Did you know…? Tampa Bay Lightning stars once were extras in a comic book movie?

This past summer I asked friends on Facebook to name a movie that was filmed in their area. Those who responded cited flicks fitting to the region they live in, there was a good variation because…hey! I have friends all over.

One of the respondents was one of my long-time contact who I’ve known specifically by way of our talking Tampa Bay Lightning hockey on forums way back in the past. Her response startled me because of how I’d forgotten the fact:

She cited The Punisher and reminded me how Lightning players had been n set for filming.

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Fox Sports Sun to live-stream Lightning 2019 preseason games

Earlier today I crossed a forum post asking about viewing Bolts preseason games on television. Nice coincidence that Fox Sports Sun PR released the announcement that live-streaming or preseason action will be available.

FOX Sports Sun, the television home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, will live stream all three Lightning preseason home games scheduled to take place at AMALIE Arena. Live streaming coverage will begin promptly at puck drop for all three games on FOX Sports GO and www.foxsportsgo.com.

Via Fox Sports Florida/Sun PR Email

Watching on television will take some tech know-how, but in the end — why, yes! Yes you can watch preseason Tampa Bay Lightning games on television!

The streamed game schedule starts tomorrow at 7 PM EDT against the Carolina Hurricanes. Friday’s matchup against the Nashville Predators will be streamed as well as the September 29th affair against the Florida Panthers.

In conclusion: It’s been six months since you saw Lightning hockey. The drought is over, the storm awaits. You ready to bring the thunder?

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In search of the vocal group who performed in Busch Gardens Tampa commercials

This isn’t a hiring/performance question, this is more a who the hell was this? inquiry.

During the late-late 1980’s and early 1990”s, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay had commercials — more than two, but two in memory — with an acapella group singing. Unless it can be proven otherwise, I’m pretty certain it wasn’t Rockapella (who I had been exposed to on Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego telecasts). The tone of vocals (in memory) is just too different and there was a bit of an accent.

One of the commercials (and while I can’t remember imagery, I can tell you it was all stuff from in the theme park) starts out with, “My father said..” before going into the true performance, where the lead singer would sing how “only elephants […]”, “only tigers {…}”, “only birds can…” (sit in the trees or kick in breeze; can’t remember), “But only you can dream dreams”

The other song I remember even more vaguely with “celebrate the day” and “let your soul play” is what I recall (and also key lyrics).

These guys did have recorded music; my 6th-grade science teacher played an album during class to try to chill us out. It wasn’t as catchy as what the commercials came off like.

These commercials don’t seem to be online, I can’t find out the Who? behind them either. I just know that by the 1992 opening of the roller coaster known as Kumba, these guys were no longer included in commercials (or were they?) and I can’t find anything out about them now. I’ve asked friends, I’ve done web searches… I ask the general public – who am I talking about with these Busch Gardens Tampa Bay commercials?

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Filed under Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay, Television/Streaming

The day you find out you have a day named for you

The City of Tampa has a John Fontana Day! I mean, really?! They named a day or the year after the region’s first Tampa Bay Lightning blogger who helped bolster and broaden hockey coverage as well as voluntarily assisting other weblogs o the region while ogercomit a rare genetic disease–

WHEREAS, the City of Tampa takes pride in recognizing those individuals whose commitment and dedication have made a lasting impact on our community and its citizens. John Fontana, President of Seminole Hard Rock Support Services [ … ]

Oh. Oh well. But still! I done gots me a day I share the name of! July 12th, 2018.

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Polls are now open…

Just a quick note that I’ve got a (working) poll application now. I don’t know how often they will be used but it’s a live feature. A poll is on the sidebar (and I am seriously curious of people’s opinions on the subject).

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by | September 13, 2019 · 5:37 PM

The stagnation of results with any and all attempts

I’m in a vacuum. Call it space. I’ll call it futile efforts in life.

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An example of how Meh.com’s deal-a-day can conquer

I’ve long been tied to deal-a-day websites. Woot (the original version; the site is currently an Amazon site) started it all. Shnoop had its moments (last time I checked it wasn’t a deal-a-day site anymore). Then came meh, which is run by the guys who founded Woot. A lot of this stuff can be looked at as novelty, but the sites had/have their moments.

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Theme foray fade

Just an aside remark:
I went back to my previous WordPress theme. There were just a few many aspects of the new one that didn’t sit well with me after a month of use. This site is a lone author’s writing, not a news magazine…

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Only one player stands out from Steve Yzerman’s 1st round draft history with Tampa Bay

It’s such a minor enigma and yet so profound. Draft picks don’t pan out all the time nor serve tenure with the team that selected them. That’s how it goes in hockey. Some last. Some serve. Some succeed.

The expectation is for the first-round draft picks to do the most and go the furthest in the NHL, and when a team is ardent on player development, you’d think those picks would be keepers.

That’s the enigma of Steve Yzerman’s tenure as General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning… First-rounders have tended to be meh in one way or another.

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“Do You Believe In Miracles?” available for viewing here

I have referenced the HBO documentary “Do You Believe In Miracles?” for years in my time blogging. The most prominent being the 2014 piece that tried to pour water on those suggesting Team USA’s win over Russia in 2014’s Winter Olympics was comparable to the cultural event or Lake Placid when Team USA beat the Soviet Union.

“Do You Believe In Miracles?” shows you and tells you pretty clearly what made the event so big. It’s history in sports, it’s history in the United States.

At any rate, I round the documentary posted in full on YouTube. I post it here.

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Filed under Entertainment Industry Thingies, hockey, Movies

A shot in the dark in an effort to push for “Unity”

Taylor Swift or staff who work for her will never read this tweet, let alone the lyrics or “Unity (We the People)”… Yet what kind of message would it send if such a figure turned the words to vocals in song?

I had to try…

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Filed under Music / Lyrics, Poetry

There isn’t much of a Tampa Bay Lightning blogosphere

Web logging (weblogging), commonly known as blogging, is an open platform of chronicling thoughts, observations or even reporting on issues and incidents as they transpire…with personal opinion and casual presentation mixed in. Blogging became common in the early 21st century (though weblog was coined in 1997) and has since graduated to a co-opted term by the major media; their own online presence is still news journalism but…hey! That “blog” term is so common and popular and all that…!

Blogging is still popular among amateurs, it’s still a casual endeavor (but can turn into one of expectation and dedication) that can attract eyeballs and allows fans/hobbyists/aspiring writers a chance to voice themselves at length at a location that puts their words at the forefront. It’s common in sports – fans have to express themselves somehow – and has its niche with every sports team. Well, most teams…

When an article a retired blogger wrote in 2018 is the 12th result on a web search for “Tampa Bay Lightning blogs”, there’s a problem.

Raw Charge, a Lightning blog I founded in 2009 and is built off my writings from my days as an indie blogger, has lacked a site manager for 14 months. The site is the top listing for Tampa Bay Lightning blog (or blogs) but it lacks site management and thus content (note: There’s someone serving on interim basis and content is on the site, just not what you’d expect from a blog representing one of the top NHL clubs of the past decade). Bolts by the Bay is the second blog that pops up in search results. Part of the FanSidd sports network which is very comparable to SB Nation (the host network for Raw Charge).

News media follows in search results, so do fan forum options. And ticketing. Ticketing is blogging, dontcha know??

I went through 50 entries of Tampa Bay Lightning blogs (and blogs) on Google and didn’t find an independent blog. Mind you, Bolt Prospects (which is certainly a Lightning blog) didn’t show up in search results. (I found out through direct look-up that The Lightning Lounge has ceased and archives o Lightning Shout are unavailable).

My point is folks, that while there is a franchise that is at the top of the NHL in Tampa Bay, it lacks a fan base that aspires to express itself in weblogging…  You can certainly find fans in message foums like Reddit’s Lightning community, or on social media in a group on Facebook or loner-expression on Twitter, but that’s not blogging.

I did the same Tampa Bay Lightning blog search on Lycos. Lycos is one of the elder search engines out there (I once worked in search engine optimization) and can give you a unique result in web searches. Raw Charge, Bolts by the Bay and Lightning Insider (former Tampa Tribune beat writer Erik Erlendsson; it also came up prominently on Google results) were the top results. The fourth result was a Blogspot site that hasn’t been updated since 2008.  That’s…uh… It’s results like that which actually inspired me to start blogging in 2004 — because long-dead fan sites were the lead search results after prominent media.

Bing’s search results for Tamps Bay Lightning blog mirrored results from Lycos. The results for the plural blogs included DRaysBay in top-10 search results. Tampa Bay Rays baseball is decidedly not Tampa Bay Lightning hockey.

This whole subject-matter is on my mind simply because I want to promote Lightning hockey blogs on my link-aggregation/hockey blog attempt at Hockey Daily. I was (and am) trying to follow more individual blots to promote feature write-ups (with intentions to have a place for blog writers to write their own features too). It’s tough to promote Lightning blogs when there aren’t any out there. Or at least not ones with proper search engine context (the joys of HTML and Meta tagging).

It’s a dead zone. While I know there’s social-media networking (interaction on Twitter), it would seem fans have gone to impulse-reaction primarily (via Twitter or Reddit) in order to gain immediate responses from other fans. You can’t fault that as it basically summarizes sports fans in general (action, reaction, socializing) but it also shows a void; a lacking aspiration to be more and be seen further and wider than those who immediately respond. An aspiration to say more and show more and not just have a community respond and react.

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Some quick remarks about the Lightning’s summer

I haven’t said much this summer about the Tampa Bay Lightning, now have I? The summer hadn’t really driven me to remark besides being confused by Julien BriseBois push to sign Joe Pavelski at the opening of the 2019 NHL Free Agent season. It was defense where the Lightning were in need – not because of a lack of talent but because of aging and free agent loses. Dan Girardi? Gone (okay, he’s unsigned but likely won’t be back). Anton Stralman? History (and, ahem, a threat to NHL owners). Brayden Coburn was re-signed, Luke Schenn was inked (and met with a negative fan reaction). While other minor D were re-upped and other roster moves made in July, it felt like the Bolts hadn’t done anything.

But when the New York Rangers bought-out Kevin Shattenkirk (a little late in free agency, which made it seem odd) I had the thought, “Oh, gee, wouldn’t that be a fitting signing after a meh summer?”

Cha-CHING!

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Radio and streaming options for indie musicians

 I’ve done things to try to help promote independent musicians and groups. I can’t say things have blossomed (but the artists themselves weren’t going full-time with their tunes). I’m on record with one experience that’s backfired (and I hold to it – Radio Airplay is an ego massage at best). In all cases, it’s led me to do research a more traditional promotional avenue: radio.

I’m on record here on Johnny Fonts singing praises/encouraging on one radio streaming site. There are a hell of a lot more out there, more than what I’m going to list below.

List?  Yeah, list.

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50th Anniversary of the Abbey Road crossing

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by | August 8, 2019 · 11:24 AM