Gary Shelton - 7/193 - SaintPetersBlog

Gary Shelton

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

St. Pete Yacht Club ready to resume historic Havana Regatta

An historic race resumes Tuesday after a 58-year hiatus.

Once again, boats are daydreaming about Havana. For most of the existence of the 107-year-old St. Petersburg Yacht Club, the Regatta was an annual event. It was suspended after the 1959 competition, however, due to the political strife in Cuba.

The race has drawn a tremendous response. All 80 available entries were filled within the first week of its announcement on August 1, 2016. Over 550 sailors will descend upon St. Petersburg this weekend to enjoy preliminary events that include a race history dinner on Sunday, safety seminars and a bon voyage party on Monday evening for the race contestants.

The race launches in Tampa Bay near downtown St. Petersburg off the downtown St. Pete waterfront at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28. The waterfront will be quite a sight, as the dozens of sailboats make preparations in the early morning, then gather in the basin for the official start. They will head toward the Skyway Bridge and out into the open seas.

Boats will sail one to two days and arrive in Havana on Thursday.

Once there, the sailors will enjoy the country’s hospitality at the Hemingway Marina through Sunday, March 5. The activities include a separate, 16 mile regatta with the locals that runs from Hemingway Marina to the Morro Castle.

“All of us at this Yacht Club are looking forward to seeing the historic race re-launch next week, and solidifying the exchange of fellowship between the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, Pinellas County and the City of St. Petersburg, along with the Cuban government and the yachting world,” said the St. Petersburg Yacht Club’s former Commodore, Richard Winning, whose father was Commodore when the race last sailed in 1959.

The St. Petersburg-Habana race was first conceived in the late 1920s by George S. “Gidge” Gandy as a promotional event sorely needed with St. Petersburg mired in a housing bust brought on by the Great Depression. Eleven boats competed in the inaugural regatta, which started on March 30, 1930 at the St. Petersburg Municipal Pier. The winner finished in 41 hours, 42 minutes.

The race, which became one of St. Petersburg’s signature events, was suspended in 1942 due to WWII, and resumed in 1946. Military and political unrest in Cuba threatened the event in the latter 1950s, and it was last run in 1959, as gun-wielding revolutionaries patrolled the streets of Havana. Recent breakthroughs in U.S.-Cuba relations prompted club officials to re-institute one of its most historically significant events.

The Mission of St. Petersburg Yacht Club is to encourage and support yachting, and provide a comfortable social environment for our members and guests, while preserving and enhancing the Club’s traditions and prestige.  The St. Petersburg Yacht Club is located at 11 Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg.

 

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Dolphins re-sign six of their greats, includng quarterback Dan Marino

Good news for Miami fans.

The Miami Dolphins have signed Dan Marino all over again.

And if that isn’t enough, the Dolphins signed Bob Griese. And Larry Little. And Nat Moore and Kim Bokamper and Sam Madison.

The Dolphins re-signed six of their former icons, in fact, who promptly retired as Dolphins. They did it, they said, to emphasize the bond between the organization and the team’s alumni. The six combined for 25 Pro Bowls, three Hall of Fame selections and two MVPs.

The team did not explain why it didn’t re-sign and retire Larry Csonka, Mercury MorrisMark Duper, Mark Clayton, Nick Buoniconti, JackeScott or A.J. Duhe, among others.

“I’m enthusiastic about being a part of this team and trying to help create something special,” Marino said. “I love being a Miami Dolphins even if it’s for one more day. I’m proud to be a part of the franchise.”

Marino joked that he had been a free agent for 16 years and no team had called.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Triplets reunited as Tampa Bay Lightning continues playing well

Once again, they were magic.

Once again, they were so electric you could almost see sparks on the ice. Nikita Kucherov. Ondrej Palat. Tyler Johnson.

The Triplets.

Stop them if you can.

You remember the Lightning’s Triplets, don’t you? In 2014-15, they were the most amazing line in the National Hockey League. They led the NHL in scoring that year, and given their tender ages, it seemed they would be a success for years to come.

Ah, but injuries happened, and the line was split up, and they appeared as a trio only every now and then.

Have you looked lately? The Tampa Bay Lightning line is clicking again, a one-two-three punch that can still take over games. They were solid in Colorado, getting off 13 shots. Then, in a keeper of a win against Edmonton, they were good again in a 4-1 victory.

Palat scored two goals. Kucherov scored one and had three assists. Johnson had two assists. And the Lightning pointed for the seventh straight game. At what may be their last chance, the Bolts are finally playing well again.

“It’s not that you put them together and all of the sudden the magic starts,” said coach Jon Cooper. “It’s playing the right way before that happens. Everyone had been defending really well. All of the sudden, you have the puck more, you have the puck in the right places more.”

Tuesday night’s game was an answer as to why the team had been spinning its wheels. The Bolts need more Triplets.

“It’s fun,” said defenseman Anton Stralman. “I’ve got the best seat in the house to watch it. They have that something extra and tonight they really brought it.”

Said Johnson: “It’s been great. We haven’t had much opportunity to play together the last couple of years. Maybe a period or two here or there. There haven’t been too many times (we played together) the entire game. Last game, we played well. We had a lot of chances to score, but it just didn’t go in for us. Now they’ve started to go in and we even had more opportunities.”

So will the Triplets stay together?

“It’s getting results, so I hope so,” Johnson said. “I like playing with those guys. They’re fun to play with. They make the game a lot better.”

Palat scored the first two goals for Tampa Bay. But Edmonton came back on goal by Iiro Pakarinen, then had another goal disallowed on an off-sides. It was a rare challenge won by Tampa Bay.

Kucherov added a third goal, and Vlad Namestikov was awarded a goal when he was hooked on an empty netter with one second to play.

Tampa Bay is home Thursday night against Calgary.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

FSU has tough schedule to contend with in 2017 football season

If FSU is indeed going back to the college football playoffs this season, it will have to walk across broken glass to get there.

According to Bleacherreport.com, the Seminoles will play the fifth-toughest schedule in America in 2017, including an opening game against Alabama in Atlanta.

Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles also play Miami, at Clemson, Florida and Louisville (with Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson.) Even with 16 returning starters and quarterback Deondre Francois, that’s tough duty.

Florida isn’t far behind. The Gators play the 7th-hardest schedule, starting with a neutral site game against Michigan. They play Tennessee, LSU and Georgia.

According the report, Michigan will play the toughest schedule in America, followed by Alabama, Ohio State and Rutgers.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Is the Hall of Fame overlooking former Buc Simeon Rice?

John Lynch, who has missed as a finalist for four straight seasons, deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Ronde Barber, who becomes eligible this year, deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Simeon Rice?

I’m not so sure.

Oh, Rice — the former Tampa Bay Buc who is currently banging his own drum for Hall entry, was a marvelous talent. He would turn the corner in a rush, and he would reach out with those incredibly long arms of his — I used to call him Inspector Gadget — and down would go another quarterback. At times, Rice could take over a football game, constantly embarrassing an offensive tackle, constantly harassing a quarterback. On those afternoons, Rice certainly looked like a Hall of Famer.

And, while he was in Tampa Bay Bay, Rice played the run better than most people suspect. That’s been a knock on him over the years, that he was a one-trick pony who didn’t care about the run, but it isn’t really accurate. Not while he was a member of the Bucs, anyway.

But the problem with Rice is that he worked so hard to give off the impression that he wasn’t working hard. Can you name another player who was sent home from the Pro Bowl? I can’t. And it can’t sit well when the voters gather, not when there are more deserving players on his own team.

Rice was also shipped home from San Francisco on a Bucs’ trip to the West Coast. I remember writing that day that Rice needed to be contrite, that he had let down his team and he needed to stand up and assure them that he cared as much about winning as any of them.

Instead, Rice came out with a huge smile, and he talked about how nice the flight was, and how comfy first class was, and how he had a men’s magazine just like the one he was flipping through at the moment. In other words, he wasn’t exactly repentant that he missed the game. He was Mr. Cool, and he let everyone know that.

For some reason, that’s a hard image to shake when you’re talking about the Hall of Fame.

Granted, Rice has some numbers. He had 122 sacks in his career with 28 forced fumbles. But his claim that he was the fastest to 100 sacks — he wasn’t; he was ninth — can’t help him when voters repeat his statistics. He’s 19th on the all-time sack list.

Rice was a very good football player, to be sure. He was a player that opponents had to game plan against.

Was he a Hall of Famer?

You decide.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Tampa Bay Bucs increase ticket prices for the second straight season

The Tampa Bay Bucs played better football in 2016.

In 2017, fans will pay for it.

The Bucs have announced a rise in ticket prices for the second straight season, even though they again failed to make the playoffs. This year, the Bucs will play against New England and Atlanta at home, the two Super Bowl teams from a year ago. Carolina, who made it two years ago, will also come to town.

Other teams include New Orleans, the Giants, the Jets, the Lions and the Bears.  The Bucs have a strong nucleus with Jameis Winston and Mike Evans.

“Feeding off the tremendous energy and excitement of the recently completed 2016 season, we know that our fans are already looking forward to what should be one of the most anticipated seasons in recent memory,” said Bucs’ COO Brian Ford. “The upcoming 2017 season marks only the second time in the past nine years that we have had to increase (ticket prices). Our focus is always on providing our fans with a world-class atmosphere when they visit Raymond James Stadium and we are proud that we have been able to continue enhancing the game day experience while still maintaining one of the most affordable ticket prices in the NFL.”

The Bucs say that two-thirds of their increased seats will bre five dollars or less a game. The Bucs are still expected to be among the lowest third of the league.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

This time, Lightning rallies after blowing two-goal lead and wins in OT

Forget that the opponent was in last-place. Forget that the Tampa Bay Lightning blew a two-goal lead for the second straight night. Forget that it took until overtime to complete the task.

The Lightning won.

What else matters?

The Lightning, getting points in its sixth straight game, is starting to show signs of life in the Eastern Conference Wild-card race. Sunday night, Tampa Bay launched 40 shots at Colorado, and came away with a 3-2 overtime victory.

The winning goal was scored when Jonathan Drouin stole the puck, then scored with at 2:27 of the overtime period.

“That’s what he does,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “He’s a gifted, gifted player. You get him that close to the net with the puck and a little bit of time and space and he can do some magical things.”

For the second straight night, the Lightning seemed to be in good shape after Braydon Point and Vladislav Namestikov scored. But the Avs came back to force overtime when Matt Duchene scored the tying goal with 41.9 seconds to play on a shot that deflected off two players.

“Give Colorado credit for not quitting down 2-0 going into the third,” Cooper said, “but we needed to win one of those. Regardless of how this game’s going to turn out or how we’re going to get to 3-2, we needed it.”

The Lightning could have iced the game when Tyler Johnson scored in the third period, but the goal was disallowed. It spoiled a good night for the Triplets.

“Yeah, they were our best line tonight.” Cooper said. “They were a factor every time they hit the ice. Like I said, you feel for those guys. They get that one goal called back as well as they had played. There was a little contact. The ref saw it one way. We see it the other. That’s how it goes.”

Tampa Bay now returns home for four straight games, including Tuesday against Edmonton.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Tampa Bay Lightning blows two leads in falling to Stars in overtime

The Tampa Bay Lighting came back from a five-day break Saturday night, but failed to get off to the re-start it wanted.

The Lightning let two leads slip away, and it turned into a 4-3 overtime win for the Dallas Stars Saturday night. Tampa Bay had leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in the game but couldn’t hold off the Stars, especially Antone Roussel, a grinder who had his first career hat trick.

Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman had two goals and an assist in the loss.

The Bolts took a 2-0 lead, but still struggled in the opening period, which ended 2-2 after Roussel’s first two goals.

“I’m going to sit here and not dwell on whether we should have won that game,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “I think if people were watching the game, they know what happened. We’ve pointed in five straight. At some point here, we’ve got to start being two instead of just one, but I can’t sit here and say the guys didn’t leave it all out there. You look at all these teams that are coming out of the break and not winning, and I thought we gave ourselves every chance to win the game. And, unfortunately, we didn’t.”

The Lightning played better in the last two periods and ended up outshooting the Stars 37-28. They had four shots in overtime, including one by Alex Killorn which was stopped on a nice save by Kari Lehtonen. Jamie Benn, with 1:13 left to play in the extra period, scored the goal.

“We had our chances,” Cooper said. “And we couldn’t put it behind their guy. When they got their chances, they scored. That’s how it went.”

“The first period, I think the game was a little bit fast, and, ultimately when you take five days off — and I’m sure it’s the same for all the teams — the other team’s buzzing around, they’re in game mode, and we were probably a little bit in vacation mode. But give them a lot of credit, second, third period, we had 30 shots from the second period on. You get the lead, you’ve got to hold onto it and, unfortunately, a pretty tough turnover there. It’s a game of inches, we couldn’t get it out and they end up capitalizing. In the end, we just did everything we could in overtime, and they got the one chance. It’s obviously got to be on one of the best players in the league’s stick, and he knows what to do with it and he scores. But, you know what, can’t go back now, just got to look ahead. Now it’s Colorado, and that’s where our focus is.”

 

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Rowdies fall 1-0 on Union’s late goal in exhibition opener

The Tampa Bay Rowdies started play in their Suncoast Invitational – part of their preseason – in good fashion Saturday night.

The Rowdies lost, 1-0, to the Philadelphia Union of the MLS. The Union scored its only goal after coach Stuart Campbell pulled many of his starters, leaving the team exposed for a breakaway goal by Derrick Jones in the 73rd minute.

Tampa Bay came within inches of tying the score in the 90th minute when Alex Morrell got a shot on goal, but keeper Andre Blake saved the shot just before time ran out.

“We played very well,” Campbell said. “After the first half, I was pretty happy. I thought it was a pretty even game. It’s a great testament to our players playing against an MLS team. The second half was pretty even as well, until that crazy goal.”

The Rowdies are in their first season of USL play, but in the Suncoast Invitational, the competition is against teams from the MLS, a league the Rowdies intend to join.

The Union starts its season in two weeks, so it is ahead of the Rowdies. But Campbell saw promise in the defeat.

“I liked quite a lot,” Campbell said. “It was our first game against a team that’s a couple of weeks ahead of us. I think they’ve played a couple of games already. I thought the more games we get, the more they’ll improve. We’ll develop relationships. We’ll be a threat going forward. With the speed we have out wide, it’s going to cause problems.

“I’d be more happy if we got the result, which we should have done.”

The Rowdies pulled Joe Cole at the 57-minute mark and pulled five other players in the 63rd. That led to a breakaway by Jones, who beat goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald.

Tampa Bay plays another game in the Suncoast Invitational when it faces Montreal Saturday night.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Rowdies compete against MLS teams in Suncoast Invitational

The Tampa Bay Rowdies, hungry to join Major League Soccer, will get a test run over the next few days.

Today, the Rowdies start their play in the Suncoast Invitational, which features six MLS teams. The Rowdies will compete with the Montreal Impact, Toronto FC, Philadelphia Union, D.C. United and Chicago Fire. Four of the five MLS clubs participating in the Rowdies Suncoast Invitational reached the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs including the Eastern Conference champions, Toronto FC, and runners-up, the Montreal Impact.

The Rowdies play against the Philadelphia Union Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The following Saturday, the Rowdies play against Montreal.

The Rowdies currently have 17 players under contract, plus several more on a tryout basis. Those players include Georgi HristovJoe Cole and Matt Pickens.

 

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons