Alright, figured how to get it to play, but it must still be a bug of some sort.
To clarify the problem, the "Gather a crew" button was grayed out with a locked icon in the upper right and I could not click on it to go into a game. I am playing on an iPad 2 with iOS 7.0.2 installed.
To circumvent the problem, I went back to the main screen, clicked on Help, clicked "Play Tutorial" again, click "Play", then quit the match, went back to the main screen and clicked Play again. The "Gathering a Crew" was still grayed out for one second and then switched to a full-color button without the lock.
I didn't play at that time and have now come back to it to play and it is grayed out again. So I went through that whole procedure again and am now able to go into the first mission again and see if I can manage to beat Gunnie this time.
Well, that is the info I have.