Mike & Mike Continued...

Joe Montana showed up to talk to Mike & Mike. Montana is one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all-time. During his Hall of Fame career with the San Fransisco 49ers he won 4 Super Bowls, 3 Super Bowl MVPs and was the NFL MVP twice.

Montana signed a lot of autographs, but had to leave when fans became too aggressive.

NFL legend Deacon Jones is considered one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history. He was known as the "Secretary of Defense" and was known for sacking quarterbacks. During his interviewed he discussed how the nature of the game has changed and that the league protects quarterbacks too much.

Recently retired New York Giant and current Fox analyst Michael Strahan made an appearance. Strahan is a sack master in his own right holding the NFL single season sack record. He won the Super Bowl last year with the New York Giants.

Enjoy these "paparazzi" shots from Super Bowl week here in Tampa.

Mike & Mike in the Morning...

Tuesday morning ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" had an all-star line-up. Here are a couple photos I snapped while watching the show. First, is one of Shannon Sharpe surrounded by safety officers. I liked the motion of the photo as Sharpe was rushed onto be interviewed.

Shannon Sharpe played Tight End for the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens. When he retired he held the majority of major receiving records for tight ends. He is a finalist for the Hall of Fame this year.

Former Bucs and Raiders defensive lineman Warren Sapp appeared and stopped to sign some autographs.

Sapp reacts to a fan who wanted a high five here.


Trent Dilfer and Brady Quinn

Trent Dilfer and Brady Quinn appeared on ESPN Radio's "The Herd" with Colin Cowherd. Brady Quinn won the Maxwell Award in 2006 for being the best college football player in the country and just finished his rookie season as quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. Trent Dilfer is a super bowl-winning quarterback who played for several NFL teams including the Buccaneers and Ravens.

Dilfer's Super Bowl ring is clearly visible in this picture.

I was lucky enough to get Dilfer to autograph my program and pose for this quick photo.Enjoy!

ESPN Radio at Channelside...

Here are the first few pictures I have from ESPN Radio. Former Bucs and Redskins quarterback Doug Williams...

Earlier in the day former Cowboy and Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin appeared.

When he tried to leave he got mobbed by autograph-seeking fans.

More to come..


SportsCenter Live from Tampa

Here are some pictures from ESPN's stage here in Tampa. They did a SportsCenter special and then NFL Live.

Warrick Dunn appeared on the program "Rome is Burning". Dunn is a veteran NFL tailback who plays for the Buccaneers. He is very popular among fans and has rushed for over 10,000 yards in his career and is also known for his work in charity through his Warrick Dunn foundation and was the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2004.

Here is the host and namesake of the show, Jim Rome.

NFL Analyst Chris Mortensen prepares to go on stage during a SportsCenter special.

Here is another picture of Mike Golic of NFL Live and NFL Radio's show Mike and Mike in the Morning with Tampa Bucs' linebacker Derrick Brooks. Brooks is an 11-time Pro Bowl selection, Super Bowl champion and was the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2002. In his career he has recorded over 1,600 tackles and has been the leader of the Bucs' defense for most of his playing career.

I hope to get more pictures from events around the Super Bowl today. The teams have arrived and today is "Media Day" where players and coaches are required to field questions at the stadium. Enjoy..


Super Bowl Coverage Begins...

As we entered what is known to the NFL as "Super Week" ESPN set up its' main stage right here in Tampa's Cotanchobee park along the Garrison Channel. On Monday afternoon NFL Live was from here. This first picture is of the three hosts, from left to right, Trey Wingo, Mark Schlereth and Mike Golic.

Wingo and Schlereth as they interview Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks.

The NFL Live crew with Derrick Brooks.

After the show Wingo and Schlereth stopped to sign autographs for some fans.
When they left I stopped them to see if they would let me take a picture mentioned I was a big Broncos fan and Schlereth is 3-time Super Bowl winner and Broncos great. The below picture is of me with Mark Schlereth. The picture was taken by SportsCenter anchor Wingo who jokingly pretended to steal my camera. Both were very friendly and it was a great first day of the Super Bowl media here in Tampa.


History Center Grand Opening...

This past Saturday Tampa opened its new history center. This history center is next to the Channelside Plaza complex and will be a great new attraction along the channel.

Things started off with a Native American flute player then several people key in the construction of the center spoke.
Mayor Pam Iorio gave a great speech with hopes that the center will attract many visitors and help people appreciate Tampa's unique history.After about 45 minutes of speeches, thanks and music the ribbon was cut at around 11:45am.

To learn more about the history center check out their website:



Art in the Streets of Tampa...

Here are a few photos I took of artwork downtown in Tampa. Enjoy...


Tampa Market

The City of Tampa has a market every Friday from 10am to 2pm. Erin and I decided to head downtown to check it out this past week. Here are some pictures from that.

The block next to the market. It was chilly, but sunny.

A vendor of Italian goods: olive oil, olive products, balsamic vinegar and more.
I heed the warning here and avoided the spicy olive dips.

Erin and I spoke with the man selling honey for awhile. The honeys were local and by the season. We bought a pound each of Fall and Winter.

All that walking and looking at food we decided to grab lunch. Erin enjoyed a sausage roll while relaxing on a bench next to the market. I have some more pictures from downtown Tampa to be added soon. Enjoy!

Series for A Sunday....

I thought I would make my next post a series of three images that all go well with today, a Sunday. I wish that I had pictures from the NFL because of course today is Championship Sunday and one of the last football weekends of the year.

This first image is of St. Peter & Pauls cathedral in Krakow, Poland. This was taken on Easter '08. Pope John Paul the II was a priest here long before he was Pope and the posters that can be seen on the front fence are in honor of him.

Sunday is also a good day for leisurely activities. This photo shows a quote written on a window and the clouds behind. Whether you choose to sit outside and look up at the sky or if you are brave enough to tackle Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" Sunday is always a good day to slow down and take some time to relax.

This final image is of the Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin. The statue shows Wilde lounging on a rock and faces out of the corner of a park and he is looking towards his home.

Enjoy these photos and I will be posting more soon!


Fiesole to Settignano, Final Leg

We continued on down the road from the castle and followed our directions into some more off-roading. We walked past a few more farmhouses and also encounter some boars (cinghiale) in a group of olive trees. At first we were frightened by them, but they turned out to be much more frightened off us. They ran off before we could get any pictures or have any other interaction, which in retrospect is probably a good thing. We found that we had to descend some from the hills in to Settignano. The town was quiet because it was a Saturday. Most of the shops and restaurants were closed when we got there. We picked up a bottle of wine from a local vineyard and then stumbled around the village for awhile before find our bus stop near the church in the main square.

The bus back into Florence was a nice trip back down the hills and into the city. After all our walking it was nice to ride for awhile. The trip certainly was full of interesting sights and sounds. It is always nice to get out and walk and really absorb the feeling of place at the speed which nature intended us to move, but after a long day of hiking it is nice to head back to "civiliazation" take a shower, have a warm meal and get out of the rain that started as we were headed in for the day.

I hope to add some more pictures soon of the more "photo" variety. I have a few from here in Tampa that I'd like to put up and I've also been going through more pictures from different trips from '08...


Fiesole to Settignano, Part 5

After a bit more hiking we reached this location, Castel Vincigliata. It was an interesting looking place and the only thing on this section of the road so we took sometime to get closer.

The main entrance was guarded by these lions who had rather sad expressions. We went in and saw a few cars around and heard quite a few people in the interior of the castle.
These lions were on the inside. Whoever built this castle must have really liked the big cats.
We walked around a garden for a bit and managed to peak into an interior courtyard which I got a quick shot of.We think that there was a wedding inside. There were a lot of people in the windows of what appeared to be the dining room and a bunch of cars outside. We poked around as much as we could then head back on our way on the road to Settignano. This was certainly interesting stop along our way. Next stop, Settignano! We still had some more through the woods hiking to do before reaching the town, but this was the last really noted site along the way. I'll post up the final pictures soon...


Fiesole to Settignano, Part 4

Ahh, yes the next part of our intrepid adventure. We followed the path which was better suited for the cloven-hoof as described by our wonderful directions and ran into a few farm houses and some old Fiats which were rather neat to look at, but we weren't so sure we were getting closer to our destination...

Both of these Fiat 500's ( or cinque-cento) were sitting about 100 yards from a remodeled farmhouse and pretty cool to look at. This car was Italy's "Model T", small , affordable and mass-produced it changed the country for ever during it's modernization in the '60's. In the early '50's the average Italian family had no TV or car and most died in the same town they were born in often sharing a massive family property with their extended family. By the late '60's most people had cars, television was widespread and cities grew as Italy rapidly modernized. The Fiat 500 is considered a classic in Italy. In the US many would laugh at this diminutive vehicle, but they miss the point that millions of these cars made it possible for average Italians to get out there on the road and move at the pace of the modern world. This car helped Italy to move out of the dark times of World War II and become a modern nation.
We wandered past through some more olive groves still unsure of our route, but we did find this beautiful tree which sported an impressive canopy of festive yellow foliage.

We eventually found our way to a path and hiked through some woods then hit a road. We followed this in the direction which we felt was correct. We trekked on for awhile unsure of ourselves, but still having fun and watching the darkening sky hoping that rain would hold off long enough to see us through to Settignano. We reached this sign and the church (photo lost) and were rather relieved because it was referenced in the directions. We were on track, it was still dry and cool..In the church yard there was this sculpture of Jesus Christ which I got a quick shot of through the fence. Unfortunately, the pictures of the church itself are lost, but the humble house of worship appeared to be well-maintained and was the only structure we saw on this stretch of our trip.
I'll be posting up the next section of this hike soon and I hope you enjoy the pictures and stories from this trip!