Around the NFL now the Bucs have finished
It's been seven hours and 15 days ... since you took the Bucs away from me. OK, not quite Sinead O'Connor but when it comes to the NFL, then nothing compares to the Bucs. I've glanced briefly at the two weekends of playoff football but as far as I am concerned, the 2008 season is done and dusted.

Well if only it were that easy for a website like BUCPOWER. All of the statistics on an individual and franchise level have been updated, as have all the profile pages for the players who were part of the 2008 Buccaneers, but there is still the annual review and associated screens to go with it.

But at least the Bucs only have 33 years of history behind them and only had to wait (stressing the only) 27 years to reach a Super Bowl. For Cardinal fans, we are approaching Red Soxian levels of eternity since they last won a championship. Not that I've ever actually seen a Cardinal fan here in the UK. The only drawback with them winning this weekend will be more ridiculous comments about Kurt Warner only being there because of NFL Europe.

And from the "inane British link" box of NFL stories, came the one last week that the BBC ran along the lines of "British players go head-to-head in the playoffs". Which in reality were two guys on the International development roster being with the Steelers and Chargers. They were there all year to fetch Gatorade for the coaches in practice and had as much chance of being involved as I did.

Unfortunately all stories like this do is alienate the real fans who know it's all bollocks and fly over the head of the occasional fan. And the NFL have just announced they are cutting this scheme anyway so no more places at One Buc Place for Russian safety Sergey Ivanov. But he did bring Jon Gruden a nice drink after practice back in mid-November.

Nice to see a few former Bucs becoming involved in head coaching searches. Jerry Gray and Winston Moss have both been linked to roles in the past week and I'd far rather see one of them get the chance than a team take away Raheem Morris before he has even started as Defensive Co-Ordinator.

A few things from watching the Steelers beat San Diego last weekend. Don't the officials' black pants make them look like they're wearing tracksuit bottoms? Black pants just don't work and that goes for the Saints when they were all-black too. The only team that looks good in all black are New Zealand's rugby team. Then again, can't you just see Troy Polamalu doing the Haka?

I just don't get the appeal of cold weather football. So you wrap up in about five layers and freeze your bollocks off for three hours? Sorry but give me 80 degrees in Tampa and a beach in Clearwater any time over the frozen tundra of Green Bay. And as for the Heinz Field announcer playing DJ Otzi's "Hey baby" song ... I thought that was only allowed at NFL Europe games.

How good is football in high def though? I bought a 37" wide screen TV a couple of months back and NFL football really comes across well on the bigger screen. The only drawback is that Nick Halling looks an even bigger prat that normal on it.

Paul Stewart, January 2009