All part of the plan . . .
The close of another regular season for our National Pastime puts the National Evil (no affiliation) in a reflective mood. The last weekend of baseball truly heralds the end of summer, the coming of autumn, and endless Fox promos for shows that will be cancelled before the holidays.
The story of the baseball year, without a doubt, has been the rise of the Tampa Bay Rays from American League laughingstock to powerhouse, winning the AL East over the two richest teams in baseball, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Many “humorous” allusions have and will be made to how Tampa’s luck turned when it dropped the “Devil” from its nickname.
With a direct line to Hell, the Evil is uniquely qualified to explain this matter. For you see, Satan doesn’t grant his imprimatur to just any sports franchise. In fact, no team—not even the 26-time world champion Yankees—has ever impressed the Big S enough to lend it his given name, which is why you won’t be seeing the, say, New England Satans anytime soon.
However, he has licensed his assorted nicknames to a few teams. The New Jersey Devils have not only won multiple hockey titles, but they also sport the coolest logo in professional sports [Fig. 1].
The Duke Blue Devils have been crowned NCAA basketball champions three times since His Satanic Majesty anointed Mike “Agent of Darkness” Krzyzewski head coach. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons have had a great deal of success in basketball, but have the misfortune of playing in the same conference as the aforementioned and more powerfully-named Blue Devils. (Yes, Satan plays favorites.) Thus far, only the Arizona State Sun Devils have disappointed the Dark Lord, having won not much of anything of note at any point ever. Satan tells the Evil he’s considering pulling that license.
What of this seemingly blessed Tampa franchise, then? Given its retirement-age population, most of the residents of the Tampa-St. Pete metro area will be visiting the Ballpark of the Damned soon anyway. In Satan’s original plan, being a Tampa Bay Devil Rays fan would serve as a kind of pre-Hell purgatory preparing the aged for eternal suffering. For ten years, this plan worked like a charm.
Eventually, however, Satan got bored. He does that, except in the case of Cubs fans, for whom he has an especially painful season-ending debacle planned during the 2008 playoffs, in this the hundredth anniversary of the Cubbies’ last World Series win. Realizing he was happier spreading his misery throughout the sporting world, and that he had been too focused on one franchise, one city, one pre-damned population, Satan pulled up stakes this past off-season.
He has currently been sighted in New York.