SEC COMES TO TAMPA FOR THE FIRST TIME EXCITING POST SEASON COLLEGE HOOPS!
THE BUCS OFFSEASON
HOW THE BUCS OFFSEASON CHANGES HAVE CHANGED THE FRANCHISE AND HOW IT EFFECTS THE FUTURE, AND THE DRAFT
Trouble Parking at Rays Games? We Tell You How To Park At Ease! PAGE: 6 Inside! Tampa’s own version of UFC!
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Welcome Sports Fans! Dear Reader, After plenty of hard work and planning, we are proud to bring you Chase Sports Magazine. This new sports publication is driven by all the local sports in Tampa Bay, big and small. You can see us checking up on the latest Bucs news, hanging out at an XFC match, or reporting on a college game. No sport story is too big or too small. We will take you beyond the newspaper when we get in depth personal inverviews with players and coaches, some that dont get the media attention they deserve. As well as Reporting on all the professional teams, we plan to bring awareness to all the hands on sports and activites that people are playing, so you know how you can get into the game! We will let you know when all the best tournements are for surfing, volleyball, fishing, tennis, and more! This demo and pilot issue is only a taste of whatâ€™s to come! The next issue will feature over 40 pages of hard hitting Tampa sports action! We will bring out all the big guns and supercharge it to the limit. If there is a sport, or sport like activity you want us to cover, let us know! Or if you have any other suggestions, we want to hear those to. You are now officially a reader of this magazine, and it belongs to you too. So we want you to have a say in it! Sincerely, The Chase Sports Magazine Team
Contents Whatâ€™s Inside... Rays Parking Got You Down? Check Out Our Tips..... 6 Our Sports Guru, The Sports Chump Wieghs in all the Bucs Offseason Factors Going Into The Draft....8-9 Xtreme Enough For the XFC? The MMA League That You SHOULD Be Watching....10 SEC Comes To Tampa. Results? .... 11-13
Publisher/Editor: DAN! Specht Sales Director: Stacy Edwards Writers: Chris Humpheys C. Alvarez Columnist: Jared Preston Copy Editors: C. Alvarez Crys Rivera Art Director- Steve Nester
Got A Sports Question You Want Answered? Email The Sports Chump At SportsChump@ChaseSportsMagazine.com
Contest On Page 14! Chase Sports Magazine is owned my Silver Tongue Media LLC. Copyright 2009 by Silver Tongue Media LLC. All right reserved. Reproduction of any material without the consent of Silver Tongue Media is strictly prohibited. Chase Sports Magazine is independently owned and is not an official publication of any sports team or league.
Special thanks to Ben Rosa for our logo and mascot.
For questions, comments, or suggestions email us at firstname.lastname@example.org chasesportsmagazine.com
C. Alvarez As we welcome the Tampa Bay Rays back to Tropicana Field this spring, we will also be welcoming more fans this season than the beginning of last season. With older fans coming back with better expectations, new fans rising up from the ashes, and the number of Phillies fans in Florida suddenly doubling, you can count on regular season games to look like this past season’s play-off games. With fan attendance expecting to double, the Rays franchise and the City of St. Petersburg have already made arrangements to make one of the most irritating things about going to a Rays game less irritating, as well as economically friendly. Parking has now been made one less thing to worry about with more options and less worry about the safety of your vehicle in some back alley lot. Here are some options for the unfamiliar new fans, as well as the veterans, just in case they forgot:
The parking garage located on 1st Ave. South and 2nd Street is available for Rays fans, with a shuttle that runs 2 hours before the game and one hour after. It’s only $5 to park, which beats $10-$15 near or around the field, but make sure you have a five dollar bill or some ones on you, as the machine only takes exact change.
The parking garage located above Midtown Sundries Restaurant & Bar, around the corner on 2nd St., also provides $5 parking. The shuttle does not go directly to the Midtown garage, but the stop is only a block away, located between Central Ave. and 1st Ave. South. If you get there early enough, you can get a head start on your pre-game party at the bar.
The Rays still support being environmentally conscious by offering free parking to vehicles that contain four or more people, within the confines of the law. If it’s not a double date, then expect to pay $15.
Season ticket holders still get their parking perks; they can receive parking at a discounted price.
Do you have a USF parking decal on your car? Take advantage of it, and park in the parking garage across the street from the campus, and walk down 2nd St. about three blocks to the shuttle stop.
When you don’t feel like waiting around for the shuttle, or you are just too embarrassed to carry your drunk friend onto the trolley, taxis are not a bad idea, and the rate from Tropicana Field to downtown, is no more than $15.
The shuttle is scheduled to run during games where the Rays play against the Yankees, and Red Sox, but after last season, we can expect to see the shuttle running during Phillies games as well. If attendance is larger than expected, word on the street is that the trolley will be scheduled to run during many more games. The shuttle service is provided by the Looper Trolley system, so you can find their rates, special running times, and additional maps on their website, www.LooperTrolley.com. chasesportsmagazine.com
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Bucs Make Major Changes To Roster and Coaching As Draft Day Gets Closer
Chris Humpherys A friend texted me the other night. I was playing poker at my local house game while tipping back a few. His text read simply “Cutler a Buc!!!”
Even though I was initially excited about Tampa Bay landing Cutler, one of the best young quarterbacks in the game, there was still a touch of skepticism in the move. Some have proclaimed him I read the text with mixed emotions. The Jay the next John Elway, others the next Jeff George. Cutler sweepstakes were still in full effect at that Cutler showed his age and immaturity in his hanpoint. At first, a wave of excitement rushed over dling of the Denver situation once he found out he me. I started high-fiving my friends at the table. Our was the discussion of trade talks. Trade me, don’t beloved Buccaneers had landed the best off-season trade me, feelings hurt. That’s not to say Broncos’ quarterback available, outbidding all other suitors, brass wasn’t also to blame. But did this new look aka, Washington, Detroit, Carolina, Chicago and the Buccaneers team really want this man as the face of like. their franchise, particularly when he came with such a heavy price tag? The Bucs sold their soul to land The move made perfect sense, or at least it former head coach, Jon Gruden, sending away firstseemed consistent with the wheeling and dealing the round draft picks and cash. Denver was asking a franchise had engaged in since Jon Gruden’s desimilar price. The last time the Bucs landed a former parture. This new Buccaneer regime, led by newly Bronco quarterback, he didn’t even play a down. appointed GM Mark Dominik and head coach Raheem Morris, has wasted no time putting their As it stands right now, Luke McCown is imprints on the organization. Cutler appeared to be penciled in ever so lightly as the Bucs starting quarone more piece to the puzzle. A big piece. terback, with Brian Griese and Josh Johnson likely giving him at least a run for his money. Yet none of Minutes later, I received another text from the those quarterbacks strike fear in the heart of oppossame friend that read “April Fools!” As it turned out, ing defensive coordinators, which is why the Bucs the Chicago Bears now have the Vanderbilt product are heavily rumored to be looking for a QB in the behind center and the Buccaneers starting quarterfirst round of the draft, namely either Mark Sanchez back position remains a question mark. from USC if he’s still around when the Bucs
select at 19, or Josh Freeman out of Kansas State, who they’re apparently very high on. Raheem Morris coached the 6’6”, 250 pounder at Kansas State in 2006 and loved him. Freeman could be a longterm solution to the quarterback inconsistencies that plagued the Gruden era, i.e. nine different starters in seven years. By the 19th pick, Freeman should still be available. Another option is Florida’s multi-purpose threat, Percy Harvin, if he’s still on the board, but his workouts indicate he might be gone by then. Or the Bucs could choose to shore up their defensive line where they certainly need the help. Either way, the Bucs do not have a second round pick so they better make their first pick count. The Bucs have had an interesting off-season to be sure. The new regime wasted no time this spring, making significant moves to overhaul the franchise. Monte Kiffin is now in Knoxville, Tennessee and Raheem Morris went from replacement defensive coordinator to head coach in a matter of weeks. The organization is doing their best to ensure its fan base is paying attention. Can you say facelift? When they take the field in 2009, your Tampa Bay Bucs will be as unrecognizable as Meg Ryan. Gone are the traditional mainstays: Derrick Brooks, Cato June, Joey Galloway, Ike Hilliard, Warrick Dunn and oh yeah… Jon Gruden. In with the new, and make no mistake about it. This is Dominik’s and Morris’ team. It is their way or the causeway.
What Will The Bucs Do In The 2009 NFL Draft? definitely run the football. On defense, which has been the Bucs’ identity since the Dungy days, the Tampa 2 scheme is likely a thing of the past. Defensive Coordinator Jim Bates is even trying players out at new positions. Safety Jermaine Phillips is learning to play linebacker. Defensive end Gaines Adams may switch sides of the line. There will be growing pains to be sure. At least Ronde is still around. The release of #55 was not a popular move. The city was nearly in mourning. One needed only look at a dejected Coach Morris at the press conference when they announced Brooks’ release, his usual pearly whites nowhere to be seen. If Coach Morris wasn’t already familiar that the NFL can be a cold, harsh business, he got a crash course his first month in office. With Brooks gone, leadership on and off the field will now have to come from somewhere else and that remains a question mark.
That being said, the majority of Tampa’s offseason moves have been for the positive. Fans have The Bucs have been as active as any NFL to be encouraged that ownership and management team this spring, including making serious pushes for are determined to put a winning product on the field. not only Cutler, but also DT Albert Haynesworth, Morris’ energy is contagious. His spring practices who was eventually signed by the Washington Red- have been refreshing, but no walk in the park. He skins for $100 million. When’s the last time you brings a new, upbeat attitude, looking brightly into the remember the Bucs paying nine figures for somefuture of the franchise. Hip-hop blares on the practice thing other than a new stadium? Yet they were in the field in place of the coarse and hoarse yelling of years running which is more than can be said about their past. And the coaching staff had to be encouraged recent efforts. by the fact that nearly every player under contract showed up for involuntary workouts. The Bucs made huge splashes in trading for Cleveland’s Kellen Winslow, Jr., re-signing WRs Fans should be encouraged too. Yes, we’ll be Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton, and adding seeing some unfamiliar faces in the red and pewter former Giants RB Derrick Ward to help the consis- this year, but as they say… winning cures all ills and tently ailing Carnell Williams. Expect a more effec- that is just what this team intends to do. tive running attack in 2009 as this Bucs team will
Taking MMA To Xtreme Heights DAN! Specht
How the xfc Is Still Growing and Changing the MMA Wor ld
These days, everyone is watching the UFC, whether it be at a bar, or at home. But why pay a cover charge to see it at a bar, or order it on payperview when you could see MMA up close and personal? Another MMA league is taking off and becoming a dominant player in the MMA community. Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC), is an independent MMA company that trains, promotes, and hosts events. And where are these good people based out of? That’s right, Tampa Bay. They have had 7 events to date, with #8 coming up soon. And although #8 is going to be in Tennessee, they have another scheduled event here in Tampa for September. How successfull is this company? Well, they just signed a multiyear national television contract with HDNet. In a recent press release, XFC president John Prisco said “We’re delighted to join this exclusive club. I can’t wait to introduce MMA fans nationwide to the next generation of superstars as they battle toeto-toe in the XFC cage!” The XFC in Tampa has taken this sport to new heights and have become a major player in its field. It has also opened a new training facility in Brandon, and is looking to expand even more. With two training facilities, a multi-year tv deal, and amazing fighters, we can expect to see some exiting events in the future. For more information on events, training, schedules, and more, check out their website at: www.mmaxfc.com
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SEC Hoops Come to tampa
Chris Humpherys Springtime means March Madness and from March 12th-15th, the St Pete Times Forum treated Tampa residents to some post-season college basketball, Southeastern Conference style. With attendance numbers down compared to recent years, hardcore hoops fans took advantage of cheap ticket prices and plenty of available seating to watch SEC bubble teams fight for a bid to NCAA’s field of 64. Only one of those teams, however, Mississippi State, stood victorious in the end, edging the Tennessee Volunteers, 64-61, in Sunday’s nail-biter of a conference championship game. That weekend, the SEC saved the best for last.
For most of the forty-minute contest, fans were glued to their seats as neither Tennessee nor MSU could sustain much of an advantage. The biggest lead for either team during the game was only seven points. The game featured 11 ties, 15 lead changes and a nerve-wracking ending with three turnovers in the closing seconds. But in the end, Rick Stansbury’s Bulldogs had just enough to best the Vols. Going into the tournament, other conference teams like Florida, Auburn, South Carolina and Kentucky all needed impressive outings to make their chasesportsmagazine.com
cases for an NCAA post-season berth. All failed to do so and were NIT invites as a result. On the other hand, Sunday’s victory gave the Bulldogs, and Tourney MVP, Jarvis Varnado, their second conference title since 2002. They became only the fourth team since expansion to win the tournament after playing all four rounds. Mississippi State beat Georgia, South Carolina, then Louisiana State and Tennessee to proclaim themselves conference champs and qualify for an automatic bid to the dance.
led the nation in that category. MSU also held opponents to 34% shooting for the tourney, finishing the season 23-12. 2009 was the first year Tampa hosted the tournament, which is normally held in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. Next year, the event will move to Nashville, then New Orleans, then back to Atlanta in 2012.
Despite poor tickets sales and attendance, the lowest since 1990, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission hopes to host the event again. De Varnado was a beast in the paint all weekend, creased attendance - under 12,000 fans per game making his presence felt on both ends of the floor. - was largely attributed to a poor economy and a The 6-foot-9 junior shot 53% for the tournament and down year for the conference, as witnessed by only nearly averaged a double-double (13.8 ppg and 8.8 three teams (LSU, MSU and Tennessee) receiving rpg). His shot blocking was even more impressive. invitations to the field of 64, something unheard He blocked 22 shots for the tourney including six, of for the Southeastern Conference. The failure seven and six in the final three games. Varnado broke to advance of traditional conference powerhouses, Shaquille O’Neal’s SEC single-season record for Kentucky and Florida, also negatively affected atblocked shots (165) and is a major reason why MSU tendance, but that didn’t seem to bother Mississippi State fans who all went home smiling.
Now, making his big debute... Meet Tampa’s newest Sports Fan! Our Team has designed the perfect mascot to cheer for your favorite teams! Whether he is watching a game at the Forum, grabbing a hot dog at Raymond James, or just tossing a football around at the beach, this guy is all over the sports sccene! Look for him in the future as he goes on adventures, gives you tips on what events are happening, and how to blow off some steam the old fasion way- with a little physical competition!
But before he helps you, he needs your help. He has all the things he needs to show his support, but he doesn’t have a name yet! We want YOU to name the biggest sports fan in the area! Now, don’t call him “Chase.” We have already discussed it, and we feel a guy like this needs a name all his own. If we use the name, the winner who picks the best name will win a package FILLED with gift cards from local businesses. Just picking the best name can get you some good food, an oil change, and more! Email YOUR name, number, and what you think his name should be to the email below:
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