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Ernest Hooper - Assistant Sports Editor

Assistant Sports Editor

When I look in the mirror every morning, I realize I like the guy looking back at me. Don't get me wrong. The man in the mirror comes with flaws. He needs to eat less, exercise more and try not to get so caught up in his own thoughts. But I still like him. I like having a wife willing to put up with all my flaws after nearly three decades of marriage. I like that God has blessed me with three children -- two sons and a daughter -- who have grown to become great young adults. I like that every morning I awaken excited about journalism, the awesome opportunity to connect with readers in ways both big and small. I love coffee, but serving Times readers represent my true caffeine. Most of all, I like that guy looking back at me -- all of his loves, all of his memories and all of his weird personality traits -- because he's still pushing to do more, be more and learn more. Nothing matters more than looking in that mirror and appreciating the man who looks back at me because that drives me to be better.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon III Hargreaves kneels in the end zone after a Nov. 13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He was cut by the Bucs and picked up by the Texans.
    A day after the Bucs release the former first-round pick, he finds a home.
  2. Nearly 40 high school teams, including Durant and Sickles, and more than 1,000 girls participated in the Bucs inaugural flag football tournament earlier this year. Now the team has created an academic scholarship fund for girls who play.
    The team’s foundation has created a national scholarship fund for girls who play football.
  3. Linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) and the Houston Texans will play the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 21.
    The league previously left the game’s date and time undetermined.
  4. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrates his touchdown during the second half of the team's 49-13 win over the Bengals.
    The Miami native might just end the season where he started - On The Road To Miami Gardens
  5. Bucs running back Peyton Barber (25) rushes past Arizona Cardinals linebacker Joe Walker (59) for a one-yard touchdown, the lead, and eventually the win, 30-27, during the fourth quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
    Get Your live updates from Raymond James Stadium as the Bucs return home for the first time in seven weeks.
  6. Fans celebrate a touchdown in the third quarter by the Bucs in their season opener against the 49ers at Raymond James Stadium.
    Why the Bucs’ last eight games matter: As more clouds form over the 2019 season, Tampa Bay faithful long for a silver lining.
  7. Look for an aerial show when Arizona's Kyler Murray and Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston meet up Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
    Bucs-Cardinals predictions: Tampa Bay hosts a team that may be its offensive equal.
  8. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles away from Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) during overtime of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
    But the coach does need them to play better, especially in the closing minutes of games
  9. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs with the ball against the New England Patriots during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
    Meanwhile, Chiefs survive, Bills surge, Packers stumble - on the road to Miami Gardens
  10. The Lightning gather during practice at Hovet Arena after arriving in Stockholm, Sweden Sunday.
    It’s a business trip for Tampa Bay, but the players may get a chance to see a few sights in Stockholm