Finding new possible ways to lose a game
I really thought I had seen every possible way a Buccaneer team could lose a game. But as I entered my 32nd season as a Tampa Bay fan, it is nice to know that even I can be surprised still at this advanced age of Buc support. Former Tampa Tribune sports editor Nick Pugliese once commented that he had used a thesaurus to find new ways to describe another tough loss. There would not even be words in the latest edition to sum up yesterday’s debacle at Met Life Stadium.
For all the things that went wrong from equipment malfunctions to blown assignments, turnovers to missed opportunities, the Bucs were there somehow leading by two points with the Jets nearer the Jersey Turnpike than fieldgoal range with half a minute remaining. And they still lost. Cats all around the world went into hiding as Tampa Bay fans looked for someone or something to take out their frustrations on.
It was horrible, in fact beyond horrible. It actually made me remember the dark days of 1986 when Leeman Bennett would trudge dejectedly along the sideline, hands deep in his orange satin jacket as his Bucs fell to another massive defeat. This was not the Monsters of the Midway the Bucs were playing yesterday, it was a Jets team that most New York writers had already consigned to the battle for the first overall pick in next year’s NFL draft.
Naturally the internet crowd were out in force with enough knee-jerk reactions to have been provoked by a sledge-hammer, let alone a doctor. Just a quick check on the usual sites saw multiple calls for Josh Freeman to be benched, then cut and then probably hung, drawn and quartered alongside Mel Gibson in Braveheart. Then Lavonte David needed to be cut for the personal foul penalty. Both co-ordinators were gone as of course was Greg Schiano. Where you could then find a coaching staff and players to actually take on the Saints next weekend is beyond these clowns but you can almost understand the sentiment.
Former Extra Point editor Steve Careford summed it up best last night as his Oakland Raiders also fell to a Week 1 loss. That you spend the entire off-season counting down and building up to the opening game kickoff and then three hours later, it is all shattered and your dreams are lying at your feet. The Super Bowl champion Bucs also lost in Week 1 remember but even the most rose-tinted spectacle wearer is not going to predict the 2013 edition will finish their season in Met Life Stadium again.
Stephen Holder of The Tampa Bay Times quickly put his house on there being a blackout next Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Based on the first 60 minutes of regular season Buccaneer football, I would say the ones missing the game are going to be the lucky ones.
STOCK RISING - Vincent Jackson, Adrian Clayborn, Deshon Goldson, Darrelle Revis.
STOCK FALLING - The offensive line, both co-ordinators, Kevin Ogletree, Dekoda Watson.
STOCK VALUE IRRELEVANT - Josh Freeman as no matter what he does the rest of the season, most Buc fans are going to blame him for everything from the Syrian crisis to the traffic on I-4.
GAME THOUGHT - Tampa Bay was down 2-0 early on. I thought this only usually happened when Jeremy Helickson was pitching.