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Joe Maddon helped recruit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' new head coach

(Brian Blanco)

Even though Joe Maddon hasn't managed the Rays since 2014, the current Cubs skipper still has really strong connections to the area. The eclectic manager lives in Tampa during the offseason and co-owns an Italian restaurant there named Ava. 
Maddon's local connections (not to mention the restaurant) came up clutch recently for the city's football team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A story in the Tampa Bay Times Tuesday morning details how Maddon's friendship with new Bucs head coach Bruce Arians played a role in Arians accepting the head coaching gig in Tampa this week.
As a favor to Bucs GM Jason Licht, Maddon reportedly snuck Arians through Ava's kitchen and into a private dining room at his restaurant to conduct an interview for the job. The skipper's friendship with Arians also apparently helped to seal the deal for Tampa's new head coach.
If the Buccaneers can bring home a Super Bowl under Arians, you've got to hope that Maddon gets a ring -- or at least some nice seats to the big game.