Ernest Hooper, Assistant Sports Editor

Ernest Hooper

Assistant Sports Editor

When I look in the mirror every morning, I realize I like the guy looking back at me. Don't get me wrong. The man in the mirror comes with flaws. He needs to eat less, exercise more and try not to get so caught up in his own thoughts. But I still like him. I like having a wife willing to put up with all my flaws after nearly three decades of marriage. I like that God has blessed me with three children -- two sons and a daughter -- who have grown to become great young adults. I like that every morning I awaken excited about journalism, the awesome opportunity to connect with readers in ways both big and small. I love coffee, but serving Times readers represent my true caffeine. Most of all, I like that guy looking back at me -- all of his loves, all of his memories and all of his weird personality traits -- because he's still pushing to do more, be more and learn more. Nothing matters more than looking in that mirror and appreciating the man who looks back at me because that drives me to be better.

Our ranking of the top 100 Tampa Bay Buccaneers ever starts here.

Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman turned in some quality seasons, but never reached the playoffs. CLIFF MCBRIDE
Counting down No. 100 to 76 includes one of the franchise’s biggest flops, an NFL rookie of the year and a future broadcasting star.

NFL Week 6: Papal blessings for the Saints and other observations

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates his touchdown against the Chiefs during the second half of the game in Kansas City. Ed Zurga  |  AP
Road To Miami: Quarterback play continues to soar, for some teams - allowing us to realize who’s coming

Bucs-Panthers from London: Carolina crushes Tampa Bay

Carolina Panthers cornerback Javien Elliott (23) celebrates with teammates, including former Buc Gerald McCoy, after intercepting a Jameis Winston pass in London. Tim Ireland  |  AP
Winston miscues, porous pass defense leaves Bucs with a lot of questions, few answers.

Bucs picks explained: Can Tampa Bay sweep Carolina?

Bucs cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting and the Tampa Bay secondary will be tested again in London. Will they be ready for the challenge? Butch Dill  |  AP
The NFC South rivals meet again, this time in London. The Bucs will look to duplicate their Week 2 win, but it won’t be easy.

Tampa native Lance McCullers has no confusion about his allegiance

Tampa native Lance McCullers, Jr., is imploring Astros fans to come out and root for Houston Thursday. AP
The Astros pitcher, on the injured list, is solidly behind Houston as it takes on his hometown Rays in Game 5.