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.
BY: John Mamola / 620wdae.com
If the first two pre-season games mean anything when it comes to a perception of a football team’s future, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ outlook to many is not looking too good right now. A team that has yet to win, and a first team offense that has only managed three points leaves many around the country to believe this could be another year of struggles for ‘Bucs Nation.’
No single player is more under the microscope that Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman heading into the 2013 NFL season. Freeman leads a Bucs offense that ranked ninth in total yards, tenth in passing yards and thirteenth in point scored last season into a 2013 campaign and his final year of his rookie contract.
NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton joined WDAE’s ‘The Sports Page’ on Tuesday and said that the Buccaneers are a talented bunch, but he doesn’t believe Josh Freeman is the answer at the helm for the Buccaneers.
“I love the team you got. I think it’s competitive, I think you’ve improved the team. I believe the coach is stable. The only question you have as far as being a playoff team is the quarterback” said Tarkenton. “Josh Freeman is a big question mark and if you put a gun to my head, I’d say he’s not going to make it.”
Tarkenton called Freeman a “god awful quarterback” based on the fact that compared to other quarterbacks around the same experience level, he’s not performing to the same level as his peers.
“They’ve had him there for four years, and they have question marks about ya? You don’t have question marks about Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco. So that means they don’t think he can play” said Tarkenton.
“He’s not going to get magical and then in the fifth year be Aaron Rodgers, it’s not going to be that.”