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  • Bill Chastain

TOYS AND GAMES: New Year Observations

Observing the New Year’s Eve rabble gathered at Channelside, I came to the conclusion that fireworks should be shot at midnight, and 9 p.m.

Geezers like me usher in the new year around 9 p.m. — remember, that’s midnight somewhere in the world. Said early eruption would also allow the youngsters to enjoy the midnight version sans the walking dead.

Tennessee fans were prevalent in Tampa in anticipation of their Outback Bowl tilt against Northwestern. The Vols are on the upswing, which I consider the best state for a college football program. Once a school begins to win too much, alumni and fans get spoiled and worry more about losing rather than savoring the experience of seeing their team play well. One thing is certain: The Tennessee clan knows how to have a good time.

During a trip to Hattricks Tavern located in downtown Tampa, I discovered my new favorite bar food: Italian egg rolls.

We’re talking seasoned ground beef and Italian sausage blended with Italian spices and cheeses then rolled in a crispy egg roll wrapper served with a side of fresh marinara. To quote an old friend, “They’re so good they’d make you want to slap your grandma.”

Talk about TV Nirvana, a Twilight Zone marathon on the SciFy channel took place in the midst of all the bowl games. Going my way?

Finally, I started a new tradition on New Year’s Day by breaking my 2016 resolution to not eat junk foot. At approximately 9:45 a.m., I ate an almond bear claw from the Publix bakery. I must confess, the early death of a resolution felt liberating.