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Martin Fennelly - Sports columnist

Sports columnist

I was born in Queens, a New York City borough, and can still remember my dad taking us to the airport. Where we’d lie on the roof of the family wagon and hear the blood roar of planes as they landed. Then we’d get Carvel. Life remains that simple to me, even after all these years, including the last two at the Times, where I began in May 2016. I’m not lying on a roof, but in 27 years writing sports in Tampa Bay (including a quarter century stint at the Tampa Tribune), I’ve seen the great and the not so great. But I’ve always enjoyed the human element running through these games and the people who play them. Telling their stories and others is still as fresh, as meaningful, as rewarding to me as ever. And then I get Carvel.

  1. In 1968, slugger Frank Howard, known as the "Washington Monument," proved to be one of the few bright spots for the Washington Senators.
    The Nationals’ improbable postseason run rekindles memories of the woeful Washington Senators
  2. San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch, a former Bucs player and Ring of Honor member, celebrates with 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) after Sherman broke up a pass during the 49ers' 31-17 victory over Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 8, 2019 in Tampa.
    After two seasons of second-guessing, general manager John Lynch has it going with the 5-0 49ers. | Martin Fennelly
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) runs onto the field to play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in London.
    Martin Fennelly: Coach Bruce Arians may not be worried after six games, but history says his optimism is misplaced.
  4. USF running back Jordan Cronkrite (2) dives over BYU defensive back Tavita Gagnier (34) for the first down during the second half of the game at Raymond James Stadium.
    Martin Fennelly: The senior running back has his second straight big game to help lift the Bulls.
  5. Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Tommy Pham (29) rounds the bases after connecting for a solo homer in the first inning against the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the American League Division Series Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
    Martin Fennelly: Rays driven star sets Game 4 afire early to ignite Tampa Bay’s 4-1 win over Houston.
  6. Tampa Bay Rays fans cheers as Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton (50) winds up in the first inning against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
    Martin Fennelly: And just when it looked like his ex-teammates had Morton on the ropes.
  7. Florida players, including defensive lineman Tedarrell Slaton (56), celebrate after defeating Auburn on Saturday in the Swamp.
    Fennelly: One big test is out of the way, but there’s still a few more to pass before the Gators are truly back to SEC and national supremacy.
  8. Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrates with the bench after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
    Despite their haunting failures of the past, the Lightning look alive in their season-opening win over the Panthers | Martin Fennelly
  9. Center Steven Stamkos (91) and the Lightning open the season at home Thursday against the Florida Panthers.
    Martin Fennelly: Can Tampa Bay turn the page? “Easier said than done.”
  10. Toronto's Auston Matthews, Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Boston's Brad Marchand will be among the players hunting for the favored Lightning this season.
    Martin Fennelly looks into his crystal ball and sees hunters and heartbreakers on the Bolts’ schedule.