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August 26, 2001
Bucs
Bucs offense
finally clicks


[Times photo: Kevin White]
After blowing some early opportunities, Brad Johnson throws two TDs in a 20-3 win over the Patriots.

Gary Shelton
The end zone no longer is out of reach
TAMPA -- When the cannons began to fire, the first thing that entered your mind was this: Uh-oh, the fans finally have figured out where offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen was standing on the sideline.

Stecker your preseason go-to guy
TAMPA -- Call him Mr. August.

Kelly enjoys the journey, waiting to set his mark
He is razzed by his teammates for being somewhat Victorian in his philosophies, and Bucs fourth-year cornerback Brian Kelly takes it all in stride. Consider his views on God, fashion and grooming, the arrival of Dwight Smith and the Dale Earnhardt tragedy:

Coming out party for Rice
Defensive end Simeon Rice unleashes terror on New England's passing game as he synchronizes with Warren Sapp.

Receiver turns nothing into key production
After two games of "zero, zero, zero," Keyshawn Johnson plays a big role in the offensive resurgence with 5 catches.

Spotlight turns on night life of hometown QB
TAMPA -- Shaun King did not break a team rule, much less the law, when he was caught on videotape early Monday in a heated discussion with a plainclothes Florida Highway Patrol trooper.

Darrell Fry
Rematch loosens tongues
The Ravens and Giants meet in their preseason finale Friday in what will be a rematch of last season's Super Bowl in Tampa, which Baltimore won 34-7. Guess who has started trash talking about the rematch?

Hubert Mizell
Women likely will deliver unusual punch at the U.S. Open
America's king sport, football, is nearing full collegiate/NFL buzz. Baseball promises September screams, with dynamic races, plus startling pursuit of Mark McGwire's exotic 70-homer record by a not-so-easy-to-like Barry Bonds.

Devil Rays
Brazelton agrees, will join Rays soon
No. 1 pick's $4.8-million deal includes a spot on roster for final month of season.

Alvarez will finish the year on the DL
ST. PETERSBURG -- Wilson Alvarez is done -- again.

Vaughn, weather shower Rays with good fortune
Power outage due to storm helps Joe Kennedy win 8-4 as Greg Vaughn breaks out of a slump.

Rumors thrust team into contraction mix
ST. PETERSBURG -- As long as the Rays keep losing, there will be questions about the ability of the players and the decisionmakers. And until they get straightened out off the field, there will be concerns about the viability of the franchise.

Rays tales
QUITE A CATCH: The movie Summer Catch, which opened Friday, is sure to generate interest in the Cape Cod League, where top college players annually congregate, living with host families, doing odd jobs during the day and playing serious games at night.

Baseball
Sosa finds consistency at plate
Paul Wilson leaned back on two legs of a padded folding chair, eyes set on WGN's broadcast of the Cubs game Friday afternoon.

Sosa supreme
Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa has more home runs since the start of 1998 than anybody else in the majors. He no longer is a one-dimensional player, but is a more selective hitter (93 walks this season). The result: 49 HRs, 129 RBI, 125 strikeouts and a .731 slugging percentage. Here are the home run leaders since 1998:

Romano could be latest in long line
The '97 Saladino Award winner might be close to a major-league call-up; if so he joins elite company.

Baseball this week on TV

Little League World Series
Florida in title game
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Brandon Brewer kept the emphasis on "little" in the Little League.

From Williamsport to Cooperstown
What does the future hold for pitcher Danny Almonte, right, the 12-year-old Little League sensation from the Bronx, N.Y.? Any number of things, as it turns out. He could become a hockey player like Chris Drury, basketball player a la Bill Bradley and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or even a rock star as Huey Lewis and Bruce Springsteen did after their Little League careers.

College football
Mr. Blackwell says style is all his own
Like NFL players Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb, the USF quarterback can do it all.

Yellow Jackets shut out FSU buzz
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Paul Pasqualoni knows how scary it is to be touted as a national title contender. His 1992 Syracuse team was ranked No. 10 in the preseason, lost its first two games and never recovered.

College football around the state
Memo to FSU's Rix: Don't get comfortable

College football this week on TV
Today

Et cetera
Highs and lows

Week in sports

Letters
Youth champs ignored
I am disturbed that a local youth baseball team (Palm Harbor Senior League) wins the world championship (in a 3,600-team tournament) and the only coverage you provide is a diminutive article on page 16C in Sunday's Times. As sports writers, you should know how difficult it is to win a title at any level. Burying the article so deep in the sports section diminishes the perceived importance of the title and is insulting to the young team's accomplishment.

Golf
Golf briefs
Furyk maintains lead over Tiger

Outdoors
Pinch off some late-summer fun
It was always the "pinchers" that were most intriguing in my youth.

Outdoors calendar
REGULATIONS: Snook season opens Saturday.

Daily fishing report
Anchoring properly is a fundamental task for boaters. It is a necessity for some types of fishing and a safety issue for all vessels. But the lack of ground tackle on many boats is surprising.

Mutiny
McCarty's big day comes
The Mutiny defender, back from a broken left ankle, returns against New England.

Tennis
Women's final goes prime time
CBS gives a Sunday night to the U.S. Open, the first time a singles final has been shown in prime viewing hours.

Colleges
Tampa signs nine, including four from county
TAMPA -- The University of Tampa announced this week the signings of nine baseball players, including four from Hillsborough County high schools, for the 2002 season.

Preps
Two of a kind are on the way up
Nicole Britenriker and Beverly Stasis haven't met frequently, but likely will soon in leading their teams' playoff ambitions.

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