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Tom Jones, Times Sports Columnist

Tom Jones

Tom Jones writes columns and television/radio commentary for the Tampa Bay Times' Sports section. He has covered everything from high schools to colleges to professional sports since starting with the St. Petersburg Evening Independent in 1986. After the Independent, Tom worked at the Times (1987-91), the Tampa Tribune (1991-96), the Times again (1996-2000), the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (2000-03) and returned for his third stint at the Times in 2003. Though he has covered all sports, Tom is a hockey writer at heart. He covered the Tampa Bay Lightning from its first game in 1992 until moving to Minnesota to cover the Wild for three years. He returned to the Times again to cover the Lightning until taking over as writer and editor for Page Two in 2006. He lists Herb Brooks, Lou Piniella and Wayne Gretzky as the most interesting personalities he has covered and the 2002 Winter Olympics as the best event he has covered. Tom co-hosts a sports talk show weekday mornings from 6-9 on WDAE 620-AM, 95.3-FM. He previously hosted a weekly sports roundtable show on Bright House Sports Network.

Phone: (727) 893-8544

Email: tjones@tampabay.com

Radio talk show (620-AM, 95.3-FM): Listen live

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  1. Arrogance deflates opinion of Patriots

    Bucs

    This is for you, Patriots fans.

    It's not that people outside of New England hate the Patriots because they are too good. They hate them because they are too arrogant.

    Too arrogant. Too smug. Too full of themselves.

    They are a great organization, no doubt. A tremendous team, for sure. Best ever? Yeah, maybe.

    No question, however, they are the biggest self-entitled whiners in the history of sports....

    Patriots quarterback Tom Brady didn’t seem to take accusations of deflated footballs very seriously at first.
  2. Jones: Punchless Rays should be sellers at trade deadline

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Here we are again.

    Days away from a trade deadline, and the Rays are in baseball purgatory. Not quite good enough to feel optimistic about their playoff chances and not so bad that they can be completely counted out.

    This is starting to become an annual quandary with the Rays. Should they be buyers or sellers? Go for it or pack it in? Trade for now or trade for the future?...

    WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times Veterans such as outfielder David DeJesus can’t do the Rays much good this season except as trade bait.
  3. Time for Pete Rose to go away for good

    TV and Radio

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones gives his Two Cents on the latest happenings in the sports.

    Now that the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Cincinnati has passed, can former Reds star Pete Rose please go away? Seems as if I saw him more last week than when the guy played.

    Enough with the tributes. Enough of the sob stories about how he's banned from baseball. Enough....

    Getty Images
  4. Golf needs a Jordan Spieth Grand Slam

    Golf

    When golf wunderkind Jordan Spieth won the Valspar Champion­ship right here at Innisbrook back in March, he was asked if he wanted to be the next Tiger Woods.

    He said no.

    Spieth meant no disrespect to Woods, but he said he wanted to be the next Rory, meaning Rory McIlroy — the No. 1 golfer in the world.

    These days, it's Woods and McIlroy who would like to be the next Jordan Spieth....

    Jordan Spieth plays an approach shot Thursday on the 15th hole during the first round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.
  5. Tom Jones: A banner year so far for women's sports

    Sports

    Each year, going all the way back to 1954, Sports Illustrated names a Sportsman of the Year.

    While it's just the opinion of a magazine, that magazine is one of this country's great institutions and a pretty good arbiter when it comes to choosing the most outstanding sports figure of the year. Usually there is little debate about the selections, which have included some of sports' legendary names — Jordan, Gretzky, Ali and Tiger....

    Serena Williams’ victory at Wimbledon this past weekend makes her the defending champion at all four Grand Slam tournaments.
  6. Hard times at ESPN?; kissing Serena; ESPN aces Wimbledon

    TV and Radio

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Toughest times

    ESPN recently cut ties with Bill Simmons, the creator behind its grantland.com website and its 30 for 30 documentary series. After planning to move its radio duo of Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic to New York City, the network abruptly announced the Mike & Mike show would stay at its Bristol, Conn., headquarters. Now comes word that Keith Olbermann (right) is parting ways with ESPN. Meantime, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that the network could face some "tough negotiations'' soon with high-priced talents such as Mike Tirico, Michelle Beadle, Adam Schefter and Colin Cowherd....

    Associated Press
  7. Serena Williams could be best female athlete ever

    Tennis

    For much of the past 15 years, we've heard as much about what Serena Williams isn't as opposed to what she is.

    She isn't a hard worker. She isn't committed to her sport. She isn't about tennis as much as she's about fashion and pop culture and being a celebrity.

    Can we just stop already? If you say such things, you'll soon find yourself on the wrong side of history.

    Let's talk about what she is instead....

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07:  Serena Williams of the United States reacts in her Ladies Singles Quarter Final match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus during day eight of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images) 556912783
  8. Jones: Fun and games? For athletes, they don't always mix

    College

    What do fireworks, soccer and bars have in common?

    Well, handled responsibly, they are harmless activities that can be a heck of a lot of fun. But as we've seen recently, such endeavors can wreck a sports career if you're not careful.

    A golf star blew out his ankle playing soccer. An NFL star nearly blew off his hand playing with fireworks. And a college quarterback blew his scholarship by throwing fists in a bar....

    De'Andre Johnson was initially suspended from FSU's football team, and when video of the altercation surfaced on Monday, Johnson was dismissed from the team. [AP photo]
  9. Highs and lows of sports TV's weekend

    TV and Radio

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Yes, it had the benefit of the tournament being played in time-zone friendly Canada, and yes, it had the benefit of having an outstanding American team. Still, Fox's coverage of the Women's World Cup was superb.

    Many were skeptical that Fox would be able to match what ESPN has done with recent World Cups, but the network did itself proud the past month. The studio shows, mostly hosted by capable Rob Stone, were best when former players Alexi Lalas, one of the most honest analysts in the business, and Ariane Hingst were featured. And Fox smartly called upon rules official Dr. Joe Machnik, who pulled no punches in criticizing controversial calls when required....

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at Charlotte Sports Park during photo day on February 26, 2014 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
  10. U.S. deserves all our support in World Cup final

    World Cup

    Here's a great story uncovered by ESPN writer Kate Fagan about Abby Wambach, one of the stars of the U.S. women's soccer team.

    When Wambach was a freshman playing at Florida, the Gators took on powerhouse North Carolina in the 1998 national championship game. With underdog Florida holding on to a precarious 1-0 lead over North Carolina, which had won 14 of the previous 16 national titles, Gators coach Becky Burleigh gathered her team during a TV timeout and was searching for just the right final words of encouragement, one last pep talk to get her team to hold on....

    The United States celebrates beating No. 1-ranked Germany  2-0 in the Women’s World Cup semifinals. Tonight it faces Japan in a rematch of the 2011 final, which Japan won. The United States won the most recent of its two Women’s World Cups in 1999.
  11. Jones: Marty St. Louis, always and forever one of Tampa Bay's greats

    Lightning Strikes

    Time to let go of the animosity and the bitterness. Forget the messy ending. Now is the time for appreciation and admiration.

    Now is the time to remember and bid farewell to the sensational career of perhaps the greatest athlete in the history of Tampa Bay sports.

    Marty St. Louis — our Little Engine Who Could, the former Lightning star who led the franchise to its only Stanley Cup and the author of one of the most iconic moments in Tampa Bay sports history — announced his retirement Thursday at age 40, thus ending 16 spectacular seasons that were as unlikely as they were brilliant....

    A tireless worker who constantly had sweat on his brow and his heart on his sleeve, Marty St. Louis was the epitome of a hockey player -- tough, determined, humble and tenacious. [DAN MCDUFFIE | Times (2004)]
  12. Marty St. Louis retires after 16 seasons (with photo gallery)

    Lightning Strikes

    Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk called him the most important person in franchise history. Another former captain, Vinny Lecavalier, called him the best teammate he has had. Current Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said no other player has influenced him more.

    But former teammate Dan Boyle put it best. He said Thursday was "a sad day."

    Simple, but true. Marty St. Louis, perhaps the greatest player in the history of the Lightning, retired Thursday after 16 NHL seasons. St. Louis, 40, ended his career with the Rangers, but it was his 13 seasons in Tampa Bay that featured the best moments of his career, including a league MVP trophy and the 2004 Stanley Cup win....

    Martin St. Louis hoists the Stanley Cup while on stage with his wife Heather St. Louis and Sean Kelly from the Samples band at a private party during St. Louis' time with the cup in Burlington, Vermont in 2004. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
  13. Dave Andreychuk deserves Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    There are 18 men who decide who gets into the Hockey Hall of Fame. They are good men, all of them.

    The list includes brilliant hockey minds such as Scotty Bowman and Bill Torrey. It includes former superstars such as Luc Robitaille and Igor Larionov. It includes knowledgeable media members such as broadcaster Mike Emrick and longtime Sports Illustrated writer Michael Farber.

    These 18 men know the sport. They know the history of the game. The job they have been assigned is not an easy one, and they take that job very seriously....

    Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk is the only 600-goal scorer eligible for the Hall of Fame who hasn’t been voted in.
  14. Lightning's special season ends in Game 6 of Stanley Cup final (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO

    One day there will be time for the Lightning to perform the autopsy on the 2015 Stanley Cup final. On that day, the Lightning can dissect what went wrong, how the series was lost, everything it might have done differently.

    But now is not that time.

    Today is simply about disappointment. It's about the heartbreak of coming so close to a lifelong dream and having it ripped from its hands at the final moment. It's about anger and grief and all the rotten stages of letting a championship that was so close slip away....

    One of the Lightning Girls, the team’s cheerleaders, helps get Tampa Bay fans pumped up Monday at a Game 6 watch party at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  15. Stamkos has to be Lightning's Game 6 hero

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Once again, a season is in the balance and the Lightning needs a hero.

    It needs someone to duck into a phone booth and come out with a cape, ready to fire wrist shots faster than a speeding bullet. It must find a player who is willing to lead the way, to lift his teammates on his back and will them to victory. It needs the game's No. 1 star.

    It needs Steven Stamkos.

    Here we are again: Lightning nation is desperate for a victory and turning its eyes to its best player, its leading scorer, its superstar....

    Lightning center Steven Stamkos, who had the second-most goals in the NHL during the regular season, is in danger of going without a goal during an entire series for the second time in this postseason.