Sunday, November 19, 2017


Tom Jones, Times sports columnist

Tom Jones, Times sports columnist

Tom Jones writes columns and television/radio commentary for the Tampa Bay Times' Sports section. He has covered everything from high schools to colleges to professional sports since starting with the St. Petersburg Evening Independent in 1986. After the Independent, Tom worked at the Times (1987-91), the Tampa Tribune (1991-96), the Times again (1996-2000), the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (2000-03) and returned for his third stint at the Times in 2003. Though he has covered all sports, Tom is a hockey writer at heart. He covered the Tampa Bay Lightning from its first game in 1992 until moving to Minnesota to cover the Wild for three years. He returned to the Times again to cover the Lightning until taking over as writer and editor for Page Two in 2006. He lists Herb Brooks, Lou Piniella and Wayne Gretzky as the most interesting personalities he has covered and the 2002 Winter Olympics as the best event he has covered. Tom co-hosts a sports talk show weekday mornings from 6-9 on WDAE 620-AM, 95.3-FM. He previously hosted a weekly sports roundtable show on Bright House Sports Network. Radio talk show (620-AM, 95.3-FM): listen live

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) takes a moment before the first defensive series of the first quarter of the game between the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.

Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh: Who would you rather have?

In the crowd-pleasing sports-talk of game of "Who Would You Rather Have?’’ there might not be a more perfect match-up than this.Gerald McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh.Both are defensive tackles. Both went to, what were at the time, Big 12...
Published: 11/18/17
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) takes water during the second period of Saturdayâ\u0088\u009A¢â\u0080\u009A\u0082 \u0308â\u0080\u009A\u0084¢s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Jones: The goalie who could make us forget Ben Bishop

TAMPA — Former Lightning goalie Ben Bishop showed up at Amalie Arena on Wednesday.So how’s the big guy doing?Don’t know. Don’t care.Sorry, that’s wasn’t meant to be mean. Bishop is a great goalie, a good guy and a class act. He...
Published: 11/15/17
LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden chats with fan Leigh Dittman, 17, during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. Gruden will be inducted into the Buccaneers

Jones: The idea of Gruden and the Bucs beats the reality

Jon Gruden to the Bucs?Sounds like one sloppy, happy mess.It would be one part delicious, one part debacle and all parts completely compelling.I can see it now.The Bucs season ends Dec. 31. They could hire Gruden before we...
Published: 11/13/17
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) is sacked by Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]

Bucs-Jets report card: This win was no masterpiece, but it counts just the same

TAMPA — The last time the Bucs won a football game was two years ago. Actually, before Sunday, it was Oct. 1. But in the NFL, when you go...
Published: 11/12/17
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (25) runs into Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) during the first half. [AP Photo/Jason Behnken]

Jones: Lavonte David is the best thing the Bucs have going for them

TAMPA — The Bucs won a football game Sunday. After losing five in a row, that’s a pretty big deal.And don’t you dare take the air...
Published: 11/12/17
A Bucs fan hangs out before a game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills at New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

Bucs-Jets: What to do with the final eight Bucs games

TAMPA — Know what might be the most sobering part of the Bucs’ disappointing season?We’re only halfway through it.Doesn’t it feel like the Bucs already have played like 14 games?Ugh. Eight more games to go.While Bucs...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/11/17
Kentucky's Kevin Knox, left, looks for an opening on Morehead State's Emanuel Thompson (21) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball exhibition game against Morehead State, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp) KYJC105

Tom Jones’ Two Cents on college basketball season

Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the 2017-18 college basketball season.The top fiveMy picks for the nation’s top five teams:1. Duke: As if the Blue Devils weren’t loaded enough, they add four sensational...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17
In this Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, Tony Romo in the broadcast booth during the first half of an NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Cincinnati Bengals in Green Bay, Wis. Romo, the Dallas franchise leader in passing yards and touchdowns, will soon call his first Cowboys game as the lead analyst for CBS. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer, File) NY307

NFL Midseason Report: What would we do without Tony Romo?

Who would’ve ever thought that Tony Romo would be more valuable in the television booth than on the football field?
Published: 11/07/17
Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) is pushed out of bounds in the air for an incomplete pass by New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams (43). [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]

Bucs-Saints report card: Mike Evans did right by his quarterback

NEW ORLEANS — What a rotten day in New Orleans. Call it the Big Queasy. Another drubbing. Another season down the tubes, or so it...
Published: 11/05/17
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter checks on wide receiver Mike Evans, who went down with a leg injury, during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]

Jones: It would be a mistake to fire Dirk Koetter or Jason Licht, for now

 NEW ORLEANS — People lose jobs over games like this in a season like this.
Published: 11/05/17