The vanishing mythology of parity in the NFL

September 21, 2016 general

Wednesday, 4 a.m. Back in the early days of optimism – last week, if you can remember that long ago – there were a few reasons you thought the Bucs might break through to be a playoff team this year. They had a quarterback. The defense was better. The coach made more sense. They had […]

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Lightning finally lose, but they made you care

May 27, 2016 general

Friday, 6 a.m. The wounds are fresh now. The heartache is brand new. The couch is freshly kicked and who knows where you threw the remote control. But when it all over, when the sting has subsided and reason returns to your living room, what will you think then? How will you remember this Tampa […]

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Defense has to show up for Lightning to win

May 26, 2016 general

Thursday, 6 a.m. There for a while, Victor Hedman was the Ice Linebacker. He was fast, and he was large, and never seemed to make a mistake. He skated, and the opponents got the dickens out of his way. He single-handedly made a mortal out of John Tavares. For the second straight year, there was […]

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Lightning believes it has one more surprise in them

May 25, 2016 general

Wednesday, 6 a.m. Sometime in the first period, you doubted. Didn’t you? Sometime in the second, you questioned. Admit it. Sometime before the night was over, you considered giving up, didn’t you. The Lightning looked that lethargic, and the Penguins looked that spirited, and there for a while, you looked for the white flag. You […]

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Kucherov making a name for himself in playoffs

May 23, 2016 general

Monday, 6 a.m. Once, you looked at Marty St. Louis the way you look at Nikita Kucherov. He, too, had the magic. He, too, had the touch. Once, you looked at Steven Stamkos the way you look at Kucherov. He, too, carried the hope of this team. He, too, was the difference-maker. Once, you looked […]

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Lightning lives after almost dying in third

May 21, 2016 general

Saturday, 5:45 a.m. Give up one goal, and it’s a nuisance. Yeah, Andrei Vasilveskiy lost his shutout. But that’s why heaven invented 4-0 leads. What’s the worry? Give up a second goal, and it’s a dilemma. Here come those dangerous Penguins again, scoring as quickly as a sneeze. Still, it’s going to be okay. Right? […]

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Lightning can’t stop Pittsburgh’s dangerous offense

May 19, 2016 general

Thursday, 5:30 a.m. Is this how it ends, in a hail of bullets, with the Lightning unable to match the offense of the Pittsburgh Penguins? Is this how the door closes, with a swarm of bees, with a goaltender desperately trying to swat the odds around from his face? Is this how the season closes, […]

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Bolts win a game, but it doesn’t feel like enough

May 17, 2016 general

Tuesday, 6 a.m. Repeat it to yourself: Things are okay for the Tampa Bay Lighting. Really, they are. Keep reminding yourself that the Bolts won one game in Pittsburgh, which has always been the battle plan for hockey teams. Remember that the Lightning came from two goals behind. Chant that the next two games are […]

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Lightning captures one of its most memorable wins

May 4, 2016 general

Wednesday, 6 a.m. There was the night Marty St. Louis forced Game Seven of the Stanley Cup with an overtime goal. There was the game Tyler Johnson scored with one second to play. There was Ruslan Fedotenko, who scored the winning two goals as the Lightning won the Stanley Cup. There were all those wins […]

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Drouin finds his place with the Lightning

May 1, 2016 general

Sunday, 6 a.m. Imagine being Jonathan Drouin. Imagine being lost, being abandoned, being forgotten. Imagine being home in a holdout to which the rest of the world paid little attention. Imagine hating the past, and questioning the future, and wondering about the present. Imagine no one in the league — no one — offering enough […]

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