The final word on the Glazers
Lately, a shameful form of venom is polluting the Tampa Bay area, and I donít mean the oil from BP. I mean the airwaves and land of the world wide web.

Shallow fans, without the ability to form their own opinion, are being swayed by the shyster elixir salesmen of the airwaves/internet, who would have us believe the Glazers; owners of our Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are less than desirable as owners.

Well, let's take a look at the ins and outs of the Glazers' ownership of the Bucs and try to set things straight for our young Bucs fans who may not know all the ingredients of this elixir poisoning the gulf coast near Dale Mabry.

1) These aren't your father's Glazers- FALSE

Joel Glazer had just as much of an impact in the daily decisions regarding the Bucs in 1995 as he does now. This straight from a St. Pete Times article in Feb. 19th, 1995; "There's no question that we will go after marquee free agents. It'll cost lots of money. We're ready. None of the Glazers pretend to be football experts. We will leave that to the Bucs' professionals, including the General Manager and Head Coach." This was coming from Joel Glazer, not Malcom.

2) The Glazers arenít committed to winning- FALSE!

Of course Joel was talking about Rich McKay and Sam Wyche. Whatever! Now itís Mark Dominik (who trained under McKay as well as others) and Raheem Morris (who trained under Mike Tomlin and Monte Kiffin) that are playing the roles.

Since this statement was made, the Glazers have spent money on free agents, starting back then with Alvin Harper, Kenny Gant, Rufus Porter, Anthony Parker, Bert Emanuel, Keyshawn Johnson, Brad Johnson, Keenan McCardell, Charlie Garner, Tim Brown, Chris Hovan, Juran Bolden, Josh Bidwell, Kellen Winslow, Antonio Bryant, and yet STILL people call the Glazers cheap and claim they donít put money towards producing a winner.

EXCUSE ME, But when has it been proven that you can buy a winning team with free agency? Did anyone check the Washington Redskins lately? Are they busting with Lombardi Trophies that I donít know about?

Fact is, the Glazers have and do continue to spend money on free agents, but they do so WISELY! Because the Super Bowl team was not built with Free Agents, it was AUGMENTED with them. It was built with draft picks first!

What world do you live in that youíre not affected by the economy and the degradation of value of home and other property? My house is now worth 38% of what it was just a few years ago. Do you think the Glazers are immune to this? Which one of you would not have tried to purchase the richest sports team on the Planet?

Before buying the Bucs, the Glazers were trying to get into sports for some years. They were shot down for many chances, but finally walked the corridors in Arizona triumphant.

3) The Bay area press has NEVER really trusted the Glazers from the Get Go. TRUE!

Even when faced with the inevitable purchase of the team, where the only other two options were definitely going to take the team and try to move to Baltimore, the local press was drilling the Glazers as to their 'true' motives.

You see the Glazers had tried unsuccessfully to be granted a franchise in Baltimore that was looking for one. Because of this, local media were suspicious of the Glazers, they thought they were just trying to move the team to Baltimore, despite the fact they pretty much did everything they could to dispel the notion.

The Glazers came right out and said they needed a new stadium. The price they paid meant the Glazers would lose 10-15 million dollars a year in Tampa Stadium. That is simply an amount NO ONE can live with! Yet at the time, you have many Bay Area residents who didnít trust the Glazers, even though it was former owner Hugh Culverhouse what was the one who put the team in this mess to begin with.

4) The Glazers have been sticking it to Bucs fans from the beginning with higher ticket prices- FALSE!

One need only look at the aggressive pricing plans available today, with $35 seats and even less for youths. Sure the Glazers know they have to do that to get people in the stands, but does a family that cares nothing about fans but only the 'bottom line' drop prices like that? TWICE?

Thatís right. Going back to the first year under the Glazers ownership, they slashed prices with the $BUC-50 Zone ticket plan. Over 26,000 seats were available for $19 back then, and even then, that was an attractive price. They did this for Bucs fans to come out to the stadium and be part of something bigger than what was happening before.

Sure no one is perfect. Mistakes can be made, but for the most part, the Glazers turned the Bucs, and their stadium, into more than what it was; Into more than just the sum of all its parts. Going to a Bucs game from 1998 and on became a premium event! Raymond James Stadium is a crown jewel in the NFL landscape, which even these brand new stadiums look to for ideas on how to involve fans in the game.

Bucs fans, there is no doubt that without the entire Glazer family, the Bucs would not be here right now. We would not have enjoyed the Super Bowl; instead, the Bucs would have been a sad, sad chapter in our Gulf Coast Experience. In an era when the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore, and Los Angeles could not keep a franchise. Nor could Houston, heck the LA area lost the Raiders back to Oakland, the Glazers, and the responsible fans who backed them, found a way to save our Buccaneers.