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Thursday, Nov 15, 2018
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Is it too soon to declare life’s a beach for Tampa Bay’s sports teams?

ST. PETERSBURG — It's early.

It's a quarter too early, as a matter of fact.

But flights of fancy are leaving nonstop every hour, and I can't say I blame Tampa Bay sports fans for booking window seats.

Still: Is it too soon?

Is it too soon to think the arrows are pointed up for Tampa Bay sports teams?

Yes. We have the 1-0 Bucs. The Rays are fun. The Lightning, Y-less or not, will soon embark on yet another winning season. USF has another good quarterback. But let's not go Crazy Town just yet.

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Is it too soon to think the Bucs are for real?

Yes. New Orleans was a great beginning, but that's all it was. True, it doesn't get any better than 1-0 and the Super Bowl champs landing in your lap, which is exactly what the Eagles do Sunday.

Is it too soon to say Ryan Fitzpatrick will keep his QB starting job?

Yes. Fitzpatrick just played the best game I've ever seen a Bucs quarterback play. He was responsible for five touchdowns. He could just as easily be responsible for five turnovers Sunday. But I admit I'd have a hard time handing the job back to Jameis Winston if the Bucs are 3-0 in a few weeks. Hand him a clipboard.

RELATED: More Rays coverage

Is it too soon to ask whether Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith will keep his?

Stop someone, anyone, and we'll talk.

Is it too soon to think the Rays will be a factor in October?

At least this October. This sensational Rays revival comes in the wrong season and in the wrong league. Even if you swallow a bottle of 162 pills, it's hard to see them catching up to the second wild card. But if you want to start picking which Rays reliever will start the 2019 World Series, have some fun.

RELATED: More Lightning coverage

Is it too soon to stuff the ballot box for Kevin Cash for AL manager of the year or Blake Snell for Cy Young?

Stuff away, especially for Snell. He's the best young pitcher in the game, as evidenced by his one-hit ball against Cleveland. He should win the award. His numbers (19-5, 2.03 ERA) stand up to anyone.

Is it too soon to decide where to eat before going to a game in the Rays' new Ybor City ballpark?

I would hold off. Grab a drink someplace, then go wait at your nearest rail station. I think it is in Atlanta.

Is it too soon to plan Thanksgiving around USF-UCF week?

Bring the pies. Forget Florida-Florida State. USF-UCF might be where it's at. Charlie Strong might not need to jump to a Power-5 conference. USF and UCF might tag-team their way into one if this keeps up.

Is it too soon to say the Lightning will be the favorites to win the Stanley Cup this season?

Yes, but let's say it just to keep the Lightning's fear up. We've arrived at the "Or Else" moment for the Lightning. Win or else, that is. Pressure? Let's hope so.

Is it too soon to wonder who the Bucs will play in the NFC title game?

Please leave the sample jar near the door. The nurse is right outside if you need help. Oh, and we'll need to draw some blood.

Is it too soon?

Yes, it's all too soon.

Contact Martin Fennelly at [email protected] or (813) 731-802

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