The dog days of May ... and June ... and July
Baseball writers usually refer to the dog days being August when playoff teams make their push for the post-season and the Cubs add another year to their century plus tally of frustration. But at least those same writers have a game each day to write about. Just what does an NFL writer do for the next two months?
The draft has come and gone and Mel Kiper is working on his big board for the 2017 draft (that kid in the third grade looks good). And training camp is so far in the distance that you wonder just how many Sudoku puzzles Roy Cummings can do in a day at The Tampa Trib.
So NFL Network resorts to multiple close-ups of Rich Eisen, the Buccaneers hold off-season workouts each week for everyone except Donald Penn, and message boards around the globe think up new ways to insult Michael Clayton.
Yes filling up space on a site such as BUCPOWER.COM is not easy during the summer which is why countdowns were invented. The 20 best draft picks, the 50 worst players ever (sorry Mrs Jacquez Green but he's still in there) and the top 10 blonde cheerleaders with at least a D cup. All helps to pass the days.
The added advantage of these countdowns though is that it helps bring the history of the franchise to a wider audience. The running backs' countdown that we are doing at the moment - how many of you would have known about Ed Williams, Adger Armstrong or Louis Carter?
Somewhere down the road on this site, I not only want to have multiple pictures of every player in franchise history, but video clips of each one too. The way technology is progressing, you can see the day when you would have a game on a site, page through a play-by-play and then highlight a specific piece of action and watch it.
And perhaps one day we will be reminiscing about that great 2010 Buccaneer draft, the one that brought multiple Pro Bowls on the defensive tackle and wide receiver fronts, as well as draft steals in the secondary and special teams.
Everything I have read about our selections seems positive although we probably said the same about Keith McCants, Charles McRae and Regan Upshaw at the same time in years gone by too. But Gerald McCoy seems one of the most mature and gifted young men ever to walk through the doors of One Buc Place since a young Derrick Brooks did so in 1995.
And you have to take the positive outlook about the likes of Mike Williams - even a million dollar arm with a ten cent head like Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham got there in the end. Just who will be the Buccaneers' version of Crash Davis to keep him on the straight and narrow?
And one final comment on the draft. In the week leading up to the selection meeting, a certain former player on a Tampa station swore blind that he knew the Bucs were going to trade down from the No.3 spot and that he would go in a dunk tank in public if it didn't happen.
Anyone would think that the same player would conveniently forget about the whole thing the following week and no mention would made of it on air. You would have to be pretty dumb to make such a wild statement and even dumber to think that the intelligent sporting audience in Tampa would not remember it.
You've been great - enjoy Altered Images.
Paul Stewart, TBO.com, May 2010