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Tom Jones on Zika virus, bar room brawls and Peyton Manning's future

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the key figures of the moment in the world of sports.

Hope Solo

The U.S. soccer goalkeeper says she might skip this summer's Brazil Olympics for fear of picking up the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects. According to some medical experts, if you don't have the virus when you get pregnant, you can acquire the Zika virus and still have a healthy baby at a later time. But who can blame Solo, who already owns Olympic gold medals, for being extra cautious? The bigger issue is this is another health concern surrounding Rio and the Olympics. The other is polluted water. Too late to move the Games, I suppose, but Los Angeles is lovely in the summertime. London, too.

LeSean McCoy

The Bills and former Eagles running back is in hot water, accused of taking part in a barroom brawl in a Philly club that put a couple of off-duty cops in the hospital. First off, never a good idea to beat up cops, off-duty or other­wise. Also, someone needs to remind McCoy, who has not been charged as the investigation continues but was identified Thursday by police as being involved in the brawl, that nothing good happens at 2 in the morning. I don't understand why any athlete ever hangs out in a bar late at night. I know it's a free country, but the last thing you need is being the most famous and richest guy in the joint, with the most to lose, when the fists start flying and furniture starts moving. Drink at home. Turn on the TV. Go to bed. Stay out of jail.

Kobe Bryant

The retiring Lakers legend can't play much anymore (he is shooting an abysmal 35 percent from the floor.) But watching him take a final lap around the NBA has been a joy. And every now and then he still can go off for 28 or more. Not every player is a big enough deal to have a farewell tour. For example, Derek Jeter: yes. David Ortiz: nope. But Kobe? Absolutely. You could make a case that he is just a notch below Michael Jordan all-time. Five NBA titles, an 18-time All-Star, two-time Finals MVP, four-time All-Star Game MVP, two-time scoring champ. Hard to believe he has been league MVP just once. Farewell, Kobe.

Jim Harbaugh

The Michigan football coach called the SEC whiners because the conference doesn't want him bringing his Big Ten Wolverines down for spring break at IMG Academy in Bradenton. That's smack dab in SEC country where there could be a few decent high school football players. The SEC thinks there should be no football practice during spring break. Let's be clear: No one has the best interest of the kids in mind here. The SEC doesn't want Harbaugh using the trip as a recruiting tool, and that's exactly what Harbaugh is doing. I think it's funny that Harbaugh is tweaking the SEC, but Harbaugh calling anyone a whiner is hilarious. Uh, pot meet kettle.

Peyton Manning

The Broncos QB's victory tour is hitting all the spots: Disney, late-night talk shows, SportsCenter. I didn't think it possible that he could be on television more than he already is, but if you turn on your TV right now, there's a 74 percent chance Peyton will be there. And a 61 percent chance that Papa John will be next to him. What's next? I can't imagine he will keep playing. Time to go. While he's on top. Would love to see him take over for Phil Simms as CBS's top analyst, but those around him seem to think he's headed for a front-office job, maybe even a general manager. Or, if that doesn't work out, he could deliver pizzas.

Tom Jones on Zika virus, bar room brawls and Peyton Manning's future 02/11/16 [Last modified: Thursday, February 11, 2016 10:37pm]
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