Happy Gasparilla!

Happy Gasparilla, Tampa! It is one of the best times of year for the Bay area as everyone puts on their pirate gear, talks like Captain Jack Sparrow, and makes their way down to South Tampa for our version of Mardi Gras.

For those who are not from the area or just have no idea why everyone does this each year, well, time to read up! Its a tradition that goes all the way back to 1904 when the celebration began. People would dress up in pirate gear, float into the bay, and “take over” the city, all like the famous pirate Jose Gaspar did during his time. Gaspar was reportedly a Spanish pirate that worked his way up and down the Florida coast, living out the pirates dream. Reports are he hid his treasure somewhere on the Florida coast, though its never been found. In reality, there is no history behind Gaspar at all. There is no recorded account of Gaspar anywhere, just a story that was told back in the 19th century and its latched on from there.

While the history is fuzzy at best, the party is real. Thousands gather down Bayshore Boulevard and the surrounding area and drink and party the day away. There is a big parade, the fleet of ships, led by Gaspar’s pirate ship, and his krewe make their way into the city as the Mayor hands over the city to them. The day is filled with beads, parties, and lots of drinking adult beverages. Its one big city-wide party and everyone has a great time. If you have never gone, go! Traffic can be a headache, but just plan for it and go. Not every day you can walk around South Tampa, drink in hand, dressed as a pirate and yell argh! to everyone (and not look crazy).

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A quick thank you

The blog relaunched on January 1st after I decided to overhaul it. Since then, it has seen a huge increase in readership, breaking the old page count by over 1000 views than the next highest month. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who is reading the blogs, came over from the Bull Rush blog, and have been enjoying the articles.

Its been USF heavy on the site and will continue that trend, but soon more Tampa Bay Rays talk will begin along with the NFL draft for the Bucs and other sports talk. I will also get back to the origins of the blog, travel talk. The plans for Japan are still out there and the trip will happen, but I’ll save the details for that for another blog.

Again thank you to everyone that reads the blogs. I enjoy interacting with sports fans and sharing thoughts, ideas, and reactions to everything. I will only get better as time moves. I hope you are part of the journey.

Social media!

Hello blog and sports world. The site is doing well since the relaunch and yesterday the 250th blog went live (USF WBB winning, solid post in my eyes). For those who come across this blog while surfing on WordPress, on Facebook, or just by googling for a particular athlete, there is an easier way to find me. Social Media! Social media is the best way to interact with me and to get access to more of my thoughts and reactions to sports, Tampa, travel, or whatever else is going on in the world.

I have two main accounts that you should follow. The all USF one (@thebullrush) and my own personal account (@usfmatt). The Bull Rush will talk everything related to USF athletics. The USFMatt account will talk about not only USF but all things sports, travel, Tampa, and any thing that comes across my path. So if you are into social media, follow along for both accounts.

Where is the travel talk?

With the relaunch of the blog, there has been a lot of sports talk on the site. For those who are wondering where some travel talk is at, its coming. I’ve been slowly working on new information, research, and updates on the trip to Japan in 2015. It will take some time, but travel talk will return to the site and hopefully a lot of great discussion along with it!

RIP Stuart Scott

The sports world received awful news today that Stuart Scott had passed away at the age of 49. Scott, a long time sports anchor on Sports Center and other shows, is now gone and the sports world and beyond is devastated.

Growing up as a kid, I would always turn on Sports Center looking forward to Scott being one of the two anchors. He made it fun. He always added in the fun catch-phrases like “cooler than the other side of the pillow” and made watching some sports recaps fun. He had energy, had style, and changed how sports were covered. I always looked up to him and enjoyed watching everything he did on Sports Center.

As I got older, I learned more about Scott and how he had a reach beyond just sitting at a sports desk. He influenced so many people outside of sports, was a great father, and was just simply a great person that inspired so many.

It is not often that a celebrity or someone famous passes away that I am brought to tears, but this one hurts. Just watching the folks talking on ESPN, seeing their raw emotion, it brought me to tears. It feels like part of my childhood is gone. I spent many nights, avoiding the curfew, just to watch him talking about some random baseball game in Minnesota. This one will hurt for a long time. RIP to Stuart Scott, you will be missed by so many.

 

Relaunch of the blog is here

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted  continuously on here. My USF-only blog (thebullrushblog.wordpress.com) has continued to be active with my posts on everything happening on Fowler Avenue, but I have neglected this blog. This blog was originally designed to serve as my online journal for my eventual trip to Japan (more on that later), but as time has gone on, my drive to post just travel stuff for my trip has gone away. Now, I am looking to relaunch the blog in a very big way and doing something I have always wanted to do. Continue reading