Ernest Hooper, Assistant Sports Editor

Ernest Hooper

Assistant Sports Editor

When I look in the mirror every morning, I realize I like the guy looking back at me. Don't get me wrong. The man in the mirror comes with flaws. He needs to eat less, exercise more and try not to get so caught up in his own thoughts. But I still like him. I like having a wife willing to put up with all my flaws after nearly three decades of marriage. I like that God has blessed me with three children -- two sons and a daughter -- who have grown to become great young adults. I like that every morning I awaken excited about journalism, the awesome opportunity to connect with readers in ways both big and small. I love coffee, but serving Times readers represent my true caffeine. Most of all, I like that guy looking back at me -- all of his loves, all of his memories and all of his weird personality traits -- because he's still pushing to do more, be more and learn more. Nothing matters more than looking in that mirror and appreciating the man who looks back at me because that drives me to be better.

Rays’ Tampa Bay-Montreal plan: Beyond the initial hurt, see the positives

Rays fans, shown here watching a 2018 game against Toronto from the Rays tank, will have a lot to process in coming days. [Times files (2017)]
They didn’t do a good job with the rollout, but the idea has some merit

Hooper: 10 on a stage? No, let’s have a Democratic presidential tournament

In Ernest Hooper's Democratic Presidential Debate Tournament, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris would be the top four seeds. [ASSOCIATED PRESS]
It’s a fun, flavorful way to settle any debate

Bucs release RB Shaun Wilson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Shaun Wilson (38) runs in the fourth quarter during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 in Tampa. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 25-10. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
Former Duke player showed promise as a returner, pass catcher

Dividing games between Montreal, Tampa Bay? Fans react with anger and sorrow.

Chad Mairn, 47, sits with his son at Ford's Garage in St. Petersburg on Thursday. Mairn is just one of many Rays fans who reacted negatively to the proposal of the Rays splitting home games between St. Petersburg and Montreal. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE   |   Times]
The Rays faithful say they’re losing faith after learning the team wants to explore splitting games with another city — and country.

‘How much more can they do to screw two cities?’ Rays’ Montreal news stuns Tampa, Hillsborough officials.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor throws out the ceremonial first pitch on Pride Night at St. Petersburg's Tropicana Field before the Rays played the Angels on June 14. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
But some Tampa and Hillsborough officials say they’re not part of the Rays’ stadium solution.