Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Martin Fennelly, Times sports columnist

Martin Fennelly, Times sports columnist

Martin Fennelly is a sports columnist for the Tampa Bay Times. He was born in New York City, raised on Long Island and was sitting in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium, minding his own business, when Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in one night to beat the Dodgers in the 1977 World Series. Prior to joining the Times, he worked as a columnist for the Tampa Tribune, St. Louis Sun and Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Martin graduated from the University of Albany, where he studied history, and attended the University of Missouri Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Lutz with his wife, Siobhan, their children, Conor and Norah, and, at present, five cats.

Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) points to a teammate during the second half. [TAILYR IRVINE  | Times]

When deciding whether to keep starting Ryan Fitzpatrick, throw out logic

TAMPA — Logic tells me that there is a wall out there with Ryan Fitzpatrick's name on it. That's his history. That's why he never became The Man on his previous zillion NFL teams. He's a reliever, a good one, but the longer you see his...
Published: 09/17/18
Bucs receiver Mike Evans (13) helps fellow receiver Chris Godwin (12) celebrate his touchdown catch. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]

Bucs-Eagles: If 2-0 start is a dream, we donít want to wake up

TAMPA — Is this really happening?It feels like a dream."Dream? It's the 2018 Bucs," Bucs defensive end Vinny Curry said. "If you're in a dream, keep sleeping."In the dream, the backup quarterback and the beard he rode...
Published: 09/16/18
DeSean Jackson (11) races 75 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]

Bucs-Eagles grades: Tampa Bay outplays NFLís best right from the start

TAMPA — It was a red-hot opportunity against the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles in the red-hot box of Raymond James Stadium. A home opener against the best. You don't get many chances like this in your football history, especially...
Published: 09/16/18
Adirondack chairs line the new Bucs Beach during a media preview at Raymond James Stadium South Plaza on September 12, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. 1.2 millions pounds of sand were brought in for the beach experience. MONICA HERNDON   |   Times

Is it too soon to declare lifeís a beach for Tampa Bayís sports teams?

ST. PETERSBURG — It's early.It's a quarter too early, as a matter of fact.But flights of fancy are leaving nonstop every hour, and I can't say I blame Tampa Bay sports fans for booking window seats.Still: Is it too...
Published: 09/14/18
Blake Barnett (11) and the USF Bulls face Illinois Saturday in Chicago. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times

College football picks for week 3: Times staff predictions

USF is in Chicago to face Lovie Smith and the Illini.UF is playing host to Colorado State in the
Published: 09/14/18
Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick earned NFC offensive player of the week for his performance in Tampa Bay's 48-40 victory Sunday at New Orleans. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

NFL picks Week 2: Our Bucs coverage team makes its predictions

The Bucs enter stage 2 of their season-opening gauntlet against defending champions.The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles arrive at Raymond James Stadium. They were 3.5-point favorites as of Thursday morning and the Bucs -- already...
Published: 09/13/18
Updated: 09/14/18
Kent Bolton of Indian Harbour Beach reads a newspaper with his shoes off during the intermission between the first and second game of a Rays doubleheader against the A's last season at the Trop. When these teams play, seats are usually plentiful. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]

Pack it up, pack it in: Itís Rays-Aís this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays and A's open a three-game series Friday night in the vacuum of Tropicana Field.Scalpers, stand down.This just in: loser gets a lifetime supply of packing peanuts.Hey, we have...
Published: 09/13/18
Outgoing Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman and new GM Julien BriseBois answer questions about the Lightning moves at a press conference Tuesday at Amalie Arena in Tampa,  DIRK SHADD   |   Times

Meet the former tax lawyer taking over for Lightning GM Steve Yzerman

TAMPA — It felt as if a thousand tons of bricks fell on the Lightning on Tuesday.Bye-bye, Stevie Y.Underneath it was the new general manager.Julie B?J.B.?Um, not so much. Make it Julien, Julien...
Published: 09/11/18
Dirk Koetter celebrates a Bucs touchdown Sunday during Tampa Bay's 48-40 win at New Orleans.  (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

All praise Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, if heíll let us.

TAMPA — There is nothing like blasting into a season in an audacious, outrageous way, as the Bucs did in New Orleans. The party is on, the lead-up to the Sunday home opener against the Super Bowl champion Eagles.This week, for a...
Published: 09/10/18
The Bucs try to rebound from a 5-11 season in 2017 starting Sunday at 1 p.m. when they open at New Orleans. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times

The long view of the Bucs season, through kaleidoscope eyes

Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly, the Bucs with kaleidoscope eyes.Week 1Bucs spring upset in season opener at New Orleans. Ryan...
Published: 09/09/18