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When Tampa hosts the Super Bowl two years from today (Feb. 7, 2021), …

We ask the Roundtable Team to peer into their crystal balls and offer a forecast on the local sports scene.
What does the roundtable's crystal ball project? A little bit of everything, and then some. [TIMES FILES]
Published Feb. 7
Updated Feb. 7

When Tampa hosts the Super Bowl two years from today (Feb. 7, 2021), …

From surprising matchups to floating barges to political predictions, the Roundtable Team leaves no stone unturned in forecasting where we will be in two years.

Close but no Hav-a-Tampa

Rick Stroud, Bucs beat writer @NFLStroud: Bruce Arians will have made a big impact on the Bucs and QB Jameis Winston, who will be given the franchise tag for one season to determine whether to commit long-term. The Lightning will display the Stanley Cup in downtown Tampa for Super Bowl partiers to pose with. The Rays will announce plans to break ground on a new stadium in the Al Lang Field site. Finally, John Lynch will take his bows as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Raymond James Stadium.

RELATED: Bruce Arians recalls Tampa’s last Super Bowl

No home-team Super Bowl

Eduardo A. Encina, Bucs/pro sports enterprise writer, @EddieintheYard: … the Bucs won’t be in the game. They will have completed their second season under Bruce Arians, having trended upward each season but still not close to a Super Bowl. The Lightning will have won a second Stanley Cup. The talk around the Rays will be about how long Blake Snell remains in Tampa Bay. And the number of Taco Bus restaurants in the Bay Area will have expanded to 32.

Baker replaces Brady

Thomas Bassinger, sports data reporter, @tometrics: … we’ll watch the Cleveland Browns, led by MVP Baker Mayfield, compete for their first NFL championship since 1964. Their opponents: Dwayne Haskins, Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants.

Can the Bucs get tickets cheap?

Martin Fennelly, columnist @mjfennelly: … Tom Brady will be in the game. We know that. Let’s move on. The Lightning will have won the Stanley Cup, the Rays will have closed the lower deck, too, USF will still be in the AAC, Saints fans will still be burning Roger Goodell in effigy, Colin Kaepernick will still be out of work, even after the impeachment and Jameis Winston will take an Uber out of town. X-Rays on Bruce Arians will still show no signs of trouble. X-rays of Bucs will reveal no traces of playoffs.

Elementary, my dear Watson

Ernest Hooper, columnist/assistant sports editor, @hoop4you: … DeShaun Watson will be preparing to guide his Houston Texans team into a stadium where he led Clemson to a national title in January of 2017. On the other side will be the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees will have come out of retirement to lead his old team after new starter Tua Tagovailoa’s season-ending injury, and the return will include an NFC Championship victory in which the game turns on a controversial no call on a pass intereference play. The Rays will have morphed into a roster of entirely made up of switch-hitting utility players, and the Lightning will be in rebuild mode after winning two Stanley Cups and Steven Stamkos’ retirement.

RELATED STORY: Clemson, DeShaun Watson now the stuff of legends

Rays break water on a new stadium

Mike Sherman, sports editor, @mikesherman: Inspired by the Lightning’s Stanley Cup and the Rays’ World Series victory flotillas in recent months, the Rays announce they are breaking water on their latest idea for exploiting a market inefficiency -- stadium-on-a-barge. (Didn’t you write that once, Martin?) The U.S. Merchant Marines Academy purchases naming rights. Speaking of inspiration, Jameis Winston, who inspired Bruce Arians’ ban on the use of the phrase “No risk it, no biscuit” at One Buc Place, will have cured his turnover tendencies enough for the Bucs to have reached the playoffs for the first time since 2007.


  1. Vernon Hargreaves was the Bucs' first-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft. On Tuesday, the Bucs released him. ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times
    Rick Stroud: He didn’t hustle and they didn’t want to be hustled
  2. Linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) and the Houston Texans will play the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 21. ERIC CHRISTIAN SMITH  |  AP
    The league previously left the game’s date and time undetermined.
  3. Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett runs past Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III in a game earlier this month. Before being released by the team Tuesday, Hargreaves produced one interception, four passes defensed and 39 tackles in nine games. SCOTT EKLUND  |  AP
    With the team releasing Vernon Hargreaves, only one of the seven players selected by Tampa Bay remains on the current roster
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon III Hargreaves (28) on the field during warmups before the Bucs game against the San Francisco 49ers at Raymond James Stadium on September 8, 2019 in Tampa, FL. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Tampa Bay selected the former Florida Gators and Wharton High star with the 11th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.
  5. So you're skeptical. That's understandable. But there really is a path to the playoffs for the Bucs. And, no, we're not on drugs. CHRIS O'MEARA  |  Associated Press
    Let Jamel Dean’s game-changing interception against Arizona serve as a reminder: Anything is possible. Even in Tampa Bay.
  6. Jameis Winston's two-minute efficiency is helping solidify his future with the Bucs. Douglas C. Clifford | Times
    Bucs coach Bruce Arians says the quarterback’s success in the two-minute offense reflects his progress
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during warm ups before the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, November 10, 2019, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    He’s no Lamar Jackson, but Winston took off running for the third straight Sunday, to good effect.
  8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio) MARK LOMOGLIO  |  AP
    The decision cost Tampa Bay a timeout while it trailed in the fourth quarter Sunday, but Arians said he has reasons.
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II (27) enters the field at Raymond James Stadium before the start of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, November 10, 2019, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    John Romano’s Gimme Five: Bruce Arians’ example, reasons to be encouraged by the Bucs defense and other interception-prone passers.
  10. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrates his touchdown during the second half of the team's 49-13 win over the Bengals. FRANK VICTORES  |  AP
    The Miami native might just end the season where he started - On The Road To Miami Gardens