Team Manager Prospective: Tampa Am

Posted on Monday, February 13, 2006 by Rob

Team Manager Prospective: Tampa Am
Words by Ron Whaley

Photos by the cops and Ron Whaley

Here we have a shot of Brian Heck and Tanner Zelinsky. They look like good kids, right? Now check the mug shots.

Tanner's gonna' hate me for that one. The kids shredded well this year, but didn't make the Finals. So I wasn't surprised when they didn't show up to the Contest on Sunday.

We all went out for "Gasparilla" (horrible name for a festival) in Ybor City the night before. I went back to the hotel early. Grandpa Whalebone hasn't been the same since the first night of the tradeshow a few weeks back. I achieved my quarterly alcohol poisoning that night and as a result I haven't been able to drink with the same gusto since. Okay, I'll just go ahead say it, I'm getting a little older. Long in the tooth, or so they say...

So I just figured between Tanner's rugged good looks and Heck's diesel-popped collar that they spent the night in the Boneyard. Therefore I would have to wait until late afternoon to hear tales of Am-hungry hotties sporting Mardi Gras beads.

Instead I got a call from Matt Contreras - Krux shredder from Santa Cruz/Atlanta. He was the last seen in cahoots with the two missing young men. He was hung-over and informed me that they may have been incarcerated.

If you go to Skatepark of Tampa's website they have a link called "Jail Birds." You can check and see who's been arrested in the Tampa area. It's entertaining and convenient. My guess is I'm not the first team manager to find a rider this way. Sure enough, they were in there.

Status: In Jail
Charges listed: Disorderly Conduct/Trespassing/Criminal Mischief

All charges can be open to interpretation depending on how much of a d!c& the cop wants to be.

Heck had a Bonus Charge: Obstructing an Officer

From what I heard, it sounds like they were a little off the hook, but mostly singled out. Although I don't think Heck's attempt at immediate urban sprinting helped much. I'm not saying don't run from the cops when you can. I'm just saying that if they catch you it's another charge...and a possible bonus beat-down.

Then the parents started calling. That's why I don't sponsor kids under 17. I'm not trying to mediate any family counseling here, ya' know? But it was cool. I just said I didn't know why they got arrested instead of blurting out, "Yeah, they were wasted and wilin' out at some casino!"

So I quelled the families involved and did a little bail research. When a plan was formulated we snapped into action...and went out to dinner at The Columbia. It's supposedly the oldest Spanish restaurant in the United States. Great plantains. After a post gastronomic cig we drove over to Big John's Bail Bonds - conveniently located just down the street from Orient Road Jail.

I signed my life away and put three and a half g's on the Krux card. Now I was about to call some parents.

Excuse the side bar: So I was hanging out front with one of Big John's bails-women, smoking a cig, and shooting the $h@t and she told me what she thinks of Tampa:

"No one ever came out of Tampa except drug dealers."

She also told me how she went to jail the previous Friday and head-butted a corrections officer. When she got water out of the cooler she said, "Uh, let me get my gin and tonic!" She was cool. I digress...

So, long story short. They were freed that night around 1am. I gotta' thank those dudes for taking me to the next level of TM-dom...totally popped my cherry. The way things are heading I'll be taking a swing at Colt Cannon in no time. Js' kidders, Colty. I love you.

Ronald Whaley

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