Calling all Bucs fans! Calling all Bucs fans!
The season is five games old and we're already reached the Uh-Oh portion of the program. The Bucs, the Bucs of so much promise, are edging toward the abyss after the desert debacle.
Bucs fans, the most resilient fans in sports, have seen this before. Promise fading. Hopes dashed. A season heading the wrong way.
There's a little Captain Fear in all Bucs fans, who can turn on a dime and fear the worst. Jameis Winston's shoulder doesn't help....
Last week, I sat down with Fred Ridley, the new chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. Ridley, a lawyer who has resided in Tampa since 1981, was the 1975 U.S. Amateur champion and is the only Chairman to have played in the Masters. I wrote a long story on Ridley, but here are some of the other things he had to say during the half-hour interview in his office at Augusta National....
AUGUSTA, Ga. — The new Chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, and with it the Masters, wears a 42-long jacket, including his green one that never leaves the premises.
Monday was the first day on the job for Fred Ridley, 65, a highly successful Tampa lawyer and equally successful husband and father of three grown daughters. Those last two things matter the most.
Last week, Ridley was giving a visitor a tour of his office at America's most famous golf club, home to the world's most iconic golf tournament....
It's the usual postseason routine.
Sometime tonight, very late tonight, Fox Sports cameras will search the stands at Yankee Stadium and find a sleeping child in his seat, or slumped against a parent’s shoulder as the Yankees and Houston Astros battle on in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.
And the announcer will make a snappy comment.
And I will throw something. Again....
Who needs curses when you playing lousy all by yourselves?
Jameis Winston says he and his aching shoulder will be back soon.
Bucs fans can put their hearts back in their chests.
The Ryan Fitzpatrick Curse in on hold for now. What curse? Winston leaving Sunday’s game does not yet qualify.
Still, I told him to wear garlic around his neck!
If Fitzpatrick starts Sunday at Buffalo, have at it. And check to see that Niagara Falls isn’t running in the opposite direction. Then, I’m telling you, that Fitzpatrick, he has powers....
It’s a pretty clear track.
USF now has a path to a New Year’s Six Bowl. And that would make it a transcendent season for Charlie Strong and his now 16th-ranked Bulls.
If USF wins out, hello to that elusive conference title. The Bulls have been chasing that since the program began.
If USF wins out, hello Peach Bowl, or Fiesta Bowl, whichever. I think.
Hello to tangible progress....
TAMPA — This time is was 33-3 over Cincinnati.
Uninspired at times, USF still moved to 6-0. Make it 11 wins in a row dating to last season, the longest streak in school history, and the longest active streak in the nation. Make it 23 straight games of 30 or more points, tying the record for the longest such streak in the history of the Associated Press poll.
"It's great that we're 6-0." USF coach Charlie Strong said. "But it wasn't good enough. We can play better. … We haven't arrived yet."...
It is USF's version of Halley's Comet.
Only it's never coming back around.
Ten years ago Saturday, the USF football team, coached by Jim Leavitt, was ranked No. 2 in the first Bowl Championship Series rankings of the 2007 season.
Really. It happened.
It will never happen again....
A lot of readers felt strongly about a column I wrote earlier this week, praising athletes’ protests during the national anthem, but saying it’s time to move on to bigger and more meaningful work in the name of their causes.
A brief sampling:
Richard in Valrico writes:
… Fans do not go to sporting events for their political value. The alt lefties behind this nonsense do not care about sports at all. It is all based upon the big lie of mass deaths at the hands of the police, starting in Ferguson, Mo. All they care about is destroying America. They despise football because it embodies very hard work, dedication and self-sacrifice....
It’s the start the Lightning needed.
Have they given up a few too many chances and goals? Yes. Do they need to get better? Yes.
But there is No way to not like the way this season has started. The Bolts have won three of four to start the season, and the last two have come over Washington and Pittsburgh. Problems?
Thursday night at a rocking Amalie Arena, the Lightning beat the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins, 5-4, a rousing affair that had a lot of fast break to it. Great fun to watch....
10/12/17 Lightning Strikes
TAMPA — It was 1992 and between periods at Expo Hall, the fairgrounds barn of a hockey rink for the expansion Tampa Bay Lightning, the first NHL team in Florida. Terry Crisp, the team's head coach, stood in the cramped dressing room (what wasn't cramped at the Hall?) and ripped his players for particularly lousy play. Five minutes into Crisp's eruption, the door swung open. A father and son, holding popcorn and a snow cone, walked into the room....
It's time for NFL players and other athletes to end their protests during the national anthem.
They have made their point, peacefully. And well.
That also goes for Lightning player J.T. Brown, who raised a fist during the anthem Saturday night to show support for those trying to bring awareness to inequality and police brutality.
Brown said he received racist remarks and death threats on social media afterward....
TALLAHASSEE — Now that's how you end a losing streak.
There were Miami Hurricanes dancing all over Florida State's football field at Doak Campbell Stadium early Saturday evening. Some did front flips. They were back.
For the first time in forever, they owned the Seminoles.
Miami coach Mark Richt stood at midfield, doing a TV interview. When he was done, he took a deep breath amid the bedlam all around him....
They should have spiked the football.
Nick Folk is probably done as Bucs kicker. But just because he's the face of the 19-14 loss to the Patriots doesn't mean he's the only one to blame.
Let's talk about coaching and lousy clock management.
Back it up, before that last try to win it, that Jameis Winston pass to O.J. Howard that fell incomplete as time expired....
Thirty years ago, Bobby Bowden stared at the young faces surrounding him on the Florida State sideline at Doak Campbell Stadium. FSU and Miami had slugged it out for three hours. It was early evening. The FSU head coach had just sent the kicking team out to tie the game at 26-26 with 42 seconds left....