key games recently, in particular: the 2003 NFC Championship game victory over the Eagles as the Buccaneers went on to win the Super Bowl—in the last Eagles game at the Vet—and also the 2004 Eastern Conference finals Game 7 win over the Flyers, as the Lightning eventually won the Stanley Cup. (Yeah, it's hockey, but we'll still count it.)

Now, though, the Phillies have the Rays and their fans on the edge of a season-ending, World Series-failing precipice.

“I’m losing a lot of sleep over it,” said Mike Alstott, the former Tampa Bay running back who was part of the Buccaneers’ 27-10 win over the Eagles in the 2003.

I interviewed Alstott for an ESPN story and we got around to talking about the Phillies and Rays. Alstott knows several players through a variety of ways, including charity work, namely Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, Carlos Pena, J.P. Howell, and Jonny Gomes.

Alstott has season tickets to the Rays and attended the World Series games in Tampa Bay. He’s a good guy with a key to the city of St. Petersburg, a Super Bowl ring, and an active charitable organization.

But here’s hoping he’s a lousy prognosticator.

“We were up 3-1 against Boston and ended up having to go to a Game 7,” Alstott said. “So my prediction: We’re going to a Game 7.”

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