The Washington football team comes to town this weekend to play the Bucs.
Notice we didn't use the nickname. We refuse. It's offensive. And don't even try to argue it. It's wrong and it needs to go.
It's not the only thing in sports that's gotta go.
So I polled the staff of the Tampa Bay Times sports department and we came up with our list of things that GOTTA GO in sports.
• Urban Meyer.
• College basketball coaches. All of them.
• Sideline interviews seconds before kickoffs. When was the last time we learned anything from those?
• The fourth NFL preseason game. (You can kill one more after that for all we care.)
• The term "verbal commitment."
• These phrases: score the ball, trickeration (is that even a real word?!), punch their ticket, if the playoffs started today.
• Baseball's interleague play. Too much Rays-Marlins and not enough Yankees-Dodgers. Let's go back to the way it was when baseball was great. The only time the AL plays the NL is in the All-Star Game and the World Series.
• Then again, can't we kill All-Star Games? Especially the Pro Bowl.
• Treating high school signing days like the NFL draft. For all the criticisms of high school athletes doing signing videos and holding news conferences to announce their choices, and of how this process has become a monster, that beast gets fed by all the publicity it gets. Yes, these are great things for these kids, but each one isn't major news.
• Fighting in hockey.
• Fighting in baseball.
• Fighting in fighting.
• Complaining about Tropicana Field. It is where it is and it is was it is. Stop bellyaching long enough to realize it's a nice place (read: cool and comfortable and dry) to watch a baseball game.
• Outdoor hockey games. There should be one a year. On New Year's Day. That's it.
• The Boogermobile. If you want Booger McFarland on Monday Night Football, put him in the booth. The only thing more annoying than having him on that thing is ESPN showing it 400 times a game.
• In football, the defense rewarded with possession if a ball rolls out of their end zone. Why does the defense get the ball when it did nothing to deserve getting it? If team fumbles ball out of end zone, it should retain possession. Move it back to the 10 or 20, but don't take the ball from it.
• Fans booing pitchers' throws to first. Hey, bozo, it's not a balk, and all you're doing is showing your ignorance of the game.
• Kiss cams. When you think about it, it's kind of creepy and assumes all male-female pairs are a couple (as if the woman wouldn't come to a game if her partner didn't drag her). Let's leave the kiss requests for weddings and embrace the Simba cam.
• Rick Neuheisel "singing" and strumming a guitar before CBS's college football game of the week. Nothing takes you right out of the mood to watch a great SEC matchup like Neuheisel's warbling and corny lyrics.
• The following types of fans: those who wear a jersey of a team not involved in the game they are attending; those who get up just as a baseball inning is about to start; those over the age of 14 who bring a glove to a game; those who yell "get in the hole!" at a golf tournament; those who complain that announcers hate their team (they don't); and, of course, any Philadelphia fan. Boston, too.
• Replay. All replay. In every sport.
• Tommy John surgery. I mean, it's necessary. But it stinks.
• The ESPYs. Do we even have to explain this?
• Thursday Night Football. Even the players hate it.
• Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.
• Any Little League parent who is thinking "college scholarship" or "major-leaguer" while watching his or her kid play. He is 12. Calm down.
• About 12 college bowl games.
• Networks that show Jerry Jones 78 times during a Cowboys game. He's a crummy owner of an overrated team that has won two playoff games in the past 20 years. Why are they America's Team?
• Any sports debate show not called Pardon the Interruption.
• Anyone who tries to make a career out of poking holes in LeBron James. Yes, you, Skip.
• Mascot races, find the ball under the helmet, throwing footballs through holes. Can't we come up with better in-game entertainment? If not, how about some nice organ music and we can entertain ourselves by, I don't know, talking to each other.
• Baseball shifts.
• Basketball 3-pointers. It's too easy. At least we can move the line back a few feet.
• Umpires Joe West and Angel Hernandez.
• Yelling during the national anthem just because your team's name or color is in the song. That 10 times more disrespectful than kneeling during the anthem.
• Football receivers who throw imaginary penalty flags in the air when they think they've been interfered with.
• The following songs at any sporting event: Start Me Up, Blitzkreig Bop, Get Ready for This and the music from Jeopardy during the replay review. Then again, if we can get rid of replay, we won't have to worry about that.
It's gotta go!