How To Find The Best Apartments For Rent In Tampa Florida

If you have been looking for some of the best apartments for rent in Tampa Florida, moving into it can be a really exciting endeavor which begins with finding the best one. There are some tips that should be taken into account for making it easier to find an apartment. Read more

Buccaneers sign first-round pick O.J. Howard

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tight end O.J. Howard has signed his rookie contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Howard, who was the 19th overall pick in last month’s NFL draft, signed a four-year deal on Monday that includes a team option for a fifth season. He is the first of Tampa Bay’s six draft picks to sign.

Howard, who is 6-foot-6 and 251 pounds, was a third-team Associated Press All-America selection last season. He started 12 of Alabama’s 14 games last season and had 45 receptions for 595 yards and three touchdowns.

The drafting of Howard and signing DeSean Jackson in free agency should give Jameis Winston more options in Tampa Bay’s passing game.

The Buccaneers also announced that defensive end Jacquies Smith has signed his restricted free agent tender.

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Florida A&M Rattlers Prepare to Square Off with Tennessee State Tigers in 2017 Tampa Classic

FAMU head coach Alex Wood and TSU Coach Rod Reed

TAMPA, Florida – Florida A&M University (FAMU), Tennessee State University (TSU) and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission gathered to formally announce the FAMU Tampa Football Classic which will be held on Saturday, September 16 at 6 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium. The Historically Black College and University (HBCU) classic football game will be a true clash of the titans, featuring two of college football’s storied programs.

"We are extremely excited to return to the Bay Area with the Tampa Classic at Raymond James Stadium and look to continue our long-standing tradition of successful classic games through collaboration with our partners in the City of Tampa,” said FAMU Athletic Director, Milton Overton. “Our matchup against Tennessee State will prove to be an exciting contest reminiscent of legendary matchups between coaches Jake Gaither and John Merritt.”

The two teams have faced off numerous times since 1944, with the Tigers holding a narrow 30-24 edge over the Rattlers. Both programs rank in the NCAA Division I FCS Top Ten in all-time winning percentage, and the two schools have combined to win 22 Black College National Championships (FAMU 12, TSU 10). It’s a match-up that shouldn’t be missed.

Before the teams collide on the field, there will be an exciting series of events designed to welcome fans and engage the community.

On Friday, September 15, fans can join community partners, local business leaders and university officials for the FAMU Kickoff Luncheon. This energizing afternoon will feature a number of special guest speakers and provide attendees with a preview of the game and weekend events.

The FAMU Battle of the Bandswill feature top marching bands performing energetic and dynamic routines for fans. This incredible event will also feature performances by our participating schools’ two elite bands, the FAMU “Marching 100” and the TSU “Aristocrat of Bands.”

Finally, the celebration continues on Saturday, September 16 at the FAMU FanFestwhere fans of both teams are invited to enjoy food, beverage and live entertainment all leading into kick-off of this exciting matchup.

“There is no doubt that the FAMU Tampa Football Classic will offer an exciting match-up on the field, but we are equally excited by this series of incredible fan events that will be featured throughout the weekend,” said Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. “We are thrilled to be welcoming FAMU and TSU fans to our community and to showcase all that Tampa Bay has to offer.”

Tickets for the FAMU Tampa Football Classic start at $38. Select seat locations are available now on All stadium seating locations will go on sale to the general public beginning on June 1 at 10 a.m. Fans can purchase premium seating before June 1 by signing up to become a FAMU Investing In Champions member. For more information on how to join, visit Additional details for each of the ancillary events will be released in the coming weeks. To learn more visit and follow @SportsTampaBay on Twitter.


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The Best Things To Do In Tampa Florida

Most who visit Florida spend most of their time in the Orlando area. It’s understandable, but these visitors are missing out on the awesome things that Tampa Florida offers just an hour away! Here are three things you’ll definitely want to check out:

Visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Now, this park is pretty neglected by fans of the other parks in Orlando. This will actually work to your benefit as Busch Gardens is definitely a diamond in the rough. Sporting amazing coasters like Shiekra and Cobra’s Curse, there’s something for every thrill seeker out there.

The park’s Halloween and Christmas events are also probably the best in Florida, especially since the crowds are more sparse.

Head Over To Clearwater Beach

Every Florida “guide” out there will tell you that Daytona Beach and Cocoa Beach are the best beaches to visit in Central Florida. They’re good tourist beaches, for sure, but Clearwater beach is rarely mentioned on purpose. It is easily the best beach in Central Florida. The sand is pristine, the water is usually clearer (hence the name) and the other visitors are very respectful.

The only thing you really need to worry about? Accidentally stepping on a ray! As long as you shuffle your feet in the water though you should be fine.

Catch A Cheap Rays Game

There was a brief time in the mid-2000s where the Tampa Bay Rays really looked like they would vault to perennial contender status with the Yankees and Red Sox. The team, unfortunately, hasn’t panned out as planned and usually sits on the edge (or out) of playoff contention.

The good news is that this means the tickets are very cheap, even when a high caliber team comes to town!

Tampa Florida offers a lot more than these experiences, so do some more research and consider adding a stop on your next Florida visit!

New Tampa, FL Real Estate: Open Houses

So you want to look at some open houses for sale in New Tampa this weekend? Good idea. An open house planned by the right realtor can help you in any number of ways: Open houses provide you information on how to list and show your own house and they can give you an idea of the quality of homes in an area before you waste too much time going house to house.

The best open house of all? The open house that you end up owning. Take a look at the open houses in and near New Tampa listed by our partners at

Joe Cole on following in the footsteps of Rodney Marsh in Florida: ‘I thought I was finished but I feel alive in Tampa’

There used to be a joke around Tampa Bay that St Petersburg was where old people went to die. ‘God’s waiting room,’ they called the city.

But for Joe Cole, now a football veteran, joining Tampa Bay Rowdies has given him his life — and playing career — back again.

In an interview at his plush apartment in downtown St Pete — as the locals call it — Cole reveals how he almost retired from playing in 2015 when his body failed him, explains why he has become Tampa Bay’s resident expert on Brexit and what former club Chelsea will miss most when his friend John Terry leaves in the summer.

Joe Cole joined the North American Soccer League’s Tampa Bay Rowdies in May 2016

Yet while he talks enthusiastically about the game, an aspect he most relishes about moving away from England is that he can walk down the street and not get asked about football.

Rowdies employees say the thing they like about Cole is that although he is a big star, he is known as ‘Joe who gets coffee every morning’, at the local coffee shop on 2nd Avenue, and ‘Joe who watches the game at the bar’ — favouring The Moon Under Water, a British pub beneath his apartment building.

It is here that he spends time watching more Premier League football than he ever did back in England, sitting under the Scotland and St George’s flags hanging from the ceiling and the Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool scarves around the bar, a small part of home, 4,500 miles away.

Cole celebrates with Rowdies’ Neil Collins, who also played in England with Sunderland

‘I’ll have more conversations with people because it’s not all about football,’ he says. ‘For some reason I’ve become the expert on Brexit for the whole of Beach Drive. They hear my accent and ask me what’s happening. I say, "It might affect coffee prices".’

Cole walks the half-mile from his apartment to training and home games at the Al Lang Stadium, where they play on a patchwork pitch, palm trees in one corner and yachts on view from another.

He cannot completely escape home. As we stroll to the recent home game against Charleston, two Americans call his name, shout ‘Irons’ and make West Ham’s trademark X with their forearms (which Cole returns), but largely he is left alone.

Cole admits he considered retirement at Aston Villa ‘because my body was letting me down’

‘I walk down the road every day, I’ll say "Hello" to the guys in the coffee shop. They’ll ask how we got on at the weekend — that’s it. Then it’ll be like, "Lovely day", or "What’s going on with Theresa May and the election?" — that’ll be the new one now.’

Cole, now 35, returned to England last Christmas and found the attention difficult. ‘It was really getting to me because I’d not had it for seven months. I realise the anonymity I get here is precious.’

Yet none of this would be an issue if Cole had retired at Aston Villa. ‘I was considering packing it in, because my body was letting me down,’ he admits.

Cole celebrates winning the Premier League with his wife Carly and daughter Ruby Tatiana

‘At Villa a doctor said I needed surgery on my hip but I couldn’t afford the time. I was training on one leg for six months. I should’ve just got it sorted. It didn’t work and I was disenchanted.

‘I went all around the world looking for people: Belgium, Germany, America, all the best people and no one could sort me out. Ever since I did my knee at Chelsea (in 2009) it was an uphill struggle.

‘I tried all the weirdest, wackiest treatments: chiropractors, osteopaths, reflexologists, acupuncturists, physios, kinetic energy people, I’ve had nutters putting magnets on me. I stopped short of seeing a faith healer. I went to see a guy in London and it was last-chance saloon.’

Joe Cole scored during a match against Charleston Battery for the Tampa Bay Rowdies
Marsh during his spell at the North American Soccer League club – from 1984-1986
Marsh competes for the ball against Pele – the Brazilian was playing for the New York Cosmos

Cole was taught to listen to his body and to stop putting pressure on it. He adds: ‘Then I moved to Coventry and played without injury and I got my love back for the game, then Tampa Bay came along. I’m just as proud of anything I achieve now as what I achieved in my prime. I wish I found this way (of managing my body) six years ago, just after I did my knee. I’m convinced I’d still be playing in the Premier League.’

Unlike Cole, his former England and Chelsea team-mate Terry largely avoided injury and only now, at 36, has he decided to leave Stamford Bridge. Cole used to go out drinking in Essex with Terry and Michael Carrick when they were younger players.

Cole was in the massage room at Chelsea’s training ground with Terry when the defender received the call from Steve McClaren in 2006 to say he was being made England captain.

Cole during his spell in Ligue 1 with Lille, who he joined on loan from Liverpool in 2011

‘When I signed for Chelsea, he was the first person to see me as I walked through the door,’ Cole says. ‘Although he’s only a few months older, he put his arm around me and it was like, "I’ll look after you" like the new kid at school, like an older brother.

‘Chelsea will miss that. They are a well-run club but forget everything he does on the pitch, it’s the unseen things as a captain. I remember I was having a bit of a rough time there. He recognised it and got one of the video analysts to make a compilation of all my best bits. It was a little touch but it really lifted me.

‘For him to even notice that… in football you’re so focused on yourself and your own game, to have an eye on everyone else in the club is remarkable. You can’t quantify that. He was a younger man then, as well, and to have that empathy — that’s one of a million things the club will miss.

Cole came through West Ham’s youth system before leaving the club for Chelsea in 2003

‘They’ll have to spend a lot of money to replace him. He’d love it out here. He’d be perfect for any club out here. Anyone would take him.’

The Florida way of life might be more relaxed for Cole but the sporting demands are still intense. When we meet for this interview, he has just been away for six days playing games in Louisville and Cincinnati.

His one-year-old son Max is already in bed, but Ruby, seven, and Harry, four, have waited up to see dad. As the discussion continues, they both climb on a knee and Ruby calls him the best daddy ever. ‘Why you being nice to me? You’re never nice to me!’ Cole jokes, and they dissolve into giggles.

Cole says his time as a Coventry player in League One ‘got his love back for the game’

‘It’s nice to be playing football and still wanted — that’s what I do it for,’ Cole says, the words muffled by his children’s cheeks squashing his face. ‘I’d love still to be playing in the Premier League but my body unfortunately slowed down a lot quicker than other people’s.

‘I started young, similar to Wayne Rooney, I blew out my knee at 28. I’d love still to be playing for England. I watched the Champions League games the other week and felt that buzz.’

Here, Cole is part of something bigger than just football: he is a key player in a shift of sporting culture. Football once flourished in the area, when Rodney Marsh arrived in 1976 with his long golden locks — complementing the club’s gold and green colours — and they won the North American Soccer League in his first season.

The original Rowdies averaged 30,000 attendances at their peak and Marsh became one of the Bay’s most loved athletes. They folded in 1994, but the Rowdies returned in 2008 and real estate billionaire Bill Edwards became majority owner in 2013. Cole is Edwards’s Marsh.

Cole’s spell at Liverpool saw the midfielder struggle with a series of injury problems

‘There were a couple of times when I needed to get home for a family emergency and Bill let me use his jet,’ Cole says. ‘Imagine how much that costs him. My grandad was a big QPR fan so he grew up telling me stories about Rodney Marsh. He wanted me to play like him. Tampa Bay Rowdies were always in my mind.’

Now, they are challenging towards the top of the United Soccer League’s Eastern Conference and a bid to join the MLS has been lodged at the league’s New York HQ. The recognition Cole brings is a major part of that.

At the club, he is helping coach younger players and has input into decisions with manager Stuart Campbell. Cole wants a crack at management after he retires, although he has not decided when that will be. He has helped coach England Under 18s and is completing his A licence. The ultimate aim will be to manage the national team he is passionate about, having been part of the under—achieving ‘golden generation’.

‘John Stones, Ross Barkley, Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Eric Dier — they’re better than us, better players, a better group, they just need a bit of time and belief and they can do it.

‘Ross Barkley or Dele Alli could win you the next World Cup, but they’ve got to be allowed to make mistakes.

‘The "golden generation" came from the fact we were all so young doing so much in the Premier League. Most of these guys have taken slightly longer to get in the teams but they’ll be more seasoned than us come tournament time.’

‘God’s waiting room’ has brought Joe Cole back to life.

Cole describes Ross Barkley (pictured), Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Eric Dier as ‘better than us’

Attack On Tampa Cop: 3rd ‘Hero’ Named (Video)

TAMPA, FL — The Tampa Police Department has released the name of the third person who took action to help Officer Michael Collins during a violent struggle with a burglary suspect on Wednesday. The agency has also released surveillance video captured by a camera at Raymond James Stadium just moments before the altercation occurred.

Collins, a 27-year veteran of the force, was released from the hospital Wednesday night after suffering injuries in the April 19 attack, the agency reported in a Thursday email to media. Police also amended their initial report to include the name of a third resident who came to the officer’s aid Wednesday.

James Jones was on his way to register for a summer softball league when noticed the officer struggling with burglary suspect Luis Manual Vila, 18, the agency’s Thursday email said. Jones, police say, “helped bring his (Vila’s) arms together so Officer Collins could handcuff the suspect.”

The encounter between Collins and Vila reportedly began when police received a disturbance call from the 4732 N. Dale Mabry Highway Econo Lodge around 1:30 p.m. Police say hotel staff reported that a man had walked through the building and swiped a keyring that belonged to the manager before leaving.

A short time later, Collins spotted a man that fit the burglary suspect’s description walking along Himes Avenue, near Ohio Avenue. The officer tried to speak to the man, but was met with resistance, the police department said. Before long, the man, later identified Vila, became combative.

When Collins tried to detain him, Vila allegedly “struck the officer,” the email said. Collins attempted to deploy his taser, but the device “had little effect.”

At some point during the struggle, police say Collins and Vila ended up on the ground. As Collins tried to subdue Vila, police say Vila continued to strike the officer.

As the two were on the ground, cabbie Ray Freeman came across the scene and decided to help Collins. Freeman was also struck, the agency said. Around that time Delores Lyle, who was making a delivery in the area, also spotted the struggle and chose to act.

“She grabbed the suspect’s feet to keep him from standing up, then sat on his legs,” the police department reported.

Just when Jones jumped into help isn’t clear. Police say Lyle and Freeman helped restrain Vila, while Jones brought his arms together so Collins could cuff him.

Collins was taken to the hospital to be checked out after the scuffle. He was released around 7:30 p.m. April 19, the police department said. The agency hasn’t elaborated on any injuries Collins may have suffered.

Vila was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, battery and burglary. He remained in the Hillsborough County Jail Thursday in lieu of $12,000 bond, jail records indicate.

As for Lyle, Jones and Freeman, police say they’re heroes.

“They were not afraid to get involved,” Chief Eric Ward said in a statement. “This is a true example of law enforcement and the community working together to keep our city safe."

Keep up with what’s happening by following Tampa Patch on Facebook.

Photo and video courtesy of the Tampa Police Department

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Fun Things That You Can Do While Visiting Tampa Florida In The Summer

Are you headed out to the west coast of Florida on a vacation? If you choose any city to visit, Tampa should be at the top of your list. It is right on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and there are many things that you will be able to do including view unique animals, check out African themed amusement parks, and also see the very famous Busch Gardens. Let’s look at a few other things that you may want to consider if you are traveling there with your family, or even by yourself, during the summer.

The Florida Aquarium

One of the top aquariums in the state of Florida, the Florida Aquarium is a place you should certainly visit. If you enjoy looking at fish, and also participating in activities that put you close to the water, you cannot go wrong with this particular location. They have wonderful exhibits which includes journey to Madagascar are, Wetlands Trail, and Bays and Beaches. These are just a few of the things that you will be able to do, plus check out the absolutely wonderful aquarium that will astound you because of its diversity in size.

A Sunset Cruise On The Gulf

One of the many benefits of being on the West Coast of Florida is that you can enjoy some of the best sunsets in the world. Although you may have seen many before, these are very different because you can go with a company like Clearwater for under $30, and watch the sunset from the water. While you are there, the captain will talk about interesting historical facts, allowing you to learn information and enjoy the scenery.

These are just a few of the many things that you will be able to do once you get to Tampa. Hopefully you are going to stay for several days. There are a multitude of attractions that bring people into this area from all over the world. If you have never been to Tampa before, it’s definitely going to be at the top of your list for vacation destinations from that point forward.

Useful Tips When Looking For Apartments For Rent In Tampa Florida.

Renting an apartment is a big investment. This is why you must ensure that you get the best apartment at the best price in the market. With some guidelines, you can get the right apartment to rent in Tampa Florida. Here are some useful tips.

Find Out When Low Season Is.
The people to best tell you when the low season is are the movers. They will be aware of what times most people are moving in or out of apartments. If you rent during the low season, you will get a very good apartment at good prices too. Apart from that, there will be many apartments available and you can compare each then settle for the one that suits you.

Think About Security.
It is important that you rent a place that you feel comfortable in. You shouldn’t always have to worry that your apartment will be broken in to. This is why it is advisable to find out which the best estates are when it comes to security. Always ask around to find out if the place you are intrested in is secure at all times.

Save In Advance.
Prices change all the time. This is why you should save months before you rent. In addition to that, you may be required to pay more money to realtors or for repairs. You should also consider the moving prices. Most places will ask for security deposit for the place so you should have some saved up.

Get A Good Landlord.
A landlord will determine if you will have a peaceful time at your new place or a hard time. Find out from the tenants before you move in if the landlord listens to the tenants. This will tell you the kind of relationship to expect. If there are any repair issues in the place, they should be handled before you move in.

Rules About Pets.
Most rental apartments have certain rules about pets. It is important to find out what the stand is on pets in the compound before you move in. This ensures you avoid any problems with the landlord if you have a pet or should you want one in the future.

It is also best to find out how far places like restaurants or malls are and if you have easy access to cabs in case you want to get somewhere fast.

Apartments For Rent In Tampa – A Perfect Choice For Everyone

In Tampa, you could feel all the brilliance of Florida. There you could comfortably lounge on the beach or swim in the crystal clear waters. But this unique city is not limited to the beaches. There are large numbers of attractions that deserve attention. In the central part of the city are the majestic skyscrapers. Best apartments for rent in Tampa Florida possess many advantages. Read more