Friday, November 24, 2017


Martin Fennelly, Times sports columnist

Martin Fennelly, Times sports columnist

Martin Fennelly is a sports columnist for the Tampa Bay Times. He was born in New York City, raised on Long Island and was sitting in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium, minding his own business, when Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in one night to beat the Dodgers in the 1977 World Series. Prior to joining the Times, he worked as a columnist for the Tampa Tribune, St. Louis Sun and Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Martin graduated from the University of Albany, where he studied history, and attended the University of Missouri Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Lutz with his wife, Siobhan, their children, Conor and Norah, and, at present, five cats.

Fennelly: For USF, it’s all there for the taking, and against its bitter rival UCF

Fennelly: For USF, it’s all there for the taking, and against its bitter rival UCF

TAMPA — They’re perfect. They’re supposed to win. They have everything to lose. We can take everything they have.That’s the speech I’m giving my Bulls if I’m USF coach Charlie Strong.
Updated: 8 hours ago
The USF Herd of Thunder play the school's fight song before the start of the game against the Temple Owls at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times

Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

TAMPA ó Itís the biggest football game in USF history.Itís two days and 90 miles away. USF at UCF. The 9-1 Bulls against the 10-0 Knights. Itís USF coach Charlie Strong against UCF/Florida/Nebraska coach Scott Frost. Itís the best these two...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) leaves the field following an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won 30-20. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

Fennelly: Hope glimmering through the gloom of Bucsí season

ST. PETERSBURG ó It isnít easy avoiding The Jameis Winston mess.But itís worth a try. If only to see some thin shafts of light.Itís worth considering that the 2017 Bucs, their death certificate already signed, have shown signs of life.
Published: 11/20/17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) heads to the locker room following an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La., on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

TAMPA ó Why should we believe this man?Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated by the NFL concerning an allegation of him groping a female Uber driver in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March 2016.Winston denied the allegations...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/18/17
CHRIS URSO   |   Times
David Vallery, of Dunedin but lived in Maple Glen, Penn., becomes emotional during the public memorial service for Roy Halladay Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 in Clearwater. Halladay was killed when the plane he was piloting crashing into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Fennelly: Roy Halladay ó father, husband, friend, Ďnormal guyí

CLEARWATER ó It would have been a great day for a baseball game.The Spectrum Field grounds crew did its job. The basepaths were watered down with a hose. The baselines were drawn in chalk. The batterís box was laid out. Home plate was cleaned.
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/16/17
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 11:  Malik Rosier #12 of the Miami Hurricanes scores a touchdown during a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Hard Rock Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) 775053189

Fennelly: Miami swag, and swagger, is back against Notre Dame

MIAMI ó It was í80s night at Hard Rock Stadium ó Miami against Notre Dame. The packed stands emitted electricity. There were scores of former Hurricanes at the yard, including Bucs Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, determined to see that the U was...
Published: 11/11/17
Updated: 11/12/17
Miami head coach Mark Richt, left,and Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, left, meet in this week's premier college football matchups when No. 3 Notre Dame visits unbeaten and No. 7 Miami at 8 p.m. Saturday on ABC. (AP Photo/File)

Miami-Notre Dame: Waking up the echoes of Catholics vs. Convicts

Miami meets Notre Dame tonight. Itís the third-ranked Irish against the undefeated, seventh-ranked Hurricanes. Just like the old days. The game matters again. What a stage. But it will never be that stage.What were the old days...
Published: 11/10/17
St. Petersburg native Michael Jernigan, a United States Marine and motivational speaker, checked an item off his bucket list recently when he met former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden.

A Marine, a legendary coach and a day to remember

ST. PETERSBURG ó It was a dream come true for the Marine."Meeting Coach Bowden was one of the true highlights of my life," Michael Jernigan said.Great day for the coaching legend, too."He lifted me up," Bobby Bowden said. "Boy, he...
Updated one month ago
Jameis Winston heads to the locker room after the Bucs' loss to the Saints. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]

The trouble with Jameisí finger-licking, finger-jabbing leadership

Can we get some grown-ups here?Jameis Winstonís finger-licking bad pregame speech in New Orleans ó "Thatís a W. Letís eat one!" ó clearly left teammates baffled, judging by their reaction, or lack of it. Did they even know what he was saying?...
Updated one month ago
Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Patrick Murray warms up before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

Is Patrick Murray the answer to the Bucsí kicking prayers?

He has been back with the Bucs for three games, but he still doesnít have a wood-carved nameplate over his locker. Nick Folkís name is still over a stall."Iím just happy to have a locker," Patrick Murray said.He has been the answer to a...
Updated one month ago