Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Sports

Is it too soon to declare life’s a beach for Tampa Bay’s 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 soon?

Is it too soon to think the arrows are pointed up for Tampa Bay sports teams?

Yes. We have the 1-0 Bucs. The Rays are fun. The Lightning, Y-less or not, will soon embark on yet another winning season. USF has another good quarterback. But let's not go Crazy Town just yet.

RELATED: More Bucs coverage

Is it too soon to think the Bucs are for real?

Yes. New Orleans was a great beginning, but that's all it was. True, it doesn't get any better than 1-0 and the Super Bowl champs landing in your lap, which is exactly what the Eagles do Sunday.

Is it too soon to say Ryan Fitzpatrick will keep his QB starting job?

Yes. Fitzpatrick just played the best game I've ever seen a Bucs quarterback play. He was responsible for five touchdowns. He could just as easily be responsible for five turnovers Sunday. But I admit I'd have a hard time handing the job back to Jameis Winston if the Bucs are 3-0 in a few weeks. Hand him a clipboard.

RELATED: More Rays coverage

Is it too soon to ask whether Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith will keep his?

Stop someone, anyone, and we'll talk.

Is it too soon to think the Rays will be a factor in October?

At least this October. This sensational Rays revival comes in the wrong season and in the wrong league. Even if you swallow a bottle of 162 pills, it's hard to see them catching up to the second wild card. But if you want to start picking which Rays reliever will start the 2019 World Series, have some fun.

RELATED: More Lightning coverage

Is it too soon to stuff the ballot box for Kevin Cash for AL manager of the year or Blake Snell for Cy Young?

Stuff away, especially for Snell. He's the best young pitcher in the game, as evidenced by his one-hit ball against Cleveland. He should win the award. His numbers (19-5, 2.03 ERA) stand up to anyone.

Is it too soon to decide where to eat before going to a game in the Rays' new Ybor City ballpark?

I would hold off. Grab a drink someplace, then go wait at your nearest rail station. I think it is in Atlanta.

Is it too soon to plan Thanksgiving around USF-UCF week?

Bring the pies. Forget Florida-Florida State. USF-UCF might be where it's at. Charlie Strong might not need to jump to a Power-5 conference. USF and UCF might tag-team their way into one if this keeps up.

Is it too soon to say the Lightning will be the favorites to win the Stanley Cup this season?

Yes, but let's say it just to keep the Lightning's fear up. We've arrived at the "Or Else" moment for the Lightning. Win or else, that is. Pressure? Let's hope so.

Is it too soon to wonder who the Bucs will play in the NFC title game?

Please leave the sample jar near the door. The nurse is right outside if you need help. Oh, and we'll need to draw some blood.

Is it too soon?

Yes, it's all too soon.

Contact Martin Fennelly at [email protected] or (813) 731-802

Comments
A look at Rays 40-man roster with deadline approaching

A look at Rays 40-man roster with deadline approaching

With the Rays and all other teams working toward the 8 p.m. deadline to add prospects and set their rosters in advance of the Dec. 13 Rule 5 draft, here is a look at their current 39 players.The Rays are expected to trade or drop at least three more ...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
LB/FB Lorenzo Valencia runs the show for Admiral Farragut

LB/FB Lorenzo Valencia runs the show for Admiral Farragut

Nothing gets by the senior on defense, and he's got an eagle eye on the offense as well.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs-49ers is a matchup of turnover-margin futility

Bucs-49ers is a matchup of turnover-margin futility

It might be fitting that the game between the NFL's two most giving teams will be played on Thanksgiving weekend.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Is Dirk Koetter’s future in Jameis Winston’s hands?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Is Dirk Koetter’s future in Jameis Winston’s hands?

The Bucs are trying to find a guy who won't turn the ball over and lead it to victories.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Armwood’s ‘rebuilding’defense doesn’t miss a step

Armwood’s ‘rebuilding’defense doesn’t miss a step

SEFFNER — Armwood High started the football offseason with an overwhelming sense of loss. By February, the Hawks' bid adieu to eight defensive starters who signed with college programs, including lineman Malcolm Lamar (Florida State), safety Ma...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rams outduel Chiefs 54-51 in highest-scoring 'Monday Night Football' game ever

Rams outduel Chiefs 54-51 in highest-scoring 'Monday Night Football' game ever

High-powered offense was the marquee attraction for Monday night's game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs, the NFL's highest-scoring teams.
Updated: 4 hours ago
Buccaneers AfterMath: Why Tampa Bay might not win another game

Buccaneers AfterMath: Why Tampa Bay might not win another game

Before things get better, the Bucs are going to have to stop beating themselves. They’ve been doing it since 1976.
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Bucs stop here: Leave Jameis Winston in permanently

The Bucs stop here: Leave Jameis Winston in permanently

Put Jameis Winston in Sunday and leave him there. All violators will be fired
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning can’t find enough comeback magic against Predators

Lightning can’t find enough comeback magic against Predators

“We can’t spot them two goals and expect to win.”
Updated: 12 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Tuesday, Nov. 20

Sports on TV/radio for Tuesday, Nov. 20
Published: 11/19/18