Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose
Jean Baptiste Alphone Karr, 1849
I’ve set down bad books before. I couldn’t get through them so I just chalked up the final, unturned pages to writing better left unread. I’m quick to hit the channel changer if a movie I’m watching can’t hold my interest. I’ve even sent back bad bottles of wine.
What I witnessed on Sunday might be the most egregious of them all.
I was one of over 60,000 Buccaneers fans who had planned for months on attending the home opener. It was to be an historic moment for the league, the first time quarterbacks selected numbers one and two had faced each other on opening day. It turned out to be an historic day for different reasons as well.
In late April, Tampa Bay selected Jameis Winston with the first pick of the NFL Draft, confident they had their man. Tennessee was happy with their selection, Marcus Mariota. Both young men would lead their respective franchises for years to come.
On Sunday, it looked like only one of them would.
Character aside, there were questions about Winston’s decision-making ability on the field. He completed passes, otherwise known as interceptions, to the opposing team far too often. After a stellar freshman campaign in which he won a national championship, Winston threw 18 picks his season two at FSU. He continued that trend on Sunday, completing his very first pass to a man in a Titans uniform.
It was run back for a touchdown.
By the end of the first half, Mariota had thrown four touchdown completions; Winston had thrown two interceptions. With a little help from the Buccaneers defense, Marcus Mariota became the first quarterback ever to finish his very first game with a perfect quarterback rating. Raymond James was quiet, except for the booing.
Of course, the loss cannot be blamed entirely on Winston. The entire team played like shit.
This was an organization that launched an off-season campaign to attract more of a female demographic. They should probably apologize or at least ask them for coaching advice.
This is a team that was supposed to be game day ready. On opening Sunday, they allowed more points than any other team in the league.
This was a team that was supposed to make progressions. If anything, they’ve regressed.
This was a quarterback that was supposed to inspire his teammates to play for him. His performance was anything but inspirational.
It was bad, all bad. There was nothing about Sunday’s game that would encourage the sell-out crowd of 64,000 to come back for more, unless of course they were gluttons for punishment.
Buccaneers fans wouldn’t be so bitter if Sunday’s performance was in any way different from anything we’ve already seen. At one point, down 35-7, the Buccaneers faced a fourth down and 42 and that was only because they had gained yardage on the previous play!
It may be the most embarrassing performance I’ve ever seen.
Years ago, before the Buccaneers had their run at sustained success, which is unfortunately a far too distant memory, I went to a game in the Old Sombrero. That nearly unwatchable fiasco ended 9-6 with neither team able to score a touchdown. In the final seconds, the Buccaneers lined up for a 50+-yard field goal to tie things up and send the game into overtime. The kick fell short. The crowd left disillusioned, frustrated they just saw a team unable to score… but at least they were in the game. At least they had a chance to win. At least that team tried.
Sunday’s game was a disheartening defeat to a Titans team that only won two games last year. NFL teams who are that close to each other in talent, or lack thereof, are not supposed to beat the other by thirty points. Heck, the Buccaneers were FAVORED in that game.
We get that Rome wasn’t built in a day but Rome has been under construction for quite some time. These Romans haven’t won at home in ten straight games. What we wanted to see what effort, progress, anything at all positive. We didn’t get that. Not from Jameis, not from the coaches, not from anyone. The twenty-five minute wait in line for concessions was more entertaining.
I’m not writing anything you haven’t already read or felt or shouted at the top of your lungs if you’re a Bucs fan. It’s going to be another long season, and then some, for Tampa Bay. Until they shore up some of their key issues, of which there are plenty, this team might just be unwatchable… unless of course watching shitty football is your thing.
If that’s the case, they’ll be happy to have you. There should be plenty of tickets available.
I want to go on record by saying I always favored the “creamsicle” orange unis the franchise used to rock and I feel if they brought them back you’d be amazed how well they would sell. Better than tickets to future Bucs’ games? Look, I just got done posting how fellow Philadelphians shouldn’t leap off the Ben Franklin Bridge because of last night’s 30 minute performance in a 60 minute game at Atlanta. I will advise you the same even though Tampa Bay’s expectations headed into 2015 are nowhere close to the Eagles. It is but one game. You have a rookie QB. Peyton Manning was throwing the ball to the other team when he first started. Of course he’s kind of doing that again but I digress. It can’t get any worse after last Sunday, right? Get Mike Evans back on the field, get Winston some reps and re-establish the current jerseys Tampa Bay wears and let’s see what happens in a few more weeks. The fact Mariota was the opposing QB makes this whole thing smell fifty times worse. I get that. But this year was just about trying to be competitive in Tampa Bay…perhaps that is still achievable. If not…go Lightning!
Ownership, Coaches and players is the problem. So pretty much everything lol. I watched the game from start to finish and I thought that was one of the worst performances I have ever seen from an NFL team.
There is still a lot of football left for Winston to improve but he has issues with his game as well. He looked great when he had a wall for an OL two years ago at FSU and several NFL wide receivers to throw too. Last year his FSU team resembled this year BUC team and he struggled mightily.
I think the truth is probably somewhere in the middle and he is just a mediocre QB, but time will tell. Being that I am not a BUC fan and don’t like him one bit I hope he fails. Not nice of me to say, but this is sports.
Damn it man, don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel!
That is pretty bad tho – 4th & 42? How in the hell do you get to that point? Maybe they should just put ads up like match.com and turn all the concourses into a dating site to get paying customers in the joint. I’ve got to imagine you saw some eye candy while there.
I’m sure the Falcons will shit the bed next week against the Giants up in NY after almost choking against the Eagles. Eli can’t screw up 2 weeks in a row can he? – wait, he is Eli……
Bucs still suck…One of my 4 losses this week.
Shoulda known better.
…Maybe put some crab legs in the end zone next game.
Do you think Buccanneers’ GM Jason Licht has any reason to regret making Jameis Winston the organization’s number one pick in the NFL Draft? What the hell is Lovie Smith talking about when he says the team shouldn’t be judged one game alone ? Does he have short term memory loss concerning last season and the fact the team went 2-14 and never strung together any type of win-streak over the course of last season ?
Lovie Smith is as dumb as he frigging well looks and a great deal more . All of the rhetoric and pragmatism cannot hide the b#ll#hit , he’s now trying to sell.
Losing has now become an ingrained trait for the Buccaneers and it’s the only thing they’re now accustomed to.
I think the choice of Winston was ill-advised. In college, each averaged 33 touchdown passes per year but Winston averaged 14 picks per year while Mariota only averaged four. That’s a compative huge difference. Winston played with a superior group at FSU compared to Oregon. When they played each other, Oregon beat FSU by 39 points. There are far more knowledgeable football people at Bucs headquarters than I but I don’t understand how they thought Winston would be the better choice.
Great post. Raw & well written.
You know I’ve never been a fan of the Bucs & was even more offended when they drafted Winston ( maybe THATS why they attempted the “Red” campaign targeting women … as a thinly veiled outreach to counter his hire).
Changing their logos, uniforms, colors, players … none of that seems to work. So maybe it’s a change of coaches, owners or city? All they are bringing us now is national embarrassment & local traffic congestion. We deserve better.
We here in Tampa have all told ourselves that, Burnsy. And we should probably adhere to those promises. We knew there were going to be growing pains.
However, that’s easy to say for a fan of a team that wins 8-10 games a season.
What was most discouraging was the fact that the game was in no way competitive. No one in their right mind expects this team to be perfect. We just want effort.
That’s not what we got on Sunday.
That’s exactly the point, D.
Worst performance ever? How is that even possible?
I’m telling you that stadium was rocking on Sunday. We all wanted to see something good. Anything.
After that first defensive penalty and the pick ran back for six, well, let’s just say there weren’t too many happy Bucs fans in Ray Jay.
I actually thought I was going easy on ’em.
Next time I won’t be as polite.
And the day an NFL franchise needs to resort to gimmicks, aka, Red Movement, etc. to attract fans for only eight events a year, well, it’s the day they should probably reconsider their options.
What’s ironic is that Publix is a major Bucs sponsor.
I even saw Publix-Bucs promo with Jameis’ image.
I’d like to see a little more emotion out of Lovie. I’ll have another take on that soon.
I mean, isn’t he as pissed as the rest of us are? And if not, why not?
So who’s making these decisions? Ownership?
Are we to believe the conspiracy theories that they just drafted Winston to sell tickets?
I’ve heard that. Any credence?
I’d hope not. But then again it wouldn’t surprise.
They got my money for Game One. I’m not sure how much more they’re gonna get.
Unfortunately, MoS, you can’t change owners.
Otherwise, that family would have been ousted long ago.
Perhaps I am still a tad bitter about Joe Jurevicius bringing the curtain down on Veterans Stadium. You did win a Super Bowl. Aren’t you folks still celebrating? We’d be.
That was a long time ago, Burnsy.
A lot’s happened since then.
At least you still have Rocky.
We have damn Hulk Hogan.