The Under Armour All-America High School Football Game pits some of the country's top pigskin-handling seniors against each other in an All America game broadcast by ESPN. More than 90 promising young athletes pull out their hardest-hitting demonstrations of skill and announce their college destinations at the game, pumping up alumni and convincing burnt-out mascots to squeeze into the giant head one more time. The game has previously catapulted athletes including first-round NFL picks Julio Jones, currently a wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, and A. J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals, onto the national stage. Tropicana Field contains the on-field and in-stand energy within a giant dome, protecting heads from the elements and sky-diving long snappers.
The industrial-rock force of Filter pipes more than 17 years of raw, cathartic hits into the ears of fans, hammering crowds with its signature blend of mechanical mayhem and guitar-driven calamity. From the band's debut album Short Bus, which bore the mid-'90s smash “Hey Man Nice Shot,” through its latest collection of screamable valentines, The Trouble With Angels, lead singer and guitarist Richard Patrick’s urgent voice conveys a football coach’s heartbreak and a guidance counselor’s angst. Helping to fill State Theatre's lush interiors with impenetrable tunes, local rockers From This Fire and Nation Of Wealth entwine bodies in sinewy guitar lines and lobe-stroking sing-alongs.
Professional soccer officially returned to Tampa Bay on May 8, when a crowd of more than 8,000 fans watched the Rowdies play their debut home game at Steinbrenner Field. Currently headed up by Scottish coach and retired professional footballer Paul Dalglish, the Rowdies are chest-trapping, banana-kicking, and head-butting their way back into the world of black-and-white-spotted balls. Watch them take on the Minnesota Stars, who are ably coached by Manny Logas and hungry to work their way up the 2010 standings. Sideline seats get frenetic fans close enough to observe the fantastic flairs of Division II soccer savants as they attempt to sneak the European pigskin between an opponent’s legs and through the goal zone. Since it's a Thursday game, fans can also take advantage of Thirsty Thursdays, featuring $1 beers from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.