My parents moved our family from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Clearwater, Florida, in 1972 when I was an eight-year-old boy who worshiped Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez and Dave Concepcion of the Cincinnati Reds’ “Big Red Machine.”
Five years later, I was one of 60,000 screaming fans cheering on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first home win ever, 17-7 over the then-St. Louis Cardinals in the old Tampa Stadium. My older brother Randy and I watched in exhilaration as rowdy fans stormed the field and tore down the goalposts at the Old Sombrero.
That’s how allegiances are formed.
When I finished graduate school at the University of South Florida in Tampa in 1996, I had no idea that those allegiances would one day come full circle….... Read More