Monday, October 15, 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.

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) stopped this shot but gave up three goals in the third period of a 3-1 loss Thursday to Vancouver. DIRK SHADD   |   Times

What to do with those Lightning panic buttons

TAMPA —Don't you have to have won the Stanley Cup to have a Stanley Cup hangover?The Lightning are 1-1. Given expectations, you'd think the sky was falling.Come with me if you want to live!Such is life after...
Published: 10/12/18
Falcons receiver Julio Jones' status as one of the Bucs' greatest nemeses could be embellished Sunday. Jones (11) and the Falcons play host to Tampa Bay. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Here comes Julio Jones, the last player the Bucs need to see

TAMPA  — The Atlanta Falcons are reeling. They're 1-4. Falcons star receiver Julio Jones has had his struggles. He is third in the NFL in receiving yards but doesn't have a touchdown. He had just five receptions for 62 yards last...
Published: 10/10/18
Jameis Winston (3) makes his first start of the season Sunday in Atlanta. MONICA HERNDON   |   Times

How Jameis Winston can resurrect his career arc

TAMPA — It was during the Monday night game against Pittsburgh. Late in the contest, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger spun and eluded the Bucs pass rush. He then threw a completion downfield for a first down that effectively sealed...
Published: 10/08/18
Florida defensive end Jachai Polite (99) celebrates after the Gators score on an interception return late in the game for the final margin of a 27-19 victory. (BRONTE WITTPENN   |   Times)

Gators have the Swamp rocking again

GAINESVILLE — It was throwback day at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, and we don't mean Lucas Krull to Feleipe Franks to set up the winning score, though we could.No, Tim Tebow and the 2008 national champions were in the house, Tebow to...
Published: 10/06/18
Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen (29) runs with the ball away from Bucs linebacker Adarius Taylor (53) during the second half on Sunday in Chicago. [Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS]

Bucs quarterly report: Would firing Mike Smith be an overreaction?

From 2-0 and the talk of the NFL to 2-2 and turning the Bears — THE BEARS — into the greatest show on turf.That's the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and, predictably, there's been panic in the air this week.Fire...
Published: 10/05/18
Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons could use a pat on the back these days. Jones got one from Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick after the final play of the Falcons' 37-36 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, Sept. 30 in Atlanta. The loss dropped the Falcons to 1-3. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS) 1241596

NFL picks Week 5: Our Bucs coverage teamís predictions

Here’s an alternative to spending your Bucs-less weekend fretting over Tampa Bay’s problems:Keep an eye on the Falcons, scout and compare defensive woes.The Falcons travel to Pittsburgh Sunday as 3.5-point underdogs to...
Published: 10/05/18
Vegas and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury lost in the Stanley Cup final in Year 1. Life is tough for Vegas fans. (DIRK SHADD | Times)

These teams keep knocking, but just canít win (the Stanley Cup)

Some of the NHL teams that have rap, rap, rapped on the door but have never broken through (or it has been a while) to win the Stanley Cup:Toronto Maple LeafsTechnically, they shouldn't count, since they have won the Stanley Cup...
Published: 10/05/18
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, of Russia, carries the Stanley Cup during a banner-raising ceremony before the team's NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Losing Cup confidence? These NHL teams finally broke through

Some of the NHL teams that eventually broke through and won the Stanley Cup:Washington CapitalsThe poster boys. They were consistently one of the top teams in the NHL with Alex Ovechkin and three Presidents' trophies for most...
Published: 10/05/18
Victor Hedman has a consoling pat for Steven Stamkos after Chicago wins the Cup in Game 6 of the 2015 final.  (DIRK SHADD | Times (2015)

Tracking the Lightningís playoff gains and losses

The Lightning's deep playoff runs haven't resulted  in a Cup win, but they have produced valuable lessons.2014-15Lost to the Blackhawks in six games in the Stanley Cup final.Key acquisitions: Anton...
Published: 10/05/18
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is well aware of the trappings of expectations when it comes to winning the Cup, adding that the team’s near-misses guarantee nothing this season: “It’s time to do it.

Road to the Cup keeps coming through Tampa, but Lightning needs to switch lanes

TAMPA — Our oh-so-close hockey team is back in business.The business of finishing.The Lightning opens its season amid ever-present expectations and the usual memories of expectations dashed.The talent, the returning...
Published: 10/05/18