TALES FROM THE SIDELINE - Johnston/Harry
An anthology of stories published in 2004
Plenty of sports franchises have stories that flow from hopelessness to prosperity. That was the backdrop when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became world champions, but how many others had to perform with an accompanying laugh track?
How many used the number one overall draft pick on a player (Bo Jackson) who surveyed the scene, shrugged his shoulders, and decided to play baseball? How many essentially gave away their battered and star-crossed quarterback (Steve Young), suddenly jump-starting his route to the Hall of Fame? How many had a coach (John McKay), who, when asked what he thought of his team's execution, wryly replied, "I'm in favor of it"?
How many worked in an antiquated training facility (One Buc Place) that hosted exterminators more often than the owners? For nearly a generation, they were the Yucks. Then they transformed themselves from frogs into princes. Tales from the Bucs Sideline is their story, warts and all. From winless wonders to world champions, from hapless players too embarrassed to show their faces in public to superstars who are constantly in your face.
One and off the field, this is the story of how a franchise can transform from woeful to wonderful, complete with all the unforgettable (and forgettable) moments and characters.
The BUCPOWER.COM review
I have been fortunate enough to count most of The Tampa Tribune sports writers as friends in recent years, led of course by the admirable Nick Pugliese. But when it comes to knowledge of the history of the Buccaneers, one person stands head and shoulders above everyone - Joey Johnston.
Joey not only wrote about the Bucs and the NFL as a job, but often as a fan. He has grown up with the team from the expansion season and is the one person I know I can go to for historical information on the franchise if I need something for BUCPOWER.COM.
A message from Joey Johnston
I still have, with great pride, my Bucs UK lapel pins in my collection that you passed along during Super Bowl XXXVII (what a time!) We believe it to be the first book focusing on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their history. It's all there, the great players, the great games, the great moments, the funny stories, from John McKay to Jon Gruden, from 0-and-26 to Super Bowl XXXVII.
Your website is great, particularly for someone like myself, a Tampa native who has lived through the entire Bucs history. Once somebody logs on, they will come back. I'm sure of it. Thanks, Paul, and I hope all is well on your end. I have been enjoying your recent Buc countdowns, especially the top Buc busts of all time.