Three More Days. Such a short time that somehow manages to feel like forever. Like many Buc’s fans out there I have watched with a mixture of fascination, and sometimes disgust, as the Tampa Bay front office has literally flipped this franchise upside down in the offseason. From the firing of Gruden, to the hiring of Morris, to the decision to let go of faces that have long been associated with this franchise, to the selection of a very raw QB in the first round, to the recent firing of our offensive coordinator a week before the first game of the REGULAR season.
As we head into the weekend I’m not going to dwell on all of these puzzling moves. It just doesn’t seem right. The days leading up to the first game of an NFL season are supposed to be filled with hope. Sports bar conversations and blogs abound with cockiness and quotes of “This is finally our year!”. So, why do I not have these feelings this time around?
I feel a little robbed to tell you the truth. I mean, sure, I want the team to win just as much as the next guy. I am going to watch every game, and keep up with all the stats, just like I always do. I just don’t have that optimistic (whether or not it was usually valid is beside the point) feeling in my gut that I used to have at this point of the season. I think it’s because that in my head, I have already written this season off as unwinnable. I think that we have a lot of positives that we can take into next season, where we are sure to have a much easier schedule and a fairly high draft pick to help us along. Freeman will be much more developed and our young defense will have had much more time to gel together into a cohesive unit. I think the Buccaneers of 2010 will be a force to be reckoned with, I truly do.
But what about the Buccaneers of 2009? Why can’t I get behind this season in the way that I usually do? It’s upsetting to say the least. Am I just that much older and more jaded? Despite my melancholy predictions there is a lot to be excited about. I just can’t stop the the thoughts of a train wreck season from pervading my head.
I can tell you one thing though. I know exactly what will cure my blues. A win. One simple win. If our boys can go out and beat the Cowboys on Sunday than I, once again, will be a believer. Even if we only hold our own, I will be able to hold onto hope for this season. It’s an easy fix to a disconcerting problem. So, I guess that old feeling of optimism is still lurking back there somewhere. As a matter of fact now that I think about it, we do match up rather well with the Boys. I think we should be able to control the clock, and our secondary should be able to lure Romo into making some bad decisions (I mean really, it’s not that hard the guy, the guy dumped this for this).
I have found the cure for my disease, at least for now. I will simply look at the season game by game, and not at the season as a whole. Focus on the positives and push aside the negatives Buc’s fans, after all, we have a lot going for us in 2009.
– Lee Caswell