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Football wins over chocolate

By PATTY RYAN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 16, 2002

MY CHOICES Monday night were football or chocolate, the latter a planned evening of baking for a sick friend in need, an evening that guaranteed bowl-licking in defiance of Weight Watchers.

MY CHOICES Monday night were football or chocolate, the latter a planned evening of baking for a sick friend in need, an evening that guaranteed bowl-licking in defiance of Weight Watchers.

I chose football.

What kind of sicko am I?

It started with inaugural South Florida Bulls tickets a few years ago, a matter of alumni loyalty.

Then, last year, I lucked into Bucs tickets. For a season, I sat in the end zone, beneath the pirate ship and near retired sheriff's spokesman Jack Espinosa and his son, the judge.

Week after week, Jack wore Bucs suspenders and cheered, "Take no prisoners!" -- a motto born either of crowded jails or Bucs fever.

This year, I evolved into the ultimate fan, the couch potato.

"Honey," I yelled to the dogs Monday night. "Bring me a beer."

No response yet.

* * *

BE PROUD, South Tampa. The Tampa Bay Little League All Stars, a team of 13- and 14-year-old girls fielded mostly from our neighborhoods, traveled to Washington State this week to represent the southern United States.

The contest: the Junior League Softball World Series.

The team: Andrea Lewis, Sara Gandy, Tari Owi, Lauren Castellvi, Kerri Croney, Katie Grimes, Lauren Rodriguez, Anne Pilger, Chrissy Clingan, Jessica Cason, Elizabeth Chesser, Kelli McDonaugh, Ansley Reed, and Brittany Villa, coached by fathers Larry Rodriguez, Jorge Castellvi and Jerry Grimes.

Hoping your child might follow suit? Check the list of youth sports registration dates on Page 7.

* * *

AS THE PRIMARY nears, campaign signs pop up like daisies.

District 1 County Commission candidate John Dingfelder opts for the McMansion model, a stylish double decker placard that includes a photograph of him waving. His outstretched hand lines Himes Avenue in Palma Ceia, creating the illusion that he's, um, well, hitchhiking.

His color scheme: red, white and black.

Fellow Democratic contenders chose blue and white (Kathy Castor) and blue and yellow (Mimi Kehoe Osiason).

* * *

MIGHT we glean insight from color? Could it save us sorting through literature?

I checked with color gurus.

Red: energy, determination, passion.

Blue: tranquil, intuitive, trustworthy.

Yellow: enthusiastic, playful, optimistic.

Of course, in Japan, red means danger, yellow means childish and blue means villainy.

So much for that.

* * *

SPEAKING of signs and competitors, check out the billboard on Howard Avenue near Sangria's Tapas Bar & Restaurant.

It advertises Ceviche a few blocks down the street, the restaurant that first introduced tapas to SoHo.

"Imitation is the finest form of flattery," the sign says.

* * *

WE IRISH are sure grouchy.

First, Four Green Fields owner Colin Breen gripes about City Times description of his pub as "musically annoying" last week. (Hey, we also said it was a great place to meet lawyers.)

Then MacDinton's manager Barry O'Connor complains that we sacrilegiously photographed a drippy glass of Guinness.

Readers Jeff McLane and Ann Timmerman write, too. McLane chides us for spelling "a-u-t-h-e-n-t-i-c" like this: "a-n-n-o-y-i-n-g." Timmerman adds, "Hopefully, your sarcastic opinion of the music at Four Green Fields will keep the bottle beer crowd out of our pub."

No doubt others have opinions.


* * *

DOG UPDATE: I visit PetsMart. I leave with a $16.99 automatic waterer, a contraption with a large, upside-down bottle mounted on a dog bowl.

All goes well until, mid-slurp, the water level drops, unleashing the horrifying gurgle of an air bubble. Golden retrievers fly out of the kitchen.

I know: How about inventing a leash that sounds like a vacuum cleaner?

-- Tampa's Kennedy Boulevard was once called Grand Central. Now Grand Central is a weekly City Times column. Writer Patty Ryan can be reached at 226-3382 or

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