Enjoying live Buccaneer games while you can
As we move into the final quarter of the season, assuming that is the Bucs don't run the table and scrap into the playoffs at 8-8 (insert flying pig comment here), this is when you begin to realise there are only four more games to actually watch before the off-season starts.
As most of you know, I do not watch a lot of football outside of the Buccaneers. So apologies to the excellent Neil Reynolds on Sky Sports, forgiveness please from the NFL for not taking ultimate advantage of their condensed GamePass option and bowed knee to the option that is NFL Redzone. For me, if it is not the Bucs, then it is not worth watching.
Four games left. It seems so long ago that I spent a Sunday morning watching the as-live coverage of the pre-season games. Then came the 4-2 start, the madness that was Wembley week, and then a two-week sojourn to Florida to take in the game with the Houston Texans. I guess I have an excuse for saying the 2011 season has gone too quickly.
But the off-season is a long one even for someone like me who longs to read the caption in the American press of "pitchers and catchers report today". Nick Houllis and I both have the summer fetish of watching old Buccaneer games, a season at a time. I did 1983 last year and will probably pick another orange-clad year from the 80s to begin with in January next year.
So it does mean appreciating every minute of the remaining four games, three on the road in Jacksonville, Carolina and Atlanta, and the one during the night here in the UK at home to the Cowboys, one that will probably see a new record for visiting fans at Raymond James Stadium.
Whether the game is exciting or a snorefest, whether the Bucs are winning or losing, this is my team, your team, our team. And hence they deserve our support. As I wrote last week about British fans being the ones who stay to the final seconds of a game regardless of the score, doing the same for live internet coverage is no different.
Yes we can get annoyed and frustrated at times. The family cat now has marked off 6pm until 9.15pm on a Sunday night on its feline calendar as a time to avoid being around me in case my right foot decides to impersonate Connor Barth and kick said moggy through the proverbial goal-posts.
But watching a Buccaneer game as it happens, talking with other fans on the message board during time outs, looking for friends and colleagues on the sideline, well it is now part of the staple diet of being a British Bucs fan.
And to quote Phil Collins (bonus 80s reference for free) "You don't know what you've got until you lose it".
You've been great, enjoy the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.