Real fans get behind their team
The half empties have seemingly taken over Buc-land these days. From the local newspaper dot-coms right down to best source for everything Buc Powered, pessimism seems to be winning the day. The Glazers have suddenly become cheapskates, they no longer care about the football team they purchased for a then record amount, rather instead putting money in their personal coffers.
Of course we know, this simply isn't true, but what we don't know, is why after ONE 3-13 losing season, Buc Kingdom is on the verge of downright civil war between factions, when 14 seasons of such losing hardly put a dent in our resolve.
The answer of course, is that the loudest antagonists weren't around for that. They not only missed out on 1986, most were not even around for the Super Bowl. Their version of Bucs football is of a veteran coaching staff that brings in players every year and is always playing for a playoff spot around December. In other words, a 9-7 record year in and year out.
The majority of Bucs fans today are spoiled from the past 15 seasons of prosperity, not realizing that was accomplished on the backs of us fans who toiled in obscurity in half empty Tampa Stadium Sundays with below average talent and Hope being the best player on the roster. He usually held the clipboard too.
There is no such thing as a ‘better’ fan as devotion can hardly be measured. I myself came onboard this train in 1979, making me a bandwagon fan! But if you weren't around for the creation, there are a few things you probably missed:
The core group of Bucs heroes were Sapp, Lynch, Brooks, Alstott, Barber, Dunn, Abraham, and Quarles, and all of them were drafted. The Glazers still have a fresh copy of the blueprints on their desk. It doesnt start out with Brad Johnson, Keyshawn Johnson, Joe Jurevicius, Keenan McCardell, Ken Dilger and others! Those pieces of the puzzle were added later once the foundation was put into place.
Funny how those names ring a bell huh? One would think from reading comments this past month that the Glazers have never spent a dime on Free Agents. Ike Hilliard, Matt Stinchcomb, Todd Stussie, Derrick Deese, Chris Hovan, Jeff Garcia, Luke Petitgout, Charlie Gardner, Tim Brown, Kevin Carter, Philip Buchanon, Cato June, are all names the Glazers sprung for Post Super Bowl.
Notice the names are not exactly Pro-Bowl in nature? This is why the Glazers are not lining up at Midnight to throw more checks into the air for "Less than Free" Agency anymore. Augmenting a team with them when you know which holes you need to fill is one thing. Laying down the foundation of a house with pre-owned lumber is another.
No, the Glazers have built this house before, they know what goes down first, and THEN they will pick up the 60" Plasma with the 5.1 surround sound.
By the opposite procedure, have you noticed how much success Daniel Snyder and the Washington Redskins are having with their plans? The Haynesworth Sweepstake was really worth it huh? Can't you still see that photo of Coach Zorn holding up his lottery winning check with all the zeros next to it, one for each loss in 2009?
No Bucs fans, it's not fun watching your team lose. Its not enjoyable shelling out hundreds of dollars in tickets, or flying over from another country only to watch the team get shut out. But at the same time, losing 4 games in a row and going 9-7 with a one and done season isnt my idea of dynasty either.
In the last 30 years, I can think of no teams that have been able to sustain winning; the San Francisco 49ers being the lone exception from 1981 until early 2000s as they were able to retool along the way. Everyone else; Ejection of fan favorites and elderly players for a youth movement and restocking of talent that you invest in wisely.
When you play a veteran to get a few extra wins, your simply taking away the playing time from a young player of whom you want to build your franchise around. Derrick Brooks, Cato June, Ike Hilliard Jeff Garcia, all could have probably helped the team get a few more wins last year. But in the process, Geno Hayes, Quincy Black, Sammy Stroughter and Josh Freeman’s progress would have all been held back another year!
THAT is why the Glazers, Mark Dominik, and Raheem Morris will not invest heavily in Free Agents, especially in a year where they are two years older than normal off the bat (29 vs 27 due to the 6 years required for eligibility), and more expensive to boot.
You have stockpiled draft picks in what is the deepest draft in a quarter century, and those young players would be deprived of the ability to learn and develop, all for the sake of a quick fix that was applied too many times in 2006 and 2004 already.