Ernest Hooper, Assistant Sports Editor

Ernest Hooper

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.

Punitive immigration policy heavy on politics, light on compassion

More than 100 people gathered for Lights 4 Liberty - Tampa rally on Friday in Ybor City. Aida Mackic, one of the event's organizers, said she edited the photo in black and white because
The inhumane treatment of migrants is what’s under attack. America can do better.

Hooper: Rally is a chance to send a positive message about where we should stand as a nation

In this March 27, 2019 photo, Central American migrants wait for food in a pen erected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to process a surge of migrant families and unaccompanied minors in El Paso, Texas.  [AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio]
The Lights 4 Liberty rally at Ybor City’s Centennial Park seeks to bring attention to the inhumane conditions of detention facilities holding refugees on the border.

How Jeff Vinik became a ‘Florida Man’ and face of this sports market

JAMES BORCHUCK  |  TimesTampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is excited for the NHL playoffs to begin and said he reads at least four hours a day.
The face of Tampa Bay sports: The Lightning owner’s name has become synonymous with one of the NHL’s most successful franchises, and the hopes and future of Tampa.

Ernest Hooper’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Yankees game

Tampa Bay Rays Kevin Kiermaier, right, celebrates with teammate Willy Adames after defeating the New York Yankees during their baseball game Sunday in St. Petersburg. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)
Bullpen decisions, All-Star rest and first-half successes all forecast into the second season.

Rays down Yankees to earn split in four-game series

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Emilio Pagan works from the mound against the Yankees during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday July 7, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)
Beleaguered bullpen rebounds to propel Tampa Bay past New York.