Your comments and suggestions
One of the most revealing parts of the annual voting form/questionnaire, is the section where we ask you to comment on what we do in the Bucs UK and on BUCPOWER.COM, and perhaps how we could improve it still further. Of course it is always nice when people makes comments along the lines of it being perfect already, but we did get some interesting suggestions this year, some of which we can accommodate and some of which we cannot.
So in more or less alphabetical order, here are the suggestions that Bucs UK members have made, followed by some of the parts of the site that people do not find so good or popular as others.
More club events (Paul Beakhouse and Alex Howells)
As well as the traditional pre-Christmas meal and golf day in Leicestershire, we had to cancel a potential similar summer event because of a lack of interest. There will be one around July this year though even if it just myself, Gary Botteley and Tim Lewis playing in it! We also have the NFL game at Wembley in October to look forward to and can definitely arrange to all meet up in the car park a good few hours before kick-off to talk Bucs and drink lots of beer.
Mark Bradley thought it would be a great idea to see me on "Mastermind" with the Bucs as my specialist subject. I did apply for the show in 2004 but my general knowledge was not good enough to make it as far as the famous black leather chair. I did of course take part in a sports version for UK Gold in 1995 but found that the person setting the questions on the Bucs for me did not really know their stuff and some of them were simply ridiculous.
Live match streaming (Noel Brain)
The Message Board had almost weekly links to Sopcast which gave us a chance to watch the games over the internet and every game can be listened to live using NFL Field Pass.
Analysis of great plays from Buc history (Lee Bromfield)
An excellent idea and one I will definitely put into play later in the year, almost certainly with an attached video clip of the play in question.
Guides and information on other NFL stadiums (David Cambridge)
If there were 31 other sites as detailed as BUCPOWER.COM, then I guess this would be easy. For now, I think you just have to start with the official team site for each franchise and go from there.
Bucs UK member profiles (Ian Costain, Steve Ford, Steve Grant)
We did have a few of these up on the site before but so few people replied, it really looked pretty terrible as an indication of the members of the club. I think that we have to remember that it is a site about the Buccaneers more than just one about a bunch of us here in the UK in this respect.
On-line paying of membership or by direct debit (Bob Darkins)
It is one small cheque a year - and you send in your annual questionnaire at the same time. Is it really worth the time and expense I would have to go to just to avoid a minute writing and posting a cheque?
On-line shopping for Bucs and Bucs UK merchandise (Mick Dogherty)
For actual Bucs' stuff, go to their own site, or the NFL's one. Everything can be ordered on-line from there. As for setting this up for the Bucs UK, for the amount of orders you would be talking about, the programming and work needed on BUCPOWER and for Phil to collate the orders etc, would it really be worth it?
Encourage more members to write articles (Steve Garget)
It's a nice idea, one we have had before, and the likes of Wayne Maw and Richard Lowe have taken up the challenge in the past year. But Steve, how many have you ever written for the site?
Cheerleaders (Chris and Steve Grant)
No, never ever! OK, a comprise - when one of the cheerleaders scores a touchdown, or actually helps the Bucs win a game, then I'll put them on the site!
Game reports from UK members (Paul Greenfield)
So if you were at a 2006 game, tell us what you thought of the game, the atmosphere, the whole experience.
DVD swopping service (Paul Greenfield)
This could be done on the message board.
Coach's column (Mark Howes)
The chances of ever getting a coach or player to write for us are about nil. You should see how hard it is for Scott Smith to get anything like this for the Bucs' own site. Does anyone honestly think Jon Gruden sits down and writes his whole column for each home game in Buccaneers Review?
Where are they now? (Colin Hyams)
Click on the feature articles link from the front menu.
Female merchandise (Sarah Kay)
I am not even going to repeat where Phil went with this suggestion but I am sure you can guess. It depends on numbers but he is going to see what he can do in the future.
Scrolling ticker of Buccaneer news (Marc Kemp)
If there was such up to the minute news on the Bucs, and we had someone available 24 hours a day to update the site ....
Audio clips of key plays from franchise history (Marc Kemp)
I have put a couple on the site in the past year and if and when more become available, I will add them.
More golf days (Tim Lewis)
Haven't you recovered from the hammering I gave you last December yet Tim? OK, loads more golf days but everyone plays off scratch!
More Bucs' games on TV (Tony McCulloch)
Sky now show four games each Sunday (two live and two on interactive). Channel 5 show the Monday Night game and also some Sunday Night football. The Bucs were on three times in 2006 and did not deserve to be on much more than that because of their record. But every game is available from Pontel so you can ensure you never miss a single play from any season.
Club get-together at Wembley (David Rayner and Peter Smith)
Even if we cannot get a block booking of around 100 tickets to all sit together, at least we can all meet up beforehand.
On-line voting on the front page of the site rather than the message board (Nigel Smith)
We have so few people vote in such polls, it would look rather naff. And I don't know how to do it anyway!
Ban Donovan McNabb from the Fantasy League (Clive Williams)
A very good and sensible idea. As neutral Commissioner for 2007 (and also because it would really annoy Phil), I'll ensure it's done.
Classified Ads (Gary Woollard)
These can be done if and where necessary on the Message Board
Inter-active flash games on the website (Nick Scott)
If only I knew how. Buf I did like Nick's suggested game of how many times you could knock off Nick Halling's head with a mallet in 60 seconds.
The Fantasy League (Andrew Battye, Michael Casey, Steve Garget and Steve Grant)
Admittedly all the screens on this part of the site are for the 12 owners. It is not worth having a separate site, domain name etc, so I combine it all with everything else on BUCPOWER. The information there is essential for the operation of the league, and I know a lot of people not in the FFL do follow what is happening in it. The Message Board thread on the FFL has had some of the most priceless winding-up and general abuse going as there are absolutely no rules on what you can say about a fellow owner!
The Message Board (Bob Darkins and Mike Davison)
Both were critical of some of the name-calling and comments made in response to posts. This is part and parcel of any message board and I personally think that the BUCPOWER Message Board is a million miles from what I have seen on other boards. Only once have I had to lock a thread (but it was a very funny one until it got out of hand) and nothing I have seen warrants any further restriction.
Trolls on the Message Board (Lee Bromfield)
Just as people get criticised on a board, then you also get trolls. People who post inane comments, or fans of other teams who register just to wind-up the regular members. Luckily we have not had any of the latter, but we do have a couple of trolls around. I guess that is just part of life these days.
The front page of the site is too cluttered (Mick Dogherty and Marc Kemp)
This is a fine line to cross - I have to include all the latest news and recent stories, and also have some kind of regular feature to keep people coming back, and yet also have details of the many links to other permanent features on the site. I will always try new ideas and looks to improve the site, but if I take anything off the front page that is there now, something will be lost that people will have wanted to see.
Location of the quiz area (Colin Hyams)
Err, there isn't one. We have had some threads on Bucs' trivia on the Message Board and only about three or four people bothered to post on them.
Link to games on the radio (Martin Lee)
You can usually find something on the message board each week on the status of Sopcast TV coverage, but for Buc radio, just buy NFL Field Pass each season from the NFL's own site.
The picture of Gary Botteley on the merchandising page (Steve Reeder)
Kettle and pot black - the one of you is even worse!
The FFL results are definitely wrong (Clive Williams)
No I think the fact that they show you finished with the worst record for the second year in a row are quite accurate!
Add your comments on these suggestions on the BUCPOWER.COM Message Board
Paul Stewart, February 2007