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Bucs made the plays to win; Jags, Dolphins did not

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Florida’s three NFL teams were all underdogs heading into their season-opening games. The Atlanta Falcons were three-point home favorites over the Bucs, while Miami was a 10-point underdog in Seattle and Green Bay was favored by five in Jacksonville. As we know, only the Bucs were able to come away with the upset win. There are fundamental reasons why: leadership, confidence and the ability to make plays at crucial times. The Dolphins played a strong defensive game, but that was…

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Mitch Perry Report for 5.25.16 — The agony and the agony

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Tampa Bay area sports fans were hit with a double whammy of negativity on Tuesday. I also had a poor night watching people play games for profit. First of all, the Tampa Bay Lightning blew their opportunity to close out their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and face elimination tomorrow night in Pennsylvania. The Lightning played a listless game for two periods; the Penguins, playing with their season on the line, were by far the more aggressive…

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Americans for Prosperity says it’s ready for 2016 Legislative Session

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The Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity organization has 36 state chapters across the nation, but none bigger than its operation in Florida, established in 2008. With 80 full- or part-time staff members, AFP has been aggressive in getting involved in legislative matters in recent years, sometimes to the consternation of Republicans who it ostensibly sides with ideologically. Although key tenets of AFP are advocating lower tax rates, opposing government “overspending” and attempting to rein in the size of government, it’s opposition to government…

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Bucs coach Lovie Smith optimistic that playoffs aren’t far away

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The schedule will be harder. The climb will be steeper. The stakes will be higher. But, yes, Tampa Bay Bucs coach Lovie Smith said the team should reach the playoffs next season. “We should,” Smith said in his day-after news conference. “I’m going to go back to, we were 6-6, with a quarter (of the season) to go. That was progress, to get in position, and things looked pretty bright for us. We weren’t quite ready to take that next…

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Americans for Prosperity aims to stop Hillsborough OK of $29 million for Bucs stadium

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Next Wednesday, the Hillsborough County Commission is poised to approve an agreement with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that will include spending $29 million in taxpayers money for improvements to Raymond James Stadium, the home of the Bucs that was built with public money back in 1996. That money would come from 4 cents of the 5-cent county tourist tax, which must be spent on sports facilities or promoting tourism. But expect the board to encounter some turbulence before that vote, as…

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Hillsborough County Commissioners back push to bring Super Bowl back to Tampa

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

It’s been almost seven years since Tampa last hosted a Super Bowl, but local officials are working on an effort to host the NFL championship game in either 2019 or 2020. With little fanfare, the Hillsborough County Commission on Wednesday voted 7-0 to back such a bid after hearing the details from Rob Higgans, executive director of the Tampa Sports Authority. Tampa is in completion with fellow Southeastern locations Miami, New Orleans and Atlanta. “As a result, it’s critically important…

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Buccaneers feel they’re on right track with Winston

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are encouraged by the way Jameis Winston is performing, even if the young quarterback’s progress isn’t reflected in the team’s record. Coach Lovie Smith reiterated Monday that the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft is making strides weekly, and that key players around the rookie are getting better, too. The Bucs (1-2) wasted an opportunity to climb over .500 at any point in a season for the first time in nearly three years…

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