Food for thought: Tampa vs. Tampa Bay

The Super Bowl is starting to feel like the Super Bowl. The game is one day closer, the media center has heavier traffic, Tampa is under the flow of a few more fans. Super Bowl week is getting amped up, and it will only grow with each day until Sunday.

For comparison’s sake, I will say this year is more subdued compared to this point last year. It’s an opinion shared here in Tampa, but we’re not quite sure why. There is less media, giving Radio Row a different feel.  Whether that’s because the national media outlets have sent fewer people, or the fact that the Arizona and Pittsburgh markets are drawing less attention than past seasons, or because of the economic recession, is up for debate.

Walking to Radio Row — which you’ll see featured on NFL.com/Live and in our Super Bowl blog the rest of the week — I walked past the aftermatch of an NBC luncheon, where Al Michaels, Keith Olberman and Cris Collinsworth were lingering in the hallway. Otherwise, things were chill. All of the stations were on the air — how they fill this many hours of programming we’ll never know — but things will really pick up with former NFL players, coaches and those associated with the game hitting the grounds in full effect starting tomorrow.

One thing that didn’t make the blog yesterday that always seems to create some sense of confusion, or at least a general disdain is the  Tampa vs. Tampa Bay discussion. Tampa is the city. Tampa Bay is the body of water that separates Tampa and St. Petersburg. Tampa Bay is actually comprised of several bodies of water — Hillsborough Bay, McKay Bay, New Tampa Bay and Old Tampa Bay. From what I’m told, when you’re in Tampa you’re not actually looking at Tampa Bay … you don’t see Tampa Bay until you take I-275 toward St. Pete. So, there’s that, for whatever it’s worth.

Granted, Tampa Bay is often used to describe the whole region — like The Bay Area or New England or SoCal or the Twin Cities — but we’ve been wondering if there’s another sports team named after a body of water and not a city.

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