Last year CL was ahead of the curve in naming the Tampa Bay Times's Jones sportswriter of the year. This year he’s shown even more confidence and grown bolder with his opinions, condemning Tony Dungy for his comments about Michael Sam being a “distraction” — “It’s disappointing to even think this, but for the first time ever, I’m glad Tony Dungy is not an NFL coach” — and calling for the ouster of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in the wake of the Ray Rice mess: “It’s time for us to no longer excuse, tolerate or turn a blind eye to domestic violence.”
Don Zimmer was one of the few Yankee or Red Sox players that Rays fans adored, and that’s because the effervescent, super-cuddly “Zim Bear” spent 10 years on our side as a coach and advisor. Zim — who died in June at the age of 83 — got a touching tribute when Rays broadcaster Todd Kalas announced his death during a game against the Miami Marlins. “I felt like I was getting a gift every time we talked,” Kalas said as he choked back tears. “Really sad news.” Deadspin ran this video clip of his remarks.
Runners-up: St. Pete Beach, Pass-A-Grille
Runners-up: St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island
Runners-up: Jill Kelley, Mystery Monkey
Runners-up: Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin
“This court concludes that a citizen’s right to marry is a fundamental right that belongs to the individual.” Those were the words of Judge Luis Garcia of the Monroe County Circuit Court, whose July ruling was the first in a slew of similar decisions by “activist judges” that may eventually wind up toppling the state’s anti-gay marriage amendment. Fun fact to rub in the face of John Stemberger Republicans: Garcia was appointed by Republican Governor Jeb Bush.
Runners-up: Water Works Park, more breweries
Runners-up: Tampa, Clearwater
Runners-up: Vinoy Park (St. Petersburg), Crescent Lake Park (St. Petersburg)