© St. Petersburg Times, published January 20, 2003
How could sports columnists Gary Shelton and John Romano predict the Eagles would win? Your hometown team, the Bucs, were in one of the biggest games of their history, and you have the nerve to say in writing that the Bucs are going to lose. You have no right to come to the parade. The true Bucs fans believe!
-- Richard A. Myers, Seminole
Gary Shelton should simply never return to Tampa from Philadelphia, given his empty cynicism, worthless analysis, and pathetically incorrect call of the NFC Championship Game. I'm sure he's either deeply disappointed that the Bucs won convincingly -- or, worse, he simply doesn't care.
In either case, his listless writing and uninformative, lazy prose stains the otherwise stimulating pages of the St. Petersburg Times, which deserves better and which has diminished in the sports section since the departure of Hubert Mizell. Shelton is a journalistic midget who tried lamely to pull a magnificent coach and team down to his level. It's a good thing he doesn't matter at all, as Warren Sapp noted in advance.
A word from an avid reader: improve your paper by removing Shelton's negative drag.
-- Stuart I. Carrier, Tampa
So much for home team spirit. I was quite disappointed (but not surprised) that both Gary Shelton and John Romano picked our Bucs to lose to the Eagles. The Times should not pay to send Shelton or Romano to San Diego. After all, they both did not expect the trip to happen in the first place. We'll be happy to read columns by Mills and Stroud.
-- Carmine Cordone, Clearwater
Best thing about this football season? It's January, we played in Philly and Tony Dungy was a thousand miles away!
-- David Eisenbart, St. Petersburg
At long last we are going to the Super Bowl. Philadelphia underestimated the will of Tampa Bay. The Eagles figured that the weather would destroy the team. I don't think the other teams will make that statement any longer. Jon Gruden showed real class and what kind of person he was when he spoke highly of Tony Dungy. Tampa Bay has a first-class team and a first-class coach.
-- Janet Haley, St. Petersburg