Category: Tampa News

Tampa’s Own Chuck Owen Receives 4 2017 Grammy Nominations

Tampa, Florida jazz artist and USF Jazz professor Chuck Owen has received 4 Grammy nominations for his 2017 piece of art album titled “Whispers On The Wind” This is not Owen’s first nomination for the prestigious music award, he also received 2 nominations in 2014.

 

The cutoff for 2017 nominations was September 30, 2017 so Owen must have produced something really special with “Whispers On The Wind” because it was just released in late September of 2017. Getting a single nomination for that late of a release would be a big enough challenge but to receive 4 tells us that Tampa has a very talented artist and teacher in Chuck Owen. Certainly one the entire Bay area can all be proud of.

 

In a recent interview with Creative Loaf, Owen stated that he knew “There was something from the beginning about Whispers that just felt ‘right” and that he is hoping to be able to attend the award ceremonies in person on January 28, 2018 at New York City’s famous Madison Square Garden. Certainly many Tampa Bay area Jazz and music lovers will tune in to cheer on the local artist and teacher.

 

The 4 categories that “Whispers On The Wind” received nominations for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Capella, Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording (the album was recorded with a 19 piece band), Best Instrumental Composition and Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

 

In addition to being a jazz artist, composer and album producer, Owen is also the University of South Florida’s Director of Center For Jazz Composition and the university’s Director of Jazz Ensemble. He has served the university in these capacities for 22 years. Prior to becoming a distinguished professor at USF, Owen received his Bachelor of Music at North Texas State University and then went on to earn a Masters in Orchestral Conducting from California State University-Northridge.

 

There were over 22,000 Grammy nominations submitted this year so Chuck Owen, The University of South Florida and all Tampa citizens can certainly be very proud of this accomplishment. Good luck Chuck.

Former Tampa Bay Player Attacked By A Shark

If you are familiar with the movie Jaws, then you probably know how dangerous sharks can be if they bite you in the water. One former Tampa Bay Buccaneers football player had an encounter with a shark that can be said to be taken out from the Jaws movie. In case you are wondering, he did survive to tell the tale.

Warren Sapps, who played as a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Bucanners, got bit by a shark while he was lobstering in the waters off Florida. Fortunately for Sapps, the bite was relatively minor. The incident occurred near the Florida Keys while Sapps was lobstering or catching lobsters.

Sapps is an NHL hall of famer who Tampa Bay Bucanners fans will remember and respect through time. Despite getting bit by a shark, the former NFL player did not let the incident bring him down or stop his lobster hunting adventure. Warren put gauze on the bite and even laughed it off. He even posted a photograph of the shark bite on twitter joking the shark got a piece of me. Sapps, who was in good spirits, then posted a photograph of himself catching lobster. The shark may have gotten a piece of him, but he had caught some delicious lobster for dinner he continued to joke!

I don’t think I would be able to continue diving after getting bit by a shark. It takes a lot of guts and grits to keep going after that. Then again, I am not a former NFL defensive tackle player. Warren Sapps showed that even when the going gets tough or you get bit by a shark, it pays off to have some humor and to make light of the situation.

So why did the shark bite former NFL player Warren Sapps? It seems the sharks also prey on the lobsters in that area. Another more hilarious theory is that the shark was coming in to tackle Warren Sapps but failed and managed to only bite him instead.

South Florida defeated by undefeated UCF

Despite the narrow defeat, the University of South Florida’s star quarterback Quinton Flowers ruled the field. On national television and before his fellow college students and alumni, Flowers set multiple USF records including single-game passing yards and total-yardage records.

Flowers faced off against the undefeated University of Central Florida Knights. Quinton Flowers is becoming known for being a runner more than a thrower, but managed to throw for 500 yards. UCF was the nation’s top scoring offense, prior to kickoff. Flowers managed to pull of some great plays despite some questionable coaching by Charlie Strong. This is Flowers’ last collegiate football game. Flowers has not said whether he will enter the draft.

Flowers performance over the year was incredible to sports analysts, some noted that if this was a mid-season game, he may have been considered as a heisman contender. However, he now faces a mid-level bowl game either in Annapolis, Maryland or Birmingham, Alabama. Quinton Flowers managed to out-gain the Knights 605 yards to UCF’s 533 yards.

Questions are now focused on Coach Charlie Strong and whether he will remain at University of South Florida. His playcalling has been questioned many times during the season and has led to some major upsets including their defeat against UCF. A victory against UCF would have put them one step closer to being in the Peach Bowl. UCF’s victory marks the first time in program history of finishing unbeaten in regular season.

Despite Flowers’ strong performance, the game came down to special teams. Near the end of the game, UCF’s Mike Hughes found an opening and ran for a 95-yard touchdown. In only 53 seconds, UCF took an eight-point lead. Flowers’ has also been a positive influence on University of South Florida, both on and off the field. The future of Flowers’ has yet to be determined.

Tennessee Recruiting Former Tampa Bay Football Coach

The Tampa Bay Bucs former coach Greg Schiano maybe headed to Tennessee. The Tennessee Vols are working on finalizing a deal with current Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano to be Tennessee’s new coach. Tenneessee has been searching for a new coach and was temporarily focused on Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen. Mullen was waiting to see what happened with the coaching position at Florida. Greg Schiano previously coached at Rutgers and delivered them a 68-67 record over 11 seasons. Despite that record, he brought one of the nation’s worst football programs and turned it around with six bowl appearances in his last seven seasons.

Schiano was previously sought after by high-profile colleges including Michigan but decided to go to the NFL after the 2011 season. Schiano was fired in 2013 and returned to college football with Ohio State. Schiano is Ohio State’s defensive coordinator. Tennessee athletic director John Currie fired Vols coach Butch Jones with two games still to be played. Schiano was later implicated as a witness in the Penn State child rape scandal. Schiano worked at Penn State University from 1990 to 1995 in a variety of roles, first as a graduate assistant and later a defensive backs coach. He then later worked for the Chicago Bears and then the University of Miami as a defensive coordinator. Schiano has never coached in the Southeastern Conference.

Should this deal be official, it’s unclear if Greg Schiano will be coaching Ohio State’s defense in the Big Ten Championship or in a possible bowl game or playoff chase. Schiano has turned Ohio State’s defense into one of the nation’s elite defenses in the last two seasons. He’s produced multiple first-round draft picks in the defense side of the game. Ohio state fans are waiting to see what happens, while Volunteer fans are excited.

Tampa Sports Team Contribute Towards Removal of Confederate Monument

Monuments are used to memorialize events that took place many years ago. There are those who believe the monuments are a sign of heritage while there are those who believe that the statues are racist. There have been debates on whether the Confederate monuments should be removed or not. In Florida, the county commissioners approved the removal of the Confederate memorial. It was passed because the monument was a public safety hazard. The memorial in Aeterna was to be removed only if the donations would reach half the cost. The professional sports team from Tampa, Florida contributed to getting rid of the Confederate monument. The team donated money to help remove the monument. The memorial was in front of the Hillsborough county courthouse. The team was of the opinion that the monument was not playing any role in adding value to the community.

Some of the prominent people who contributed towards the removal of the monument were greater Tampa chamber of commerce chairman; Mike Griffin pledged $70,000. Mayor Bob Buckhorn donated $1000, and bob Gries contributed $50,000. The gofundme which was in charge of raising funds for the monument managed to reach its goal. There were over $140,000 contributions towards moving the monument. The monument in Tampa known as memoria in Aeterna was constructed in 1922. The monument was built with the money that was contributed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The first team to support the memorial relocation was the Rays team. The team was in support of the relocation from the word go. It also shows that the team actively participates in the community activities.

There have been problems when it comes to removing the monument. For instance, in Charlottesville VA, were white nationalists were against removing the monument. It was not a usual occurrence for the team to take on such stand. The decision to get rid of the monument was made during the August 2017 meeting. Most of the Confederate monuments were constructed at a time when there were racial conflicts. The statues were meant to celebrate the white supremacist culture. Majority of the monuments are being removed or relocated to other areas.

Plant Versus St. Johns Bartram Trail Semifinal Capsule

The semifinal capsule which had Plant meeting with Bartram Trail was held at Plant’s Arena. It’s well known that the Bartram Trail has never qualified to participate in the state championship games. However, the schedule has existed on a verge with an anticipation of getting there. This marks the fourth seminal final the Bears are playing under Coach Darrel Sutherland. In the previous semifinals, Armwood defeated Bartram Trail 46-38 in the year 2011 and 35-28 during the tri-overtime in 2013. Bears also lost three times this season to their formidable counterparts, Cocoa St. Augustine and the Cartersville. Two of these defeats happened on a difference of seven points or less. Bartram is adapting to play at their home ground nowadays as their form has improved significantly. Bears will host their fifth home game on the coming Friday as Plant will be having its playoff match on the road. The Bartram Trail will be enjoying an advantage of its loaded playmakers to gunner in points in bunches. They are targeting to put up at least 43 points on average per every game. The quarterbacks Joey Gatewood and the Riley Smith differenced their time hence ranked close to each other.

The winner of the game between plant and Bartram Trail will play Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas-the Venice champion.

The key matchup will involve Bartram Trail’s offenses versus Plant’s solid defense. The robust Bears attack has recorded a score of 49and above points from the past six games played which proves that it is not only the quarterbacks set which tough. So far, Davin Ellison has covered 1,005 yards and 17 touchdowns. This category has four receivers who have over 200yards this season which has Xavier Hutchinson who is at the top with 861. Plant can take pride in their defense which performed exemplary against a good number of potent attacks. The Panthers compromised 31 points during their previous four games. This saw Micah McFadden lead with 175 tackles in the state. McFadden will be highly regarded even after Love went into frames with his tibia during the last week’s game which they won over Lakeland.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Feeling Better

During the past two weeks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston went two weeks without throwing a ball until Friday according to http://www.tampabay.com/sports/football/bucs/Bucs-Jameis-Winston-feeling-better-will-benefit-from-full-practice-week_162224203. Due to a shoulder injury, Winston was unable to participate in a number of team activities. However, with his injury subsiding, he will now be in position to practice and begin throwing again. While he is still sore, he is feeling much better and may be in position to start the team’s next game. He is scheduled to return to practice on Wednesday and begin getting involved in a number of passing drills as well as speak to the media about his progress.

Prior to injuring his shoulder, Winston played well in his last game against the Buffalo Bills. He passed for 384 yards and three touchdown passes with only one interception. This game would prove to be one of the best performances of his career. One of the things that made this quite an accomplishment is that he did not throw a ball until the Friday leading up to the game. Despite not having much time to practice and prepare, he was able to perform at a high level on gameday. By recovering from this injury, Winston should be in position to help his team win its next game and get back in the win column soon.

Last week, Winston kept his same routine but was unable to perform at a high level against the Carolina Panthers. His performance was quite shaky as he completed 21-38 passes for 210 but threw two interceptions with no touchdown passes. Winston also lost a fumble which proved to be a costly turnover. Despite the drop off in performance, Winston looks to bounce back and help his team win its next game. Winston and the coaching staff believe that the timing of his recovery has led to his drop off in performance last week. With more practice reps, Winston should be in better position to play at his best in the coming weeks. The team will play the Saints in New Orleans and face a team that has one of the best offenses in the league. As a result, Jameis will need to play well in order to help his team defeat the Saints and get back into the NFC South division race.

Tampa’s Lance McCullers Pitches in Game 7 of the World Series

According to a recent source http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/Tampa-s-Lance-McCullers-ascends-to-sports-ultimate-stage_162222895, a local Tampa pitcher named Lance McCullers will be pitching in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night. Lance McCullers has been one of the top pitchers for the Houston Astros this season and will be looked upon to help the team win its first ever World Series championship. McCullers will be in the spotlight as he will look to keep the Astros in the game and allow them to prevail in this decisive Game 7. Lance is used to the spotlight as he was a highly renowned pitcher in the Tampa area during his high school years. He pitched for a local Jesuit school in Tampa and was a standout star. McCullers is now looking to add to his legacy by pitching in the World Series.

By taking the big stage in baseball’s championship round, McCullers will be in position to prove to the nation that he is one of the elite pitchers in the sport. What has made him one of the top pitchers for the Astros this season is his curveball that regularly strikes out batters. He developed this pitch from his father Lance Sr. who pitched in the majors as a reliever for a number of years. However, Lance Sr. was unable to have a long career due to chronic shoulder problems. Lance Jr. will be looking to make his father proud by pitching well in tonight’s Game 7 of the World Series.

Pitching in tonight’s game will mark a first ever scenario for Tampa locals. Nobody from Tampa has ever pitched in Game 7 of a World Series. However this will change tonight as Lance McCullers will represent his city as well as the Houston Astros. During the postseason, Lance has performed very well. He has pitched six innings against the Yankees where he allowed only two hits in six innings. McCullers also closed out the ALCS in Game 7 by pitching four scoreless innings. During the postseason, McCullers has established a good ERA of 2.95. His quality play has given the Astros hope of winning tonight’s do or die game in Los Angeles. By taking the mound in Game 7, Lance McCullers will look to further establish himself as a local Tampa sports hero.

Tampa Ranks High as Vegan City

One of the most important parts of overall personal health is to follow a healthy diet. Today, one of the most common diet recommendations is to eat as many vegetables and fruits as possible, while limiting the amount of fatty meats in your diet. For those that would like to eat a diet that has higher amount of vegetables, one great city to live in would be Tampa, FL.

On November 1, the day after much of the world spent the night consuming a lot of candy, those that would like to follow a plant-based diet would enjoy celebrating World Vegan Day. This day celebrates and educates all of the benefits that come with following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. Along with this day of celebration, some have even gone as far as to rank the top 100 cities in the country to determine which city was the most vegan-friendly.

The recent survey found that the city of Tampa, FL (http://www.wtsp.com/entertainment/events/tampa-ranked-in-top-15-best-cities-for-vegans-vegetarians/487890787) is the 15th most vegan friendly city in the United States. Tampa’s nearby neighbor, St Petersburg, was ranked 71st. There were a number of different factors that go into the rankings, which include the overall affordability of vegan products, the accessibility to vegan and organic plant life, and the overall community spirit.

Tampa likely received additional points due to the fact that they host the Tampa Bay Veg Fest every year, which brings together thousands of people that like to eat a clean diet and are looking to learn more about following a vegan diet. The Tampa Bay Veg Fest will also have a number of other activities including yoga, speakers, live music, and even animal rights groups that will be meeting with a lot of different people.

While Tampa did finish 15th on the list of the top, there are a number of other cities that are continuing to show that they have some of the top vegan-options in the country. Some of the top finishers on the overall list included New York City (number 1), Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and Washington DC, all of which finished in the top 10. Some of the markets that finished last on the list included Toledo, OH, Greensboro, NC, and Henderson, NV.

Tampa Bay Ray’s Fastballs

Over the last decade, Tampa Bay Rays have recorded more strikeouts than any other pitching staff participating in the American League. Jim Hickey has been their pitching coach for all that time. The coach has an experience of two decades as a coach and pitcher in the minors.

Hickey got to experience how the hitter’s view of a rising fastball in 2004 after joining Houston Astros. He stood against Roger Clemens in the batter’s box, at Clemens’ request. From his position, Hickey could see his challenger zoom through the finish line. According to him, Clemens would turn burn and boom! It was his first time, and he thought that the trajectory would be a ball low.

Fastballs do not rise. However, some of them defy gravity for a longer time than others, making them look like they are rising. Such fastballs usually are not the ones thrown with maximum effort, but the ones that spin the most. According to Jake Odorizzi, Rays’ right-hander, this kind of fastball is usually referred to as the ‘invisiball’. Even though you might be seeing it, it is often challenging to hit it.

Odorizzi and most of his teammates can perform the move. Last season, none of the hardest throwers pitched for Tampa Bay, yet a study by Fangraphs in March indicated that the Rays threw over 60 percent of their fastballs (four-seam) up in the zone. According to Rays’ starter Chris Archer, the players will have to pitch to their level best as it continues to be the team’s edge. Watching the Rays pull the ‘invisiball’ move remains to be the most enjoyable part of the game.