Category: Tampa News

A Boy Diagnosed With Cancer Gets To Announce First-Round Pick For Ravens

NFL, the National Football League, is always using its draft phase of the games to raise awareness of issues and favor individuals with health problems. This event happened in April 2017, in a draft announcement of football that got its draft phase shared with a 14-years old boy named T.J. Owuanibe, who was diagnosed with brain cancer.



He always dreamed of sharing the stage with his favorite NFL team, the Ravens. It all began when the young boy told the Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic that he always wanted to meet the team and participate in the announcement of their draft picks.



And so his wish came true.



The boy is in the eighth grade of the McDonogh School in, Baltimore, the same school he was in when he got diagnosed with the disease two years ago.



The kid happily steps in the stage as the announcer of the Baltimore Ravens’ selection for this year of football.



Standing next to no one else than Commissioner Roger Goodell, the boy, dressed up in a gray suit, was smiling. He knew that his dream came true because of his dedication in perceiving his long-lasting dream.



When it came to Baltimore to announce its next picks, on a Thursday night it was published that they would take Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey with the 16th pick. T.J. would not miss his opportunity to contact the team and try to fulfill his dream.



And it happened.



“For him, football is the one thing that makes him excited,” said T.J.’s mother, Chioma, who gave an interview about the kid’s reaction when Coach John Harbaugh informed T.J. that the team would allow him to announce the team’s first round of selection. His mom concluded that the Ravens were part of his life already, and finally meeting his wish, in the hardest period of his life, was a miracle.



For more information about the first-round pick and the announcement, please read, a website that specifically covers news from Florida and Tampa.



The biggest sports league in North America accounted for a significant audience when T.J. had the honor to get up on the stage and announce the first-round pick.



Nothing would’ve been possible though, without the help of a non-profitable organization named the Casey Cares Foundation.



  1. had the honor of meeting the coaching staff, a few of the players, and see the training camp with his own eyes.



Why Are Millenials Flocking To Tampa, Florida?

The city of Tampa, Florida is home to a significant and growing millennial generation population. So why exactly is Tampa such a magnet for millennials? To start off, here are some numbers that may help explain this trend. rated Tampa, Florida, as the most popular city that people move to in 2016. That is not bad right?


Additionally, Tampa is rated as one of the best cities for startups according to a report released by Fortune Magazine. This can be a major explanation on why there are so many millennials in Tampa and why so many continue to flock there. Millennials and startups are often synonymous with each other. A good place to start a startup will inevitably draw large amounts of millenials who are looking for a place to get their business launched. Millenials also tend to draw other millenials in with them when they settle down, so the hotbed of startup activity is attracting and growing the millenial population significantly.


We are not finished there yet. Another reason why Tampa is hot with millenials is because it is one of the most pet friendly places to live as well. This is according to RewardExpert. Millenials are obsessed with their pets and spend lots of time, not to mention money on them. Being pet friendly and having lots of pet friendly amenities is going to be a major draw for Tampa to millenials and helps to further explain the draw of Tampa to this crowd.


Money Magazine also named Tampa as the best city in the Southeast to live in, beating out famous cities such as Miami, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina. If your city is listed as being the best to live in, it will attract everybody and not just millenials. Millenials also say they come to Tampa because of low traffic compared to cities with traffic jams such as Atlanta or Miami. Crime is also very low in Tampa when compared to other major cities such as Dallas and Atlanta. Low crime and minimal traffic are a big plus to millenials who are looking to settle in or start out their life.


Of course, Tampa draws milllenials with its abundant beaches, plentiful sunshine and warm weather. Add lots of nightclubs, bars, restaurants and places to go out and you will quickly see that Tampa is a millenial’s dream city to live in.


The Field Goal Kick That Landed a Win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Monday’s night NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers started with both teams holding one and three records. By fourth quarter Business Insider reported the teams were tied 14 and 14 until Buccaneers’ rookie kicker, Roberto Aquayo kicked the football straight down the middle of the field landing a win for the team. It was the best play performance for the rookie who had missed two previous kicks in the second quarter and fourth quarter.



Aquayo never missed a kick while playing for Florida State University inside 40 yards, but is struggling on the Bucs team. His struggles turned into victory after his team players provided him support on the sidelines right before the winning kick of the day. Thus far Aquayo has a field goal kicking record of four of eight for the season.



Preseason was difficult for the rookie kicker in the beginning after missing two field goals and an effort to kick the extra point field goal in the first and second week. By the end of the final two weeks of preseason, Aquayo was five for five. He finished the preseason with eight of 10 field goals.



Buccaneers coach, Dirk Koetter spoke to ESPN and said that he has concerns about the rookie kicker when most kickers are able to make goals inside of 50 yards when the weather permits. The first missing kick Aquayo made was during the second quarter which was 33 yards out. This happened at Carolina 30-yard line after Russell Shepard recovered Ted Ginn Jr.’s punt. The second missed field goal happened in the fourth quarter after Brent Grimes made a touchdown interception in the end-zone.



Coach Koetter applauded the Buccaneers team players who encouraged Roberto Aquayo on the sideline before the field goal kick. The team support and power actions of defense to get the ball back and Jameis Winston leading the offense gave him another opportunity to make a field goal. Koetter continues to have concerns about the rookie after a loss to Los Angeles Rams two weeks ago. He missed a 41-yard field goal which would have given the Buccaneers the lead. Koetter is pleased with the overall performance of the NFL team and the winning field goal.



Linemen Get the Knack, Questions Get on Track, Will Jacquizz Be Back?

At Bucs GM Jason Licht’s press conference, questions came up about young offensive linemen learning the spread offense. Can prospects really develop in a pro-style offense? Can coaches tell if they’re developing? Some people say no. Licht said, “That theory has been going around for a while now.”


But, although it may be difficult to evaluate young players in a spread offense, he said it can be done. “It makes it a little more challenging to look for an offensive lineman or see him in positions that we ask for in our offense,” Licht commented, “but it still boils down to: you want an athletic guy, you want a guy that has strength and power, is smart, has good movement.” If you have these things, Licht added, you may have to see players develop a little at a time, but you can still see it.


The Bucs have been hard at work scouting players at the combine, and Licht was asked what kind of questions are posed to prospects there. Licht said they’re all tailored to the individual. Scouts can conduct 15-minute interviews with all 60 combine players, and probably no two sets of questions will match; the questions are based on careful research done on each prospect. “Our scouts spend a lot of time and do an amazing job gathering information on every player,” Licht said.


Finally, is Doug Martin’s talented fill-in Jacquizz Rodgers coming back? Last year, Rodgers led the team in rushing with 560 yards. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry and scored 2 touchdowns. He also totaled 98 yards in receptions “We really like Jacquizz,” Licht said. “In an ideal situation, we’d love to have Jacquizz back.”


Chris Archer Ready to Bounce Back in 2017:

2015 was a promising year for Chris Archer. Despite a 12-13 record, he posted a 3.23 ERA and fanned 252 batters. Tampa Bay saw a lot of upside in the young right-hander, who perhaps could be the staff ace in the near future.


Then came 2016, and the bottom fell out on Archer. He endured a horrific summer, going 2-11 over 14 starts. He ended the season with only nine wins and led the American League with 19 losses. His ERA ballooned to 4.02, while the Rays finished in the AL East cellar at 68-94.


Despite those poor numbers, Archer remains upbeat in spring training. He points to the adjustments in his approach and intent on the mound he made in the second half of 2016 that helped him to an ERA of 3.62 in his final 23 starts. Archer also said he does not get upset when people say he had a terrible 2016 as he is confident in his abilities and feels his teammates know how much work he puts into his game. Your text to link…


Archer has some unusual inspiration for believing 2017 will be a bounce back year for him. It is none other than President Donald Trump. Archer said Trump did not have the best reputation going into the presidential campaign, but defied the odds and won the election. That showed him, “This is America. Literally anything can happen.”


The Rays have done some retooling this year, with their biggest additions being power hitting catcher Wilson Ramos and speedy outfielder Mallex Smith. Still, if Tampa Bay expects to contend in the tough American League Eastern Division, Archer will have to become the ace both the team and the fans expect him to be.


Bucs Are Looking to Buck Up Their WR Roster

This year, teams are looking for wide receivers, especially big playmakers with explosive speed. The Bucs are no exception, and they’ll be carefully checking out the 60 wideouts invited to the Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.


Head coach Dirk Koetter will not only be scouting the Combine, but also free agent wide receivers that will be coming onto the market. He said he feels that Tampa Bay could have advanced into the playoffs with more options for Jameis Winston to throw to. “Not to say that we don’t like the players that we already have,” he said, “but you can always have more.”


Although the Bucs have Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, Cameron Brate and Adam Hayward, Tampa Bay is not a bad place for a wideout to land. Jameis Winston has thrown 50 touchdowns and totaled 8,000 yards in two seasons, and he’s only 23 years old. He’ll be a career maker for some receivers. Besides, he needs more targets to take pressure off the receiving corps and slow and confuse defenses. Last year, Tampa Bay ranked 29th in the league in overall yards after catch and 31st in average yards after catch per reception.


Mike Williams from Clemson, John Ross from Washington and Corey Davis from Western Michigan are all players the Bucs might be interested in. All three are expected to be drafted in the first round. The Bucs might also reach out to some wide receivers that are listed among the NFL’s top 25 free agents this year. The Bears’ Alshon Jeffery, the Giants’ Victor Cruz, Washington’s DeSean Jackson and the Jets’ Brandon Marshall may all be testing the market


What about Tampa Bay’s own free agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson? Koetter said he has a right to look elsewhere like anyone else. But both he and Tampa Bay GM Jason Licht made it clear they would be happy if Vincent Jackson stayed. Licht said, “We’ll always want Vincent to be around the organization.”


There’s more reason for optimism because Tampa Bay’s receiving corps is young. “Guys improve, and we believe in player development,” Koetter said.



Gators Basketball Coach Named Finalist for Coach of the Year

Thanks to a great season so far, the Florida Gators are ranked No. 12 are are poised to finish strong in the NCAA tournament. Their coach, Mike White, was recently named a semifinalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year award.


There are 10 semifinalists for the prestigious recognition. The other head coaches on the list are from Northwestern, Baylor, Gonzaga, West Virginia, SMU, Arizona, Louisville, Kansas, and Villanova. The finalists will be named on March 16.


White became coach at the University of Florida in 2015, replacing Billy Donovan. He previously head positions at Louisiana Tech as head coach, at Ole Miss as assistant coach, and at Jacksonville State as assistant coach. He was a basketball player at Ole Miss from 1995 to 1999, where he played point guard. He briefly played at the professional level in England and with the now-defunct International Basketball League, which was based in the US.


He’s known for building strong relationships with his players and for developing his players’ leadership abilities. This season, he has encouraged players to step up and take responsibility for their team’s performance. His players have held team meetings, in which only players were invited, to discuss how they could get things right in future games.


The Gators are currently 24 – 6 and have turned things around after losing to Vanderbilt, who they were heavily favored to beat. In the SEC, they have posted a record of 14 – 3. This is just one year after finishing in the middle of the pack at 21 – 15. Up ahead is a repeat game against Vanderbilt, followed by the SEC conference tournament the second week of March and the NCAA tournament later in the month.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Evaluate NFL Free Agents

After a 2016 season that was not very convincing to local football fans, the ampa Bay Buccaneers are weighing their options with regard to available free agents. According to Cameron DaSilva of Fox Sports, the Buccaneers have more than $65 million in salary cap space, which means that they have the means to develop a competitive roster for the upcoming season.


DaSilva has proposed five free agents that could be a good fit in Tampa while Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Bay Times has mentioned a few names that the Bucs should steer clear from. One big name that Fennelly believes would not be a good fit is superstar running back Adrian Peterson, who is getting up there in terms of age, and that the team is better off investing in players who can hold the offensive line and safety spots.


Here are the names proposed by DaSilva:


Martellus Bennett, Tight End


Here is a player who has matured and vastly improved in just two seasons with the New England Patriots, a team that proved the importance of the tight end position in the last Super Bowl. The NFL is once again a passing league who needs strong catchers.


William Gholston, Defensive End


He has played well with the Bucs, why not resign him? The grapevine on this veteran is that he feels comfortable in Tampa and may not ask for a big contract as long as he is paired with good incoming rookies.


Tony Jefferson, Safety


Here is a safety who has played extremely well with the Cardinals and who may be looking to boost his career with the right signing. Jefferson plays the safety position with the mind of a playmaker; should the Bucs venture into signing him, they will have to make an attractive offer.


Kenny Stills, Wide Receiver


The Miami Dolphins had a great season thanks in part to this wide receiver who is looking for a new team that can make him a franchise player.


Prince Amukarama, Corner Back


Defense can always be improved in Tampa, and this is one of the best free agents the Bucs could hope for.



Tampa Bay Buccaneers Runningback Doug Martin Returns To Action This Sunday

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope to get a boost on offense this Sunday when they welcome back Runningback Doug Martin to the lineup. Martin had been sidelined for almost the entire first half of this season due to a hamstring injury suffered in week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals. His status was listed on this week’s injury report as questionable since his recovery was a day-to-day process, but Buccaneers’ head coach Dirk Koetter says he’ll be cleared to play by this Sunday’s game. Filling in for Martin had been Mike James and Peyton Barber, the latter of which had led the team in rushing last week in their loss to Atlanta.


The Buccaneers enter this week’s game at 3-5, tied for third in the NFC South with the Carolina Panthers and facing a 2-6 Chicago Bears team that is fourth in the NFC North. The offense was not the biggest issue in last week’s 48-23 loss to Atlanta, as their defense surrendered a net of 461 yards and 43 points, but still their offense overall only managed 70 rush yards while quarterback Jameis Winston dropped back 48 times. Thus far on the year, the Buccaneers have averaged 108 rush yards per game, good for 16th in the league, while the Bears have averaged about 96, good for 24th in the league.


Doug Martin adds quite a bit of power to a running game that despite having some decent statistics, has lacked the potency that Martin has provided over the last few years. Martin finished the 2015 season 2nd in total rushing yards with 1,402, surpassed only by Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, a huge step forward from two setback seasons in 2013 and 2014. Starting this Sunday he’ll look to get back to last year’s form against a Chicago Bears defense that has given up about 100 rush yards per game, and is ranked 12th overall against the run. The Bears themselves are coming off a big upset win against a stingy Minnesota Vikings defense, against whom they rushed for 158 yards as a team.


Time To Rebuild for Lightning:

Two years ago they lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks. Last season, they were one win away from a second straight trip to the Cup Finals. All indications were the Tampa Bay Lightning were on the cusp of becoming one of the NHL’s elite teams.


That’s not the case in 2016-2017. The Bolts are 29-25-8 with 66 points and lingering in sixth place in the Atlantic Division. With playoffs seemingly out of reach, Tampa Bay spent the days leading up to the March 1st trade deadline unloading some of its top players and preparing for rebuild mode.


First to go was Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay’s mainstay in goal since 2013-2014. He was sent to the Los Angeles Kings, along with a seventh round draft pick, for goalie Peter Budaj (27-20 this season), defenseman Erik Cernak, and two draft picks. Your text to link… A day later, on February 27th, veteran center Brian Boyle was shipped off to the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward Byron Froese, who had 24 goals and 15 assists in 48 games this season for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and a draft pick.


Deadline day brought the third and final big trade for the Lightning as they eye their future. Valtteri Filppula, who has turned into more of an assist man than a goal scorer over the past three seasons, was dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers, along with two draft picks, for defenseman Mark Streit, who was immediately sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2018 fourth round draft pick.


In losing three prominent players from its roster, the Lightning gained a quality goaltender and four draft picks, five when counting their January 27th deal with Montreal that included defenseman Jonathan Racine, and two prospects in Froese and Cernak. Should the infusion of youth work out, they’ll be added to a roster that already has solid goal scorers like Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson. Once Steven Stamkos is healed up and back on the ice, look for Tampa Bay to be back in the Stanley Cup mix.