America...Synonymous with entrepreneurialism and the opportunity to follow your dream to financial freedom, right? Well, apparently not in Florida. It seems that some individuals tried to put a new spin on tailgating, a pastime that most of us who are football fans have enjoyed at one time or another, and The Man slapped them down. According to a newspaper account, Tampa Gestapo officers...errr, I mean police... arrested a group people trying to pursue the "American Dream" on Sunday outside Raymond James Stadium before the Bucs-Bears game. Allegedly these individuals were operating a mobile strip club in the parking lot. Undercover officers found several bouncers and dancers inside a jet-black, 40-foot-long 1987 motor home. Alcohol was being sold inside and lap dances being conducted at $20 if the woman was topless and $40 if she was nude (I guess that really is "tail" gating).
Is that bad? Bad enough to get get arrested (those involved were, by the way) Well, it's certainly stupid, because I bet the market would bear a much higher price than $40 for a naked lap dance. Maybe they were just under-valuing services through the "start-up" phase of the new business. They were selling "alcohol", although we have no information regarding for how much. Maybe that's what made it bad...because we all know that it's reprehensible to collect money for alcohol without getting permission and giving some of it back to the local government.
But, how about morally speaking. Some would say THAT'S why it was bad. But, was the whole thing SO bad? Let's compare it to another activity that takes place at football stadiums: Namely, ticket scalping. I've participated in "scalping" transactions that left me feeling like I'd been bent over and had my protstate examined by a non-professional medical person. Sort of in the same genre as a $40 naked lap dance, don't you think? However, it's much more expensive and much less pleasant. However, it seems that for years I have seen ticket scalping occuring at stadium entrances overtly and apparently almost unabated, despite laws against it. I think one could argue that both the lap dancing and the ticket scalping involve people exchanging money, during their leisure time, for a form of entertainment. Yet, one is almost an institution and the other gets the slap-down put on it. Officers confiscated $2,000 from the enterprising adult entertainers. $2000???? I've heard of scalpers getting more than that for 1 pair of tickets to popular concerts. $2000 is baby shit. I think the last time I went to an establishment where you could get lap dances, a group of 4 or 5 of must have spent close to $2000...And those lap dancers weren't naked!!! I exaggerate, of course, but still, $2000 seems like a pretty small-time operation.
But wait...Isn't Tampa where they caught the two Carolina Panthers cheerleaders having allegedly having sex? (one of whom has a really big nose) Is this creative form of tailgating SO bad compared to that?
Maybe this latest bust was part of some new NFL "no tolerance" policy relating to sex and football. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
In related news, Minnesota Vikings players, distraught over the fact that they played the Bucs in Minnesota this year, have apparently begun circulating a petition among the team asking the owner to relocate to the Tampa area or at least to arrange to play both Carolina and Tampa Bay on the road next season.