Advertisement
  1. Sports

Why Bucs’ Mike Alstott is Aric Almirola’s favorite Tampa Bay athlete

Tampa’s NASCAR driver went to Bucs games as a kid and enjoyed watching Alstott run over defenders.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Mike Alstott (40) was a favorite athlete of NASCAR's Aric Almirola, who is a Tampa native. [Times]
Published Sep. 5

As a talented NASCAR driver locked into the playoffs, Aric Almirola has his share of fans, including some in his hometown of Tampa.

Which got us thinking: What athletes did Almirola look up to when he was growing up here?

RELATED: Ask Aric Almirola: What was your first car?

The Tampa Bay Times asked him in this week’s installment of Ask Aric — a periodic feature where the NASCAR playoff contender shares his thoughts on racing, the season and his hometown.

Who’s your all-time favorite Tampa Bay athlete?

My favorite Tampa Bay athlete? There’s a lot of them, but if I had to pick one favorite, probably Mike Alstott.

It was fun to go to the Bucs games and watch him play. He got fed the ball a lot, and when he would, they would blow this huge train air horn in the stadium. That was the A-Train, and he would just mow people over. It was so fun.

RELATED: Ask Aric Almirola: What was your favorite Tampa sporting event as a kid?

We’d get inside the 5-yard line, and you knew — everybody in the whole stadium knew, the team, the defense — everybody knew that Mike Alstott was getting the ball, and they could not stop him. He would get the ball, and he’d go in and score. So he was really fun to watch, and I liked him.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Rays starter Tyler Glasnow pitches against the Red Sox during the first inning Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, at Tropicana Field. CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP
    Tyler Glasnow sets the tone; Joey Wendle’s bad out; Willy Adames’ power shot.
  2. According to unofficial statistics, the Rays have wasted more power drinks than any team in baseball. Tampa Bay's seven walkoff victories since the beginning of August are the most in the majors. This time, it's Nate Lowe getting the cold refreshment treatment after his two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th beat the Red Sox 5-4.  CHRIS O'MEARA | AP Photo CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP
    The team that could not win one-run games in the first half of the season won its third consecutive game in the 11th inning against the Red Sox on Saturday.
  3. The playoff-bound Rowdies are giving fans plenty of reasons to cheer. ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times
    With better postseason seeding a possibility, Tampa Bay blasts Bethlehem Steel FC 6-1.
  4. Palm Harbor University sweeps the boys and girls team titles at the Pinellas County Athletic Conference swim meet on Saturday at the Long Center. BOB PUTNAM  |  Times
    The Hurricane girls were expected to cruise; the road to a conference title for the boys would be tougher. Both excelled.
  5. Academy at the Lakes' McKenna Smith, pictured here at state last season, appears to be a lock for another deep postseason run. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    McKenna Smith, Caleb Kravitz appear to have a leg up on the competition as the postseason gets closer.
  6. The Rays' Travis d'Arnaud gets tagged out by Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez after trying to score on a single by Joey Wendle during the third inning Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP
    Nate Lowe is the star on Saturday with a two-run homer after Diego Castillo gave up the lead.
  7. 2 hours ago• Florida State Seminoles
    Florida State coach Willie Taggart shouts instructions in the second half against Louisville in Tallahassee. Florida State defeated Louisville 35-24. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    Fennelly: The Seminoles rally after blowing the lead against Louisville. Expect to hold your breath every week.
  8. Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) celebrates with teammates after he caught a pass for a touchdown against UCF during the second half. KEITH SRAKOCIC  |  AP
    The Panthers end the Knights’ 25-game regular-season win streak on the “Pitt Special.”
  9. Rays host the Red Sox and more sports on the air.
  10. Miami defensive lineman Trevon Hill (94) celebrates a sack against Central Michigan quarterback David Moore (2) during the first half. BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP
    Central Michigan entered as a 30-point underdog, but pulls within five with three minutes to play.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement