1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Whose lunch table do you sit at when it comes to Tampa Bay sports personalities?

John Romano: We’ve got Hall of Famers, we’ve got grumps, we’ve got saints. If you had the choice, which clique would you join?
Which group would you sit with in the lunchroom? Table 1: Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn, Jeff Vinik; Table 2: Warren Sapp, Nikita Kucherov, Jim Leavitt; Table 3: Tony Dungy, Ben Zobrist, Brittany Lincicome; Table 4: Steve Yzerman, Stu Sternberg, Tony LaRussa; Table 5: Jon Gruden, Hulk Hogan, John Tortorella; Table 6: Evan Longoria, Steven Stamkos, Gerald McCoy; Table 7: Joe Maddon, Simeon Rice, Barry Melrose; Table 8: Pete Alonso, Kevin Knox, Brayden Point; Table 9: Marty St. Louis, Kevin Kiermaier, Shaquem Griffin
Published Aug. 10

ST. PETERSBURG — If you spend any time on Twitter, you’ve probably come across the “Where y’all sitting’’ meme that exploded last weekend, reached Time magazine by mid-week and will be fossilized by Monday.

If you haven’t seen it, the meme is a bunch of lunch tables in the school cafeteria and you’re supposed to pick where you would sit.

One of the earliest versions included a different Justin Bieber song at each table, and readers were asked to choose one. It soon spread to all kinds of people/songs/movies and became a Rorschach-like test of social status.

For instance, do you sit with the jocks, the geeks or the goths?

So before it becomes too annoying — and we may have already missed that window — here’s a lunch table version for Tampa Bay sports. Choose your table carefully. Don’t forget, the school year is just starting, and it’s a long way until Thanksgiving break.

MORE SPORTS: State of Florida’s 50 greatest single-game college football performances

Table 1: The Do-gooders

Who: Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn, Jeff Vinik

Advantages: They won’t make fun of you for wearing corduroy pants and adidas T-shirts every day of your entire sophomore year. (Not that I would have any personal experience with that.)

Disadvantages: Do you really want to confront your own inadequacy issues at lunch every day?

Table 2: Parents’ nightmares

Who: Warren Sapp, Nikita Kucherov, Jim Leavitt

Advantages: Nobody is going to mess with you at this table. Actually, nobody else may sit with you at this table.

Disadvantages: The possibility of being choked out.

Table 3: Parents’ dreams

Who: Tony Dungy, Ben Zobrist, Brittany Lincicome

Advantages: Your grades will automatically get a 5 percent boost by association. This has been verified by National Education Association data.

Disadvantages: Good luck getting anyone to buy beer for you on a Friday night.

MORE JOHN ROMANO: Life was almost always better with Don Banks around

Table 4: The brains

Who: Steve Yzerman, Stu Sternberg, Tony La Russa

Advantages: You’re privy to articulate discussions about world crises, socio-economic issues, innovations and political trend lines

Disadvantages: See above sentence.

Table 5: Class clowns

Who: Jon Gruden, Hulk Hogan, John Tortorella

Advantages: Laughter may be the only credible antidote for Tuesday’s Salisbury steak.

Disadvantages: Might want to keep your girlfriend away from Hulk.

Table 6: Populars

Who: Evan Longoria, Steven Stamkos, Gerald McCoy

Advantages: By force of personality, you can shepherd all of these pretty people into a dynamite a-cappella singing group that competes at nationals. Wait a minute, being told that’s the plot for the movie Pitch Perfect.

Disadvantages: Eventually, they will break your heart.

MORE JOHN ROMANO: Here’s why you should love that crazy guy doing pushups in Rays dugout

Table 7: Hipsters

Who: Joe Maddon, Simeon Rice, Barry Melrose

Advantages: Hardly ever return to class after lunch, and yet no one seems to notice.

Disadvantages: Do you really want to be the kid wearing a Kierkegaard T-shirt and drinking wine in the parking lot at Friday night football games?

Table 8: Underclassmen

Who: Pete Alonso, Kevin Knox, Brayden Point

Advantages: Sort of like hanging with the popular kids except they’re too young to realize you’re not cool enough to sit at their table.

Disadvantages: They still watch Nickelodeon.

Table 9: Overachievers

Who: Marty St. Louis, Kevin Kiermaier, Shaquem Griffin

Advantages: None.

Disadvantages: They don’t arrive with built-in popularity, then they make you look bad by outworking you every single day. No thank you.

John Romano can be reached at Follow @romano_tbtimes


  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. The Saints won 31-24. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) BUTCH DILL  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay: What’s next for the Bucs, Astros-National World Series preview, the Lightning’s short-circuit start
  2. Davey Martinez gained valuable experience as a coach behind Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay. But when Maddon exited, the Rays bypassed him for a "new voice," Kevin Cash. Tampa Bay Times
    After failing to land a half-dozen manager jobs, including with the Rays, Martinez and Nats ended up a good match.
  3. Jose Altuve prepares to be mobbed by his teammates at home plate as Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman leaves the field after giving up a walkoff two-run homer to the Astros second baseman in the ninth inning to win Game 6 of the AL Championship Series 6-4 on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. The Astros win the series 4-2 and advance to the World Series to play the Washington Nationals. MATT SLOCUM  |  AP
    New York ties the ALCS Game 6 in the top of the ninth with a two-run HR before the diminutive second baseman wins it with a blast off Aroldis Chapman, putting Houston in the World Series.
  4. In 1968, slugger Frank Howard, known as the "Washington Monument," proved to be one of the few bright spots for the Washington Senators. AP
    The Nationals’ improbable postseason run rekindles memories of the woeful Washington Senators
  5. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, on left, along with Erik Neander, center, senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, and Chaim Bloom, senior vice president of baseball operations, address the media during a press conference at Tropicana Field Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rays Tales: Research now, action to come as Rays get caught up after playoff run. Plus, TV rating info and rumblings.
  6. The Astros’ George Springer signals foul, but the delirious crowd in the rightfield stands at Yankee Stadium knows better as the ball hit by Aaron Hicks caroms off the foul pole for a three-run homer in the first inning of Game 5 of the AL Championship Series on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. FRANK FRANKLIN II  |  AP
    After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, New York slugs two home runs in the bottom half of the inning and cuts the series lead to 3-2. Game 6 is tonight in Houston.
  7. An emotional CC Sabathia is helped off the field during the eighth inning in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series against the Astros on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The 39-year-old left-hander injures his pitching shoulder and is taken off the Yankees' postseason roster, thus ending his 19-year major-league career. MATT SLOCUM  |  AP
    The 39-year-old left-hander is taken off New York’s playoff roster, thus ending his 19-year big-league career.
  8. Tampa Bay Lightning center Alex Killorn (17) and right wing Luke Witkowski (28) celebrate with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) after the Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout in an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) ELISE AMENDOLA  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay: There was bad news Thursday in the Tampa Bay penalty box, for USF’s Blake Barnett, for the Yankees and the NFL’s reigning MVP.
  9. Astros manager A.J. Hinch answers questions during a news conference before Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. FRANK FRANKLIN II  |  AP
    A.J. Finch calls the accusations, including one of his team signaling by whistling, a “joke.”
  10. Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez raises the NLCS trophy after Game 4 of the baseball National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Washington. The Nationals won 7-4 to win the series 4-0. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP
    They’re easy to like, familiar-looking and also connected to Montreal. Most importantly, they’re not the Astros or Yankees.