Good morning, and welcome to the upcoming 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, which will be observed in America at the same time the National Football League kicks off its regular season on Sunday.
Technically the season began last night, with a rematch of Super Bowl 50 in Denver, where the Broncos defeated Cam Newton‘s Carolina Panthers, 21-20.
Incidentally, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall knelt in protest during the national anthem, following the lead of his college teammate Colin Kaepernick, whose refusal to stand for the anthem triggered a national controversy and discussion (you can hear The Nation magazine’s Dave Zirin‘s take on my radio show by listening here).
So, who do you like this year? We’re writing here in the Cigar City, where there are actually high expectations that the Buccaneers, under new coach Dirk Koetter and second-year star quarterback Jameis Winston, can get a winning season under their belt. The team was 6-6 last year in Winston’s outstanding rookie season, before completely collapsing in December, finishing 6-10.
Some people think Jacksonville will be improved, but like my Oakland Raiders (another sexy pick to be a surprise team), until it happens, be skeptical. Very skeptical.
And then you have the Miami Dolphins, who were hailed last summer as the next up-and-coming team, before they crapped out at 6-10.
By the way, one of the negative things as a football fan living in Tampa is how many unattractive Dolphin and Jaguar games are televised in this market by CBS, though actually it is nice that the Dolphin-Seattle Seahawk game will be shown locally here at 4:05 p.m. on Sunday.
And what about the Seahawks, who some experts believe are poised for a return to the Super Bowl? Several Seahawk players say they may “do a Kaepernick” and refuse to stand during the anthem on Sunday — again on the anniversary of 9/11.
Then again, the Hawks are coached by Pete Carroll, who has been called a “9-11 truther.”
In other news …
A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday shows a dead heat between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in Florida.
Clinton endorsed Patrick Murphy for Senate, which shouldn’t be news, but was.
David Jolly goes up on the air with a bit of an unconventional television ad featuring himself with his dog.
Jolly is accusing Charlie Crist of making another misstatement regarding his congressional record.
Tampa Firefighters are backing Eric Seidel for Hillsborough clerk of the courts.
Florida Conservation Voters is backing Bob Buesing in the Senate District 18 race.
Kathy Castor files a bill to address the FDA regulation preventing Tampa companies from sending cigars overseas to U.S. troops.