Tom Jones was born and raised in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied English at the University of South Florida from 1982 to 1986.
He began his writing career with the St. Petersburg Evening Independent in 1985. He then went on to work for the St. Petersburg Times from 1987 to 1991, the Tampa Tribune from 1991 to 1996, the St. Petersburg Times again from 1996 to 2000 and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune from 2000 to 2003. He then rejoined the St. Petersburg Times for a third time in his career in 2003, where he worked ever since.
Jones has spent most of his career covering the NHL, including being a beat writer for more than 15 years of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Minnesota. Wild. He also spent two years on the Tampa Bay Rays beat. He then become a columnist at Times starting in 2007. Jones has won several national and state writing awards, including a top 10 game story in the nation in 1998 as named by the Associated Press Sports Editors.
Over the course of his career, Jones has covered the Olympics, the World Series, the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup finals, baseball and hockey all-star games, the NCAA basketball tournament and the Frozen Four.
Jones lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Patty, and sons, Sam and Andy.
With over two decades of reporting on professional and collegiate sports for the Tampa Bay Times, through performance and work experience in journalism and broadcasting in television and radio, Rick Stroud has cultivated an impressive list of sources and utilized his knowledge to produce an outstanding body of work in both print and electronic mediums.
During his career, Stroud has reported on national sporting events including 22 Super Bowls, the NCAA Final Four, and the Major League Baseball Playoffs. While working as the beat writer assigned to the University of Florida at the Times, Stroud’s stories documented NCAA rules violations by the football and basketball programs. The stories for which Stroud won second place for Best Investigative Reporting from the Associated Press Sports Editors, led to sanctions against both Gators programs.
Since 2004, Stroud has appeared as an NFL Insider for ESPN2’s First Take and is a regular contributor to ESPN’s SportsCenter, NFL Live, Outside the Lines and Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio. He also contributes to NFL Network’s Total Access.
Stroud becan covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the National Football League in 1990. Since then, the Bucs have undergone seven coaching changes, the death of owner Hugh Culverhouse and the sale of the franchise to billionaire owner Malcolm Glazer and a stadium referendum. They also celebrated a Super Bowl XXVII victory. His reporting was referenced in Tony Dungy’s best seller, Quiet Strength, particularly because it was Stroud who informed Dungy of the Bucs’ plan to replace him with Giants Super Bowl coach Bill Parcells.
A former Div. I-A baseball player at Arkansas , Stroud brings a unique perspective to sports reporting. During the NFL lockout in 2011, he also served as one of the Times’ beat writers responsible for covering the Tampa Bay Rays.
DENVER (AP) — Seven weeks after a tragedy on the snowmobile course marred the Winter X Games, ESPN decided to scrap the best trick competition, saying it was a move the network had been considering before Caleb Moore's death in Aspen, Colo.
Moore, a 25-year-old from Krum, Texas, died from injuries he sustained when his 450-pound sled rolled over him after a backflip gone wrong during a freestyle competition, which will remain part of the X Games program. In this year's best trick contest, a rider lost control of his machine after falling off and it veered into the netting close to fans.
ESPN spokesman Danny Chi explained to The Associated Press in an email Tuesday that the elimination of the best trick discipline was being contemplated before Aspen and that "our review of snowmobile freestyle continues."
"We will focus on motor sports disciplines that engage athletes who consistently compete in multiple global competitions reflective of the global reach of X Games," Chi wrote in the email.
In a statement, ESPN said the change "reflects our decision to focus on motor sports disciplines which feature athletes who also compete in multiple, world-class competitions (e.g., professional events and tours) reflecting the highest degree of athlete participation, competitive development and the global nature of our X Games franchise."
The Summer X Games will eliminate a similar competition — Moto X best trick. Other motorcycle competitions will still be held.
The safety of snowmobiles came under scrutiny after the two accidents last January.
Moore stayed down for quite some time after his crash before walking off with help and being taken to a hospital to be treated for a concussion. He developed bleeding around his heart and was flown to a hospital in Grand Junction for surgery. The family later said that Moore also had a complication involving his brain.
He died Jan. 31, a week after his accident. It was the first death in the 18-year history of the X Games.
In the best trick event, Summer X Games motocross champion turned snowmobile newcomer Jackson Strong tumbled off his machine after a failed maneuver, only to have the throttle stick when it landed and the snowmobile swerve toward the crowd as fans scrambled to get out of the way. No one was seriously injured.
Winter X officials recently scratched a snowmobile freestyle demonstration set for later this month in Tignes, France, so organizers could review safety protocols.