Dale Earnhardt Jr. is stepping away from NASCAR after this, his 18th season. Surely his sport must be in a white-hot panic. Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart retiring is one thing. Junior’s departure is an earthquake. His sport needs him. More than it should, probably. Maybe it was lazy in always thinking Junior would be there.
Junior doesn’t leave racing as one of the best drivers in history. His father might be the chart topper in that regard.
But he leaves in one piece, and with peace of mind, with a very good career and a legacy all his own, and that matters. Eighteen years of mattering, and not just because of what his daddy did before him.
There was always something about Junior to be admired. I was there when he finished second in the Daytona 500 – the day his father died. I saw him win the Daytona summer race a few months later, something that seemed so contrived I initially thought the fix was in. Only it wasn’t. I was there for Junior’s two Daytona 500 wins.
No, he never won the points title.
But I always thought Junior handled fame and his father’s shadow as well as anyone could have. …Full Story
Hey, FSU/Bucs fans, we're reporting from the Tampa Bay Times Draft Central analysis center (we have lights, bells, printouts and everything).
I'm here to ask Florida State and Bucs fans a question:
How do you feel about the Bucs possibly having another high-profile Seminole, running back Dalvin Cook, in their sights for a third straight year?
The Bucs have gone Jameis Winston at No. 1 and took kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round. Is it a good or bad thing if the Bucs turn into Little Tallahassee?
Or are the Bucs going to the FSU well too often? Do you think teams should pick players based on fan appeal? Don't forget that the Bucs have built an orange and blue buffer, since they grabbed Vernon Hargreaves III in the first round last draft.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us know how you feel. In your reply, tell us where you live and, very important let us know ahead of time if it is okay to use your name and response in a story.
Dalvin Cook to the Bucs -- what do you think, Seminoles and Bucs fans?
Contact Martin Fennelly at email@example.com or (813) 731-8029. Follow: @mjfennelly.Full Story
[Chris Young | The Canadian Press via AP]
Brayden Point celebrates after scoring against the Maple Leafs on April 6, 2017, in Toronto.
A little more than two weeks ago, when the Lightning left the ice at Amalie Arena after a third consecutive loss, this one to the dreadful Coyotes, people told me the Bolts had not been mathematically eliminated.
I went to see the mathematicians. I knocked on their door. I could hear laughing inside.
Now there are three days left in the 2016-17 season, and the Night of the Living Lightning continues to appear in a theater near you.
I give up.
The Lightning hasn’t.
It was beaten over the head in Boston on Tuesday night, done in by the Bruins and the dirtiest pig in sports, Brad Marchand.
The Lightning left the ice in Toronto on Thursday night with a pulse. A faint one, but a pulse, after beating the Maple Leafs on an evening Toronto could have clinched a playoff sport for the first time in four seasons.
When is that not fun, edging Leafs fans close to the cliff?
Imagine the drama Sunday night in Toronto if the Leafs have a chance to choke away a playoff spot.
Bet Leafs fans are already doing just that.
Back to the Lightning. Drama enough. …Full Story
Tim Tebow homered in his first at bat in the minor leagues.
You couldn’t make up Tim Tebow if you tried a million times.
So naturally you couldn’t make up his first at-bat in the minor-leagues.
He homered. Really. He did.
Might not hit another one, but he did in his first try.
Timmy the Tebow strikes again.
Tebow was never make-believe as an idol on and off the football field at Florida.
He homered. Really. He did.
Before a sellout crowd.
That is exactly what happened Thursday in Tebow’s debut for the Class A Columbia Fireflies.
Yeah, Tebow’s team won – 14-7. Tebow did not throw or run for a touchdown.
Oh, forget it.
"I know so many people want to sensationalize it," Tebow said at a news conference after the game. "But for me, it was just one day."
You heard him: don't sensationalize it.
I know there are a lot of people who still believe this is all a stunt from Tebow, giving it a go at baseball at 29. And it isn’t pretty all the time (Tebow also struck out three times Thursday).
But I covered this man at Florida and saw him do things that lifted people up, heard him make promises that he kept. I have never doubted Tebow’s sincerity. He really wants to play in the big leagues. It's no smoke screen or promotion. …Full Story
There is a report that Derek Jeter is the face, front and center, of a group interested in purchasing the Miami Marlins.
Don’t tell me: The first thing he’s going to do is raise the outfield walls.
There is a report that Derek Jeter, the legend behind the fence on Davis Islands, is the face, front and center, of a group interested in purchasing the: Miami Marlins.
Hey, Jeets, what about us?
Yes, the Rays are owned, majority wise, by Stuart Sternberg. And Sternberg has done mostly right by Tampa Bay. But that won’t last if he doesn’t strike oil on one of those 311 potential stadium sites in the Bay area.
I keep thinking he’ll sell to someone else who’ll move the team if there’s no eventual stadium deal.
Jeter’s you-can-see-it-from-space castle will not work as a stadium site, by the way. He’s living in it.
But didn't the dreamer in a lot of us once think Derek Jeter was our safety valve?
Wasn't he supposed to ride to the rescue if Sternberg sold - Jeets to save the day?
With Lightning owner Jeff Vinik adding some real muscle?
A guy could dream, couldn't he?
Vinik is rebuilding downtown Tampa – and his plans don’t seem to include baseball
And now Jeter apparently wants to buy: the Marlins.
Tampa guy, Miami team.
Drat. …Full Story