So You Want to Be a Devil Rays Fan

It’s a little-known fact that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are on the verge of becoming the next great sports dynasty. For those of you who are old enough to remember the early ‘90s, think of them as Nirvana right before Nevermind. With guys like Carl Crawford, Scott Kazmir, B.J. Upton, James Shields, Carlos Pena, and Matt Garza on the roster, and prospects such as Evan Longoria and Reid Brignac in the pipeline, it’s only a matter of time.

Odds are that you aren’t one of the 14 confirmed Devil Rays fans that currently inhabit this mortal coil. I am, however. For at least three months, I’ve been all D-Rays, all the time. Some people apparently are put off by a franchise that hasn't won more than 70 games in any of its first 10 seasons, so there's plenty of room for you on the bandwagon. I’m here to help you blend in.

1. What’s your home page? CNN.com? ESPN.com? Screw that. Here’s your new home page.

2. Anytime Hall of Famer Wade Boggs comes up in conversation, interject with: “You mean former Tampa Bay Devil Ray Hall of Famer Wade Boggs!”

3. Name your first-born son “Aubrey.” Yes, I know it’s a girl’s name.

4. It’s “Devil Rays.” Or “D-Rays.” Only bandwagon-jumping posers call them the Rays. You’re old school.

5. Meet Jonny Gomes: Heavyweight Champion of the World!

6. Anytime Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” comes on the radio (the frequency of this occurrence depends on your listening/sexual preferences), sing the “on the catwalk” lines with added gusto. With a new ballpark opening as early as 2012, time is running out to make your pilgrimage to the Trop (aka, the House That Fred McGriff Built).

7. Cardinals fans have the Sign Guy. Indians fans have that guy with the drum. We’ve got this douchebag.

8. Our manager is Joe Maddon. Not John Madden. Joe Maddon cares not for turducken.

9. As the D-Rays’ site boasts, the Trop is the world's only professional sports facility that features a tank full of live cownose rays. One has to wonder why any other sports facility would feel the need to install one. Anyway, the tank is located behind the center field wall. Cross your fingers that, someday, this will happen. No word on whether the rays have frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads or are, at the very least, ill-tempered.

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