Friday, November 17, 2017


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.

CHRIS URSO   |   Times
David Vallery, of Dunedin but lived in Maple Glen, Penn., becomes emotional during the public memorial service for Roy Halladay Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 in Clearwater. Halladay was killed when the plane he was piloting crashing into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Fennelly: Roy Halladay — father, husband, friend, ‘normal guy’

CLEARWATER — It would have been a great day for a baseball game.The Spectrum Field grounds crew did its job. The basepaths were watered down with a hose. The baselines were drawn in chalk. The batter’s box was laid out. Home plate was cleaned.
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/16/17
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 11:  Malik Rosier #12 of the Miami Hurricanes scores a touchdown during a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Hard Rock Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) 775053189

Fennelly: Miami swag, and swagger, is back against Notre Dame

MIAMI — It was ’80s night at Hard Rock Stadium — Miami against Notre Dame. The packed stands emitted electricity. There were scores of former Hurricanes at the yard, including Bucs Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, determined to see that the U was...
Published: 11/11/17
Updated: 11/12/17
Miami head coach Mark Richt, left,and Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, left, meet in this week's premier college football matchups when No. 3 Notre Dame visits unbeaten and No. 7 Miami at 8 p.m. Saturday on ABC. (AP Photo/File)

Miami-Notre Dame: Waking up the echoes of Catholics vs. Convicts

Miami meets Notre Dame tonight. It’s the third-ranked Irish against the undefeated, seventh-ranked Hurricanes. Just like the old days. The game matters again. What a stage. But it will never be that stage.What were the old days...
Published: 11/10/17
St. Petersburg native Michael Jernigan, a United States Marine and motivational speaker, checked an item off his bucket list recently when he met former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden.

A Marine, a legendary coach and a day to remember

ST. PETERSBURG — It was a dream come true for the Marine."Meeting Coach Bowden was one of the true highlights of my life," Michael Jernigan said.Great day for the coaching legend, too."He lifted me up," Bobby Bowden said. "Boy, he...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/09/17
Jameis Winston heads to the locker room after the Bucs' loss to the Saints. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]

The trouble with Jameis’ finger-licking, finger-jabbing leadership

Can we get some grown-ups here?Jameis Winston’s finger-licking bad pregame speech in New Orleans — "That’s a W. Let’s eat one!" — clearly left teammates baffled, judging by their reaction, or lack of it. Did they even know what he was saying?...
Published: 11/06/17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Patrick Murray warms up before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

Is Patrick Murray the answer to the Bucs’ kicking prayers?

He has been back with the Bucs for three games, but he still doesn’t have a wood-carved nameplate over his locker. Nick Folk’s name is still over a stall."I’m just happy to have a locker," Patrick Murray said.He has been the answer to a...
Published: 11/03/17
Updated: 11/04/17
Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente adjusts his headset during a timeout in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Boston College in Boston, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. Virginia Tech won 23-10. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Fennelly: I've got Florida's next coach right here

Here’s your man, Florida.Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente.
Published: 11/02/17
Updated: 11/03/17
FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2017, file photo, Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of Game 3 of baseball's World Series in Houston. McCullers will start Game 7  Wednesday, Nov. 1 against Dodgers right-hander Yu Darvish in the biggest game in Astros history. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Tampa’s Lance McCullers ascends to sports’ ultimate stage

He took the mound at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night with no tomorrow in sight. It was Game 7 of the World Series for the Astros against the Dodgers. Tampa’s Lance McCullers got the start for Houston.It was a stage unlike almost any other:...
Updated one month ago
Jim McElwain takes questions during a news conference following Florida's loss to Georgia Saturday in Jacksonville. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]

Fennelly: With Jim McElwain out, here are coaches for Gators to consider

Welcome to the show, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin. He’s about to make the biggest hire of his life. He just oversaw the biggest firing of his life, the ousting of Jim McElwain and his unwatchable football.Florida has jumped in the...
Updated one month ago
Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain at the start of the fourth quarter of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field, in Jacksonville, Fla. on October 28, 2017. The Georgia Bulldogs won 42-7.

Memo to Jim McElwain: Later, Gator

JACKSONVILLE — Why was that man smiling as he walked off the field?And why wait?End the Jim McElwain error at Florida.The Florida-Georgia game, "The World’s Largest Outdoor He Offered No Additional Details," offered up a 42-7...
Updated one month ago