Martin Fennelly, Sports Columnist

Martin Fennelly

Sports Columnist

I was born in Queens, a New York City borough, and can still remember my dad taking us to the airport. Where we’d lie on the roof of the family wagon and hear the blood roar of planes as they landed. Then we’d get Carvel. Life remains that simple to me, even after all these years, including the last two at the Times, where I began in May 2016. I’m not lying on a roof, but in 27 years writing sports in Tampa Bay (including a quarter century stint at the Tampa Tribune), I’ve seen the great and the not so great. But I’ve always enjoyed the human element running through these games and the people who play them. Telling their stories and others is still as fresh, as meaningful, as rewarding to me as ever. And then I get Carvel.

Want to tune out UCFís battle cries? Got to beat the Knights first

UCF defensive back Aaron Robinson runs after intercepting a pass against Stanford during the first half of Saturday's 45-27 Knights win. John Raoux  |  AP
Fennelly: Like last year and the year before, Saturdayís big win (this one over Stanford) isnít music to every ear.

Lightning start preseason with looming question: ĎAre we there yet?í

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88), center, along with defenseman Jan Rutta (44) and center Yanni Gourde (37) hope to avoid another post-season collapse, which included this 5-1 loss in April to the Blue Jackets in Game 2 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. DIRK SHADD   |  Tampa Bay Times
Fennelly: The Boltsí season will be one long car ride until they reach the playoffs. What, if anything, did they learn from last seasonís collapse?

Bucs-Panthers: Itís the Gerald McCoy reunion, Part I

Los Angeles Rams center Austin Blythe (66) and Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) run during a play in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) Mike McCarn  |  AP
Martin Fennelly: With the Bucs set to face their former defensive star Thursday in Charlotte, do not dismiss the power of haunting.

Jameis Winstonís learning curves add up to a quarterback going in circles.

Jameis Winston's third interception of the game sealed the Bucs' fate in a 31-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. The 49ers had only two interceptions all of last season. MONICA HERNDON  |  Times
Martin Fennelly: Just like before, Winstonís bad mistakes cost the Bucs in a bad 31-17 loss to San Francisco.

Can Vernon Hargreaves be more than a reminder of the Bucsí dismal 2016 draft?

Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves is the only starter still standing from Tampa Bay's 2016 draft. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth) Michael Ainsworth  |  AP
Martin Fennelly: The former first-round pick is still around, and at age 24 is the elder statesman of Tampa Bayís secondary.