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Beleaguered Bucs fans deserve a win Sunday

So how do you think the Bucs will lose Sunday?

Will a rogue wave sweep over MetLife Stadium just as Mike Evans is running into the end zone for a winning touchdown?

Or maybe a UFO will zap a perfect Ryan Fitzpatrick spiral right out of the sky. Maybe Bane will show up and blow up the stadium just like he did in The Dark Knight Rises.

I know, just as new guy Cairo Santos goes to kick an overtime field goal, holder Bryan Anger will turn into Lucy van Pelt and rip the ball away.

Nothing would be a surprise, right?

Sportswriters don’t root for or against anyone. We’re there to cover the games and offer opinions and perspective. But last week, as my colleague Rick Stroud and I walked down to the locker room following yet another how-did-they-lose-this-one Bucs loss, we watched glum fans head to the exits. And you couldn’t help but feel sorry for everything this franchise has put them through.

Every week is a kick in the teeth, a punch to the gut.

Think about some of the memorable (or is it forgettable?) moments in the Bucs’ losses this season. Think of how they have lost.

They became the first team in NFL history to amass 500 yards of total offense and score a measly three points.

They had one game when they trailed 31-3 at the half. And another when they trailed 31-10 at the half. And another when they trailed 27-9 at the half. And another when they trailed 35-7.

They almost won a couple of those games. Almost. They lost. Of course they lost.

Think of all the odd-ball plays. Like when Pittsburgh’s Vance McDonald stiff-armed Chris Conte onto injured reserve. Like when Jacquizz Rodgers had the ball punched out of his arm and it looked like it was filled with helium. Like when the Bucs tried a Hail Mary lateral play that almost worked to win a game, but, naturally, it came up just short.

Then there’s all those missed kicks and interceptions and fumbles. Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has fired the defensive coordinator. And the kicker. And his starting quarterback — twice.

You can’t make this stuff up. Yet it feels like Bucs fans have seen this before.

This is every year. This is MRSA. This is Roberto Aguayo. This is Josh Freeman. This is Raheem and Schiano and Lovie. This is everything that can go wrong does go wrong.

Forget Murphy’s Law. It should be called Glazers’ Law. That’s the law that says: if a football team can mess something up, it will.

Welcome to Bucs football. Toss out a couple of seasons under John McKay, then most of the Tony Dungy-Jon Gruden eras and what do you have left?

This is a franchise that has had a winning record only 13 times in 42 seasons. It’s a franchise that has won six playoff games in its history and three of those came in the Super Bowl year.

The point is: be kind to Bucs fans. They’ve been through a lot. Hold a door open for them. Let them have the parking space. Let them go in front of you at the super market.

Poor folks.

It’s not getting any better.

The real bummer for Tampa Bay? This was the season that it was supposed to start getting better. It even started off that way. Even without starting quarterback Jameis Winston, the Bucs got off to a 2-0 start. But it has gone 1-6 since with the lone win coming against the hapless Browns.

Cue up the Talking Heads.

Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

This season isn’t over. Not officially. At 3-6, the Bucs aren’t totally dead. A website that rates everyone’s postseason chances has the Bucs with a 4 percent chance of making the playoffs.

Playoffs? Playoffs?

I know, I know. You’re right. The Bucs are just trying to win a game.

Again, sportswriters don’t root. But the good people of Tampa Bay could use a victory on Sunday against the Giants.

After all, haven’t they been through enough already this season?

Contact Tom Jones at [email protected] Follow @tomwjones

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