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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Cup Crazy

May 23, 2004

For the first time in franchise history, the Tampa Bay Lightning are heading to the Stanley Cup Finals. And I, for one, am thrilled about it.

Lou Pickney & Scott Massey
Scott (right) and I watched the game from Newk's, a bar across the street from the St. Pete Times Forum.

Yesterday was one of those really fun days where the right mix of people and the proper course of events leads to a tremendous evening. Scott Massey (of "My friend Scott Massey" fame) came by in mid-afternoon, ready to give some lessons to me in Fight Night 2004. At least, that's what he thought. Then I beat him fight straight times with Ricardo Mayorga against Felix Trinadad (though, to be fair, I had the "left side" advantage every time). We finally switched it up and he beat me a few times, but I definitely served notice of my skills. Yeah.

One thing Scott wanted me to mention is how the last time we played in NCAA Football 2004, he pulled a Babe Ruth and called his shot, saying that he was going to make an interception with DeAngelo Hall and return it for a TD. And, lo and behold, he did just that. However, we didn't have time for a rematch yesterday, which is too bad as I was itching to give him a solid pounding on the video game gridiron. If you've been there, you know what I'm saying. If not, you probably think I'm a total tool. But whatever.

Scott and I ended up watching the game over at Newk's, a fun sports themed bar that's located across the street from the St. Pete Times Forum (formerly the Ice Palace, which was about a 1,000 times better name for the place). I was happily surprised with how many hot women there were there for it. With it being a big hockey game night, I figured it might be a total sausage fest.

Newk's went crazy when the game came to an end.

I wore my Ned shirt out, and sure enough that prompted a few conversations from Bubba The Love Sponge fans out there. I wish I could have had a recorder going for the overwhelming statements of how they'd be willing to sign up for satellite radio in a heartbeat to get to hear Bubba's show again.

The Lightning went up 2-0, the Flyers made it 2-1, but Tampa Bay held on and captured a 2-1 victory, winning the Easter Conference Championship and securing a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time ever. Newk's went crazy, with people jumping up and down and cheering and generally acting very happy (except for the few Philly fans who were there, who deserved to be heckled).

We made it back here to the apartment and met up with my friend James Maynor. From there we shifted from sports mode to party mode.

Scott, myself and James prepared to check out the Channelside party scene.

I'll say this -- James definitely adds a spirit of adventure to an evening. I'm kind of mad at him for throwing an empty coke can and an empty Red Bull can into the JVC stereo box I had taking up space in the front room, but at least that was motivation for me to clear out the box today and not packrat it. Upstairs girl even came by (after six calls I finally answered over at Newk's). So that was fun for a little while.

Then it was off to Channelside. I'll keep it brief, lest I get anymore shoot comments from my 15-year-old sister Mary Beth via e-mail about how getting drunk isn't a good use of my time or my health (nevermind my French/German heritage, I guess). But the scene was going strong last night at Channelside, which was fun to see. Banana Joe's is a cool club, for sure. They have some fine women up in that place. And some bus station skanks, but hey, this is Tampa, so there were plenty of hot chicks to be found.

I'd love to get a ticket for a Stanley Cup Finals game, but those will be tough to come by. Though, the way things go, you never know how it might work out on landing a ticket. And if that doesn't work, there's always Newk's again as an option...

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