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THE BIG O' IT IS

Not much enthusiasm surfaced for our call last week for Tropicana Field nicknames. We received four responses from readers and one from our sports staff. (Should we take that to mean everyone is enamored by "The Trop"? Or maybe we should have offered that prize of a dome luxury suite for the best nickname.)

By majority vote, the most popular choice was "The Big O," as in "The Big Orange." It was submitted by Joy Matthews of St. Petersburg and Michele L. Reeks of Clearwater. Matthews credited her inspiration: "I'd like to hear Chris Berman say, "And today in St. Petersburg at The Big O ... ' "

Also following the "orange" line of thinking, Reeks offered up "The Slice" and "The Big Squeeze." Times staff writer Bruce Lowitt promoted "The Grove."

Brian Denney of St. Petersburg went the baseball route: "In keeping with the "Ray' theme and the fact that the dome is a hitter's paradise, The Sting Dome has a nice, intimidating ring to it."

Mark Dawson of Palm Harbor gets special notice for truly getting into the spirit of things. Dawson, who has a sense of humor that appeals to us, came up with seven nicknames:

WAIT Field (We Ain't in Tampa); The 'Can; Tilt-A-Field; The Pulp Dome; The SPEED (St. Petersburg's Eccentric Eyesore Dome); Vince's Playland; and NYFIB Ballpark (Now Your Family is Broke).

The sampling isn't big enough for us to throw our support behind one offering. So we'll leave them in the public domain and let survival of the wittiest rule.

_ SHARON FINK

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