I’ve been to bad movies before and walked out of the theater without so much as asking for my popcorn money back.
I’ve eaten bad meals at restaurants and not complained to the chef or server.
I’ve even been on bad dates before and not put out. (Just kidding, of course I did.)
But Thursday night’s Carolina Panthers-Tampa Bay Buccaneers debacle was as unwatchable as well… just imagine the most unwatchable thing you’ve ever seen in your life (the new Michael J. Fox series comes to mind) and put this atop your list. This game was horrifically bad, and just in time for Halloween. Fortunately, most of the fans in the stadium weren’t paying attention.
The Buccaneers lost 31-13 and it wasn’t even THAT close.
I saw dropped balls, passes that hit wide receivers right on their fingertips, only to hit the turf shortly thereafter. I saw other passes that landed nowhere near their intended target. I saw missed assignments. I saw fumbled snaps. I saw disinterested fans. I saw empty seats. I saw billboards and t-shirts demanding the head coach get fired. I entered a men’s room to relieve myself from too many beers, that weren’t doing nearly enough to distract me from the game at hand, without hearing a single drunken hoot, holler, or Go Team. Only silence… and the ironic sounds of another season flushed down the drain.
I saw fans with paper bags over their heads. I heard cannons shot from a faux pirate ship that celebrated their team reaching the red zone. Honestly, isn’t it about time the Buccaneers set their sights a little higher? Or is it that they have all that extra gunpowder in house and no reason to fire it?
This is a franchise with a proud history, Hall Of Famers, a Super Bowl victory and dare I say enough talent on the field to be competitive, although the way they’re playing these days, it’s difficult to tell. We are not the Jacksonville Jaguars… or are we?
There is so much blame going around town, from ownership, to management, to coaching staff, to players to fans, and all of it appropriately so. Face it, they all suck. The only people that can’t be blamed are the sales force for convincing people to invest in such an atrocious product and the beer concessionaires who are grateful just to see people in line.
Three days ago, Josh Freeman’s meager Minnesota Monday night meltdown gave Bucs fans something to smile about, if only for a moment. The former Buc ended up having the last laugh, knowing he was safely miles away – exiled, if you will – from what another ex-teammate recently referred to as “playing in Cuba.” For the record, he wasn’t referring to the sunshiny, art deco, Ricky Ricardo Cuba either. In all fairness to the dinosaur dictator, not even Castro’s Cuba was this bad. At least his citizenry could read a playbook.
The 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers exist in a vacuum with no leadership, far too many questions and not even a shimmer of light at the end of their dark, empty tunnel. I can’t even imagine what’s going on in that locker room.
Nobody knows whose head will be the next to fall. Schiano’s? Dominik’s? The entire coaching staff or front office? Or will the team just pick up and move entirely?
Scoff at that thought all you want, Buccaneers fans. This is the first time in three seasons you’ve bought enough tickets to even partially fill the stadium (couldn’t tell by tonight’s attendance) and this team has given you no reason to reinvest next year.
There are other fan bases that will. I just hope they know what they’re getting themselves into.
And so, your Tampa Bay Buccaneers move to 0-7. Don’t be shocked if another move follows soon afterwards.