Buccaneer winning streaks
You may not have noticed, and judging by attendances, you haven't, but the Buccaneers are on a win streak right now.
My thanks to the broadcast legend that is Bob Uecker and the incomparable "Major League" for that opening but the fact remains that Greg Schiano's team are on a three-game roll right now. Minnesota, Oakland and then San Diego, two of which were on the road.
And all without two Pro Bowl guards, their leading sacker from last season, the Swiss Cheese secondary and their top cover corner being traded away for multiple off-field indiscretions.
But aside from that, the continued wearing of my Buccaneer victory tie at work each Monday led me to think back to other memorable winning streaks that the Bucs have posted in their history.
The original win streak came of course in 1977 when Tampa Bay ended that 26-game losing streak with a stunning win in New Orleans for their first-ever victory and then returned home seven days later to beat the St.Louis Cardinals. Aside from the eight month unbeaten run that followed as it was the end of the season, both losing coaches, Hank Stram and Don Coryell, lost their jobs over that streak.
The unexpected 5-0 run that began the 1979 season led Sports Illustrated to show Dewey Selmon on the cover with the famous title of "Unbeaten, untied, unbelievable". That streak led to a first division title and playoff appearance for the franchise.
The 1982 strike-shortened season ended with the Bucs on a three-game winning streak all of which occured in dramatic circumstances leading to them to be known as "The Cardiac Kids". Little did anyone know it would be an astounding 12 seasons before the Bucs even won three in a row again. To me, that is an NFL stat that could well never be broken.
The 1994 team was at 2-9 before it went on an even more unexpected four game win burst thanks to the emergence of rookie RB Errict Rhett. The only downside was it meant Sam Wyche kept his job for another season, but to celebrate for nearly a month was simply unheard of for most Buccaneer fans by that stage.
Tony Dungy's pewter-clad Pirates began 1997 with their own five-game win streak and you could claim this was actually a new franchise record at six as they had won the 1996 season finale against Chicago in the last game played in the old colours. They then set a six-game run of their own in 1999 that was only ended when Jon Gruden's Raiders inflicted the heaviest defeast in franchise history on them, a 45-0 shellacking in December that year.
The 2002 Super Bowl team had a five-game streak in September and October, and Jon Gruden had a few four-game win streaks during his time as head coach. Raheem Morris never won more than two in a row which brings us to the current three-game run being enjoyed by Greg Schiano's unit. Time will tell if it goes to four in Carolina this Sunday.
You've been great, enjoy Katrina and the Waves.