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The Martin Chronicles

All things sports and beyond.

Mike Evans stands behind Michael Bennett

Mike Evans, left, hauls in a pass in front of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Mike Evans, left, hauls in a pass in front of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.

Bucs receiver Mike Evans was signing autographs for children after Bucs practice on Saturday. As he signed, he talked about Seattle defensive and former Buc Michael Bennett, who last Friday sat during the national anthem and who says he will continue to do so to fight racial injustice.

Evans sat for the anthem in a Week 11 last season to protest the election of President Donald Trump, but his protest lasted one game.

It probably didn't help matters that Evans didn't vote in the presidential election.

I respected Evans decision to sit. I respect his decision to stand again.

Evans said he supports Bennett and his peaceful protest.

"I would have kept doing it, but there were a lot of factors," Evans said. "My wife, she was having a baby. She didn't want to be stressed out with all of that. And then my team - sitting down there with my team up there. That's my team. Those are the people care about."

Bennett had company when he protested last Friday before Seattle's preseason game against Minnesota. A white teammate, Seahawks center Justin Britt, stood next to him with an arm on Bennett's shoulder. …

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Man, I miss Planet Simeon

Simeon Rice, right, works with Bucs defensive end Ryan Russell.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Simeon Rice, right, works with Bucs defensive end Ryan Russell.

Who needs a total eclipse of the sun when Simeon Rice, former Bucs sack king and cosmic force, is in town?

Rice was at One Buccaneer Place the other day to watch practice and tutor Bucs pass rushers, including defensive ends Noah Spence and Ryan Russell. They learned from one of the great rushers in NFL history, 122 career sacks, including 69.5 in his six seasons with the Bucs.

 

The return of Planet Sim brought back memories of a time and a place we might never again see in Tampa Bay sports, when the Buccaneers owned the football world, rulers who entertained deeds and words.

The 2002 Super Bowl champion Bucs would have been a heck of a Hard Knocks. Sim. Sapp. Key. Brooks. Lynch. Barber. Grudn. And on and on.

"You put me and Sapp on? C'mon," Rice said. "Without a doubt, there would have been must-see TV. On the field and off. This was Hollywood South. This was where it was at when we were playing."

Planet Sim, 43, is a movie director these days. His last film was the feature-length Unsullied, which Sim once described as "a thriller/action/suspense film with the backdrop of a drama."

Man, I miss Sim.

As for these days ... …

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Tino Martinez thinks Derek Jeter has what it takes to run Marlins

Former New York Yankees player Derek Jeter waves to fans during a ceremony retiring his number at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Miami Marlins signed an agreement to sell the team to a group featuring Derek Jeter, a person familiar with the deal said Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.

[Associated Press]

Former New York Yankees player Derek Jeter waves to fans during a ceremony retiring his number at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Miami Marlins signed an agreement to sell the team to a group featuring Derek Jeter, a person familiar with the deal said Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.

The sale of the Miami Marlins to Derek Jeter and his partners (a guy named Michael Jordan is also chipping in) awaits approval by Major League Baseball. But Jeter’s friend, former teammate  and fellow Tampa resident Tino Martinez never doubted Jeter would pull this off.

“I’m not surprised,” said Martinez, who played on four world champions with Jeter on the New York Yankees. “Even late in his career, he talked about wanting to own a team one day and run a team. He meant it. He wanted to get involved. I know it’s a long road to get to here, trying to get this thing nailed down.

“He never wanted to coach or manage at all. It was always about owning a team, running a team and trying to win another championship.”

Jeter reportedly plans to head baseball and business operations, and that makes people wonder what that means for another Yankees great, Marlins manager Don Mattingly, as well as Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who is due $25 million next season from a club that is reportedly losing money.

Martinez only knows what he knows. He knows Jeter. …

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Fennelly: An apology to Roberto Aguayo

Roberto Aguayo, pictured during an OTA in May at One Buc Place.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Roberto Aguayo, pictured during an OTA in May at One Buc Place.

The other day, writing about the Bucs waiving kicker Roberto Aguayo, I began this way:

“Goodbye-o.”

It thought it was funny and meant no harm. It sounded like Aguayo’s last name, which happens to end in ‘o.’

But it was Times reader Gerry Hilt of Seminole, who is far more eloquent than I am, who pointed something out:

I know we live in a time when political correctness seems to border on the ridiculous at times. However, I think your use of the made-up word ‘Goodbye-o’ was a little insensitive. I'm not sure if it was intended to be funny or clever, but it was neither.

I can't tell you the number of times I've heard people mock Mexicans by adding an ‘o’ after a word. This may seem trivial, but to a person of Mexican descent it is not.”

Mr. Hilt shouldn’t have needed to point this out to me. I apologize to anyone I might have offended and will strive to do better.

I’ll let Mr. Hilt finish. …

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Tim Tebow: The difference between Tebow and 'Timmy'

In this April 2008 file photo, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow watches the end of the Florida spring game with offensive coordinator Dan Mullen and coach Urban Meyer.

BRIAN CASSELLA | Times

In this April 2008 file photo, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow watches the end of the Florida spring game with offensive coordinator Dan Mullen and coach Urban Meyer.

The Tim Tebow Tour continues tonight when Tebow and the St. Lucie Mets again play the Tampa Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. As part of All Things Tebow, the Times spoke with Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen, who was Florida’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2005-08, a stretch which included two national championships and Tebow’s 2007 Heisman Trophy season.

Here are Mullen’s thoughts:

“I know a lot of people look at stuff Tim does and say is he for real? Is this just a circus? Knowing Tim, absolutely not. He wants to go out and do his very best every day. He loves competing. …

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