John Romano - Sports Columnist

Sports Columnist

Finding the right career can be hit-and-miss. In my case, it was swing-and-miss. When Major League Baseball scouts declined to watch me play, or even acknowledge my existence, journalism seemed like a plausible fallback plan. I started covering prep sports for St. Petersburg's Evening Independent as an 18 year old college freshman, and have worked for newspapers ever since. I have a daughter in college, a son in high school and a wife in charge. And I still can't hit the curveball.

  1. Even with Tom Brady in his corner, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles seemed inexplicably reticent to go for broke in the fourth quarter against the Browns in a 23-17 overtime loss on Sunday.
  2. Quarterback Tom Brady gets off a shovel pass during the first half of the Bucs' loss to the Browns Sunday in Cleveland.
  3. End zone celebrations have been relatively rare for Tom Brady and the rest of the Bucs offense this season, but there's reason to be optimistic that Tampa Bay is beginning to find its identity on that side of the ball.
  4. An ill-fated attempt to create a new super league of soccer teams in Europe did not endear the Glazers to Manchester United fans, as this sign from 2021 suggests. The Bucs owners announced this week they are willing to consider offers to sell their historic soccer franchise.
  5. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy looks on as the Bruins go up 4-1 and clear the bench to celebrate the goal scored by Brad Marchand (63) during second-period action at Amalie Arena on Monday night in Tampa.
  6. Tennis Hall of Famer Gigi Fernandez backhands a ball while filming a series of video segments with at Innisbrook. The online tennis lessons site works with the greatest minds in tennis who share their secrets through a series of mini lessons with subscribers.
  7. The Rays signed shortstop Wander Franco to an 11-year, 182 million deal in 2021. It remains to be seen how long Franco will stay in Tampa Bay and how much of his salary the team will wind up paying.
  8. Did the Rays cut ties with, from left, David Price, Evan Longoria and Blake Snell too soon, too late, or at the right time?
  9. Fred McGriff, who hit 99 of his 493 career home runs while in a Tampa Bay uniform, could be among the favorites on the Hall of Fame's new contemporary era committee scheduled to meet in early December.
  10. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy's goals-against average of 3.10 this season is, by far, the highest of his career, although the blame is equally shared with a defense that has been less-than-stellar through 15 games.
  11. Nikita Kucherov, wearing an "A" on his sweater as an alternate captain, celebrates his first-period goal in Tampa Bay's 6-3 win against the Washington Capitals on Sunday night at Amalie Arena.
  12. Lexi Thompson nearly forced a playoff with a beautiful pitch from off the green on No. 18, but the shot landed just a couple of feet from the cup and Thompson had to settle for another runnerup finish in the Pelican Women's Championship.
  13. Tom Brady failed to get his first reception since 2018 in New England but, on the other hand, he threw multiple touchdown passes for the first time since Oct. 2 in a 21-16 win against Seattle. Perhaps he should stick to passing instead of catching.
  14. Playing in Munich against the Seahawks, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady was as crisp as he’s looked all season.
  15. Jamel Dean, shown celebrating an interception against New Orleans earlier this season, leads the Bucs with two picks in 2022. After averaging 27 takeaways over the past three seasons, Tampa Bay is on pace for 18 this year.
  16. USF needs a coach that the fans can root for long-term, so a splash hire likely isn't in the cards.
  17. Tight coverage has been a way of life for Mike Evans this season. A few years ago, the typical pass for the Bucs Pro Bowl receiver was 11 yards down the field. This season, it has been 8.8 yards.
  18. Bucs tight end Cade Otton celebrates after he scores on a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady at the end of the fourth quarter Sunday.
  19. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady (12) leaves the field at the conclusion of the game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday at Ramond James Stadium.
  20. Getting injured players back in the lineup, like Carlton Davis shown here pressuring Patrick Mahomes, could go a long way toward salvaging the 2022 season in the second half. Of course, figuring out what's wrong with the offense is also imperative.
  21. A 1-7 start in his third season has not made it easy to defend USF coach Jeff Scott in 2023. The pressure could get even worse if the Bulls lose to 2-6 Temple this weekend.
  22. Not quite the scenario Tom Brady had in mind when he decided to return in 2022. Rookie guard Luke Goedeke has struggled, defensive linemen such as Green Bay's Kenny Clark (97) have celebrated, and Brady has suffered in his 23rd season.
  23. For two years, Tom Brady left the field at Raymond James Stadium to adoring crowds. No longer. The Bucs have lost three of their first four home games in 2022, which is already two more than in the entire 2021 regular season.

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