Bucs go cold to finish season
Tom McEwen, The Tampa Tribune, published 4 January 2010

My wife Linda and I have been season ticketholders for the Buccaneers and for the preseason games in the seasons before we had regular games. We had them this year, and we will buy them again prior to the next season, hopefully at a lower price considering the misdeeds of the Buccaneers - like Sunday’s chilling loss to Atlanta in a game they could have won.

If Raheem Morris is or is not retained will not affect that decision. We will buy the tickets with or without Coach Morris. The club owners make the decisions on their coaches, not we season ticketholders. That is not to say that they won’t mull over this one to some extraordinary length considering the lousy season just ended at Raymond James Stadium in the coldest air to surround that grand facility in many years.

The Buccaneers just played badly, pretty much from the start. In the fourth period, they had every chance to win the game. It has been a characteristic of this team not to win in the clutch, and hopefully that is not ingrained.

We had all felt Morris was a decent choice to be the head coach when the owning Malcolm Glazer family chose him a year ago. Clearly, he has not done as well as they expected him to do, and as I expected him to do and as you expected him to do, because of a sad, sad lacking on his roster. He doesn’t have enough. He has doggone few stalwarts, certainly not enough to contend for championships, and that was all the more apparent in the loss Sunday.

After the game, talent man Mark Dominik stopped by and said to me, “We are going to get better quickly. We have 10 draft picks for next season and they are going to help us. We are going to be very, very careful.”

I got the impression that Dominik and the Glazer family have no intention of wholesale changes beyond the people rostered or in their grasp. They seem to believe that they have the nucleus for a title-run team and will get down to that business today, or did it last night. Knowing the Glazers, we also are aware that the family seeks nothing less than another Super Bowl contender as soon as possible.

I began to get the feeling in these last Buc games that season ticketholders and loyal fans are very angry that there has not been greater success for this franchise in the last couple of years. However, I don’t see anyone abandoning tickets right now, but there may be a reduction in the prices with the world economy on the wane and everyone now so aware of it.

The Glazers clearly have no intention of abandoning worldwide sports since they are now owners of the world’s greatest soccer franchise, Manchester United. It is regrettable that they have not brought Manchester United to Tampa for exhibition games at their great facility on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

The greatest disappointment Sunday, truly, was the awful weather, the frigid cold that swept over us in Tampa, the second-coldest on record for a Bucs game, that cut the crowd in half. It was simply too uncomfortable for any outdoor activity, even football.

The Glazers certainly don’t listen to you and me, but we need to go on record as recommending that they quickly straighten out their house on MLK with the right players, the right coaches in the right position and hopeully the schedule will include Manchester United and other major sporting events. Won’t hurt you, Raheem Morris, to get behind this too, to save your role if that is what it will take.