Sports Shorts

  • Steve Yzerman is one of those rare sports phenomena: A great player who became a great executive. In this case the Detroit Red Wings Hall of Famer who became the highly-respected, highly-successful general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Different skill sets, to say the least.

Now he has stepped down and been replaced by his, by all accounts, very well-prepared assistant, Julien BriseBois. The transition, if not absolutely seamless, should be smooth. BriseBoise is also an attorney–like head coach Jon Cooper–who is a quick study and has worked well with Yzerman for eight years. Reportedly, they were more like partners.

One factor in a surprise move such as Yzerman’s is family. Not unlike with Marty St. Louis, it was notable that the respective families never relocated to Tampa.

  • As the Rays Ybor-stadium scenario ratchets up, we understandably remain focused on the financials: from tourist taxes, CRA funds and economic opportunity zone designation to tax-break incentives for surrounding capital projects and fees for a new entertainment district around the ballpark. It only makes sense: Follow the potential money scenarios to see if there might be enough of it.

But one critical component is sometimes overlooked. A transit terminal.

Brightline is scouting land around the ballpark site for a terminus for its proposed high-speed rail link between Orlando and Tampa. How important can it be? Ask the Minnesota Twins.

  • This is looking, surprisingly, like an up-cycle in local sports. The Rays have become an impressively creative, winning team. The 2-0 Buccaneers just beat the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. And the Lightning are prepping for a season where winning the Stanley Cup would surprise no one. And, yes, the USF Bulls are still undefeated, including wins over Georgia Tech and the University of Illinois.
  • Speaking of the Buccaneers, how about “FitzMagic!” Right now, the play of Bucs back- up quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is off-the-charts great. It’s also refreshing that nothing this Harvard grad and old-school family guy will do off the field will embarrass the franchise or imperil women. How’s that for “win-win”?

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