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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Rooster Parade

November 24, 2003

Just when I thought I'd seen everything in Ybor, along comes a parade to honor a dead rooster. A parade which has become an annual event and taken on a life of its own.

Rooster party Lou
I was told to wear a crazy hat to the party, so I obliged.

According to an article in last year's St. Pete Times, the event started after an Ybor City resident's pet rooster was killed by a stray dog in October 1997. The rooster owner, Tommy Stephens, held a wake to honor James E. Rooster (that was the rooster's name), and it then grew into a yearly event. Also, for reasons not clear to me, it's tradition to wear crazy hats to the parade/party. So I stole the show with my Oktoberfest keg hat from Munich. It's interesting when random people start taking your picture, which is what happened to me in keg hat mode. Kind of like those people at Guavaween who randomly took pics of me (as the Human Keg) and Pouncey in his vampire outfit in what was a random costume team.

(Note to self: maybe next year I'll steal Bill Simmons' idea and go as Chest Rockwell from Boogie Nights at Guavaween 2004.)

I had plans to meet Sonia and her crew down before the parade (around 2:30), but the siren's song of sleep sounds so sweet sometimes... especially when you're watching a Panthers/Cowboys game. I woke up at 4 PM, so I missed the parade (argh.) But the party was still going on, so I hung out there at least long enough to get a feel for everything. I even signed the guest book, which was one of the little touches that they had to commemorate the demise of James E. Rooster.

While I missed some of the fun, it looked like everyone there was having a good time. After yesterday's fun with beer, today it was strictly bottled water for me. Though I think I could've made some quick friends if my keg hat was actually a functioning keg. They need that for those beer vendors at NFL games.

James E. Rooster's headstone
Yes, there's even a headstone for the rooster.

Speaking of the NFL, enough's enough with these alternate jerseys. Carolina wearing blue, that's okay. The Texans with the red alternate unis... I can deal. But last night's Dolphins/Redskins game was simply brutal. The Miami Dolphins decided to don bright orange home jerseys for their game against the Washington Redskins. While the aquamarine isn't exactly sharp-looking (especially with those stupid 3D looking numbers,) the orange tops are brutal. You get the feeling that it's more a road construction crew than a football team (though with Brian Griese at QB, maybe that's not too far from reality). At least they opted against the aqua pants (though that might've been enough to cause Paul McGuire to go into convulsions in the booth, which would've made it worthwhile after all).

Now, I do realize that the use of alternate game jerseys can help sell additional merchandise and memorabilia, but let's keep it classy, please. Please?!? I don't want to see anything resembling the Oregon Ducks color scheme as some squad's alternates next year. Can't Paul Tagliabue step in and do something about this, much like David Stern did when some NBA teams went a bit crazy in the mid 90's with all the ridiculous logos and paintings on the courts? I recall Brook Gardiner and I wondering in a conversation if the Utah Jazz would have music notes covering the entire court the next season (that was before Stern played enforcer.)

The Oregon Ducks' yellow uniform
Green helmet, yellow jersey, yellow pants. Lovely.

In a Tampa-connected sports record that was broken last night, 57,167 people turned out in freezing conditions in Edmonton for the first ever outdoor NHL game. According to an AP account of the event, at one point wind chill numbers hit 15-below. Yikes! I'll stick to my indoor venue, thank you very much. But as a novelty event, it seems to have turned out quite well (the Tampa connection is because that blew away the old attendance record set by the Lightning in the early-mid 1990's when they played in Thunderdome, in the team's pre-Ice Palace days)... Though, the Thunderdome still holds the record for largest crowd at a playoff hockey game (and I don't foresee them having any outdoor games for the playoffs, which take place generally from April-June). And it's still in the 70 degree range here in Tampa in late November. Enjoy your record, Edmonton. We'll keep the comfortable temps, heh heh...

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