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Mitch Perry Report for 10.31.16 — Tampa Bay Bucs owner bets big on Donald Trump

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Edward Glazer, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman and part-owner, has donated the maximum individual allowable contribution of $5,400 to the campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton this year. However, if one were to guess who he really supports, it should be noted Glazer also has contributed $50,000 to the Trump Victory joint fundraising committee. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) also reports that Glazer’s wife, Shari, also gave $50,000 to the Trump Victory joint fundraising committee.

Speaking of the Bucs, let’s flash forward to yesterday, where I attended the Bucs-Raiders penaltyfest masquerading as a football game. It was my first time in Raymond James Stadium since the team spent an estimated $100 million for a whole raft of bells and whistles improvements, including $30 million from local taxpayers.

The majority of that money went to build two giant video scoreboards, and I’ve got a question for Bucs management this morning: Why spend so much money on such a huge piece of technology if you’re not going to employ it when people want to see it?

There were numerous interesting plays that were not replayed on those video screens yesterday, frustrating myself and many of the fans sitting with me in Section 336 yesterday. I’d really like to know who makes the decision on what replays shouldn’t be shown, and what is their established criteria on doing that?

The reason teams like the Bucs and the Jacksonville Jaguars have spent tens of millions of dollars in recent years to build these gigantic scoreboards is to replicate the home viewing experience. In recent years, NFL executives have fretted that with the explosion of HDTV’s, fans are more comfortable watching the games in their home.

Now the big story this fall has been why NFL television ratings have dropped precipitously in the first couple of months of the season. The high interest in the presidential election has been considered one of the reasons for the lower ratings, but nobody knows for sure. I can say that yesterday’s three-and-a-half-hour game, which definitely had a lot of big plays and excitement, still felt unsatisfying to me — and I’m a Raiders fan! Maybe the NFL has really peaked ….

In other news …

Randi Weingarten, head of one of the nation’s largest teachers unions, was in Tampa yesterday, where she said a Trump election could “decimate” public education.

Waiting for Omarosa so you didn’t have to: “The Women For Trump” event ended with a little excitement last Friday afternoon.

Gwen Graham is going to run for the Democratic nomination for governor, it appears, and last Friday morning she gave a full-throated argument on why she’s what’s needed in Tallahassee.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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