Tag:Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Posted on: January 25, 2010 9:13 pm

Not a Solution.

I read an article today hinting at the possibilty that the Rays will be relocating out of the Tampa Bay area. Apparently, someone is making a push for an Orlando, Florida baseball team. Apparently, Tampa and Miami , as well as the many Spring Training MLB teams, are not enough of an attraction for baseball enthusiasts. Despite the poor attendance of the  two time World Series Marlins and the World Series runner up Rays, Orlando feels that Florida has a strong local following for consistent baseball. The problem that no one seems to understand, is that there is no market in Florida for any "hometown" team. There IS NO hometown team! Florida is a great baseball market for out of state teams. Florida is considered the retirement state and often the climate brings down many young northerners. I myself have gone from Florida to California and back, and I have had three friends move to the very city I live in. Neither are Tampa Bay ANYTHING fans. Don't get me wrong, they like Tampa Bay and they root for them when "their team is not playing" but they are not going to be scooping up season tickets anytime soon. If the team is winning they may go to a few more games, but if things are a little tight they will cut back. If the team isn't playing so well, why show up to watch a stinker? They aren't 'their' team anyway, right? It took the Buccaneers nearly 25 years to get the loyal fan support and with the last playoff win coming in 2002, Bucs fans aren't exactly rushing to the gates. The Tampa Bay Rays organization came in with a great business plan and it (thus far) has worked their way on the field. Unfortunately, they didn't anticipate a terrible economy paired with a long drive, a tin can of a "ballpark", and transplant fans. It seems no one takes the time to consider that Florida is unlike ANY OTHER state in the sports market. Pittsburgh baseball fans don't show up because they haven't had a wining product in decades. Detroit football fans don't show up because their team has never even sniffed a Super Bowl appearance. The JACKSONVILLE Jaguars' fans are souring over a franchise that hasn't seen a Pro Bowl in thier existence. It's Florida. Come for the beaches, come for the weather, come for the low taxes. The Ray's are probably going to move at some point or another. It sounds like a general comment, but successful states, like Dallas, Washington, New York, and California have always had a good fan base. Of course, all these teams have multiple championships in various sports. Is it possible both go hand in hand? Yes, of course, but which comes first? I think consistent and prolonged success brings the fans and ultimately, keeps the fans interested. One Super Bowl, One World Series APPEARANCE, one Stanley Cup. Those are the Big Three American Team Sports. Our teams have been in existence for less than 40 years. It will take another 10 years and/or multiple championships for the Buccaneers to gain a diehard fan base. It will take longer for hocket and baseball fans. It is what it is and in reality, it's possible that sports slowly trickle out of Florida and into states with their own identity.
Posted on: December 15, 2009 5:55 pm

Give Raheem Morris some more time!

Come on Buccaneers fans, give the guy a break! Let's not fool ourselves into thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Part of the reason the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are even in this position is because the team was getting older and the new Front Office wanted to go younger. When you release a certain first ballot Hall of Famer on defense, and 3 other starters around the team, you have to replace them with someone. Those replacements haven't been stellar, but some of them certainly have done a good job in their new shoes.  Monte Kiffin, the architect of not only THIS team's defense, but arguably the Tampa Two that many teams run, is now gone. Some of the hardship has come at the Buccaneer's own hand. Hiring and firing both offensive and defensive coordinators wasn't the best publicity stunt. Especially considering that both respective coaches schemes didn't match the personnel and the team made little effort to go out and find the proper replacements for the new scheme. The team didn't go out and spend a lot of money on big free agents, but they attempted to. They tried for DT Albert Haynesworth, they made numerous trade attempts for Jay Cutler. How are those fellas doing on their new teams? They brought in Kellen Winslow, who is nearing season best numbers for a Buc's tight end and although Derrick Ward hasn't had the immediate impact that Michael Turner did in Atlanta a few years ago, he is going through the same struggles that the other backs are with their offensive lineman's new schemes. Don't even get me started on those poor guys! The zone blocking was a bad idea and the loss of Aron Sears has been obvious.

 Now explain to me what the benefit of starting all over again next year would be? ANOTHER new head coach? ANOTHER new offensive coordinator? ANOTHER new defensive coordinator? ANOTHER new playbook? More schemes? Less consistency?  Give the guy a break. Look at what a little success has done to us. We win ONE LITTLE Super Bowl and all of a sudden we should be America's Team East. We are not the Dallas Cowboys. We don't have the rich history of the San Francisco 49ers. Our head coach did not inherit Bill Cowher's Steelers or Tony Dungy's Peyton Manning Colts...oops, I mean Indianapolis Colts. He got an aging team. With second year and third year guys in waiting. We didn't expect much from the start of the season, nor did we expect so little, but who else thought that Sean Payton would have the New Orlean Ain'ts undefeated with a few weeks remaining? Who knew that Matt Bryant would have been so valuable this year? Who expected that the New England Patriots WITH Tom Brady, would have so many losses this year? This league can change in a heartbeat.
As my rose glasses have seen all year, there are positives to be taken out of this season. Freeman is the best physically gifted QB we've had since Doug Williams. Antonio Bryant and Kellen Winslow are the best 1-2 combo we've had catching passes since the Super Bowl run. Caddy is back, Aqib Talib is a shutdown corner, Tanard Jackson is (currently) drug free and a splash player. Raheem Morris is a pretty damn good defensive coordinator and he holds himself as accountable as he does any of his players. The Bucs will have an early draft pick next year and an extra draft pick in the second round because of the Failed Gaines Adams Experiment. How's he doing in Chi town?

Give Raheem a break. Give him and his team some time. We as football fans need to stop acting like the baseball Yankees fans. Our team doesn't have the deep pockets. We don't have the rich history. And we don't currently have the experience to be serious contenders. Give these guys some time, then if we don't see improvement, I'll be in line with the rest of you for Rah's beheading.
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