Pardon the Interruption
Last week, Sports Illustrated launched an on-line poll for fans to vote for their favourite Buc fan site. One of these, "Go Buccaneers Go", no-one had ever even heard of, leaving the other three, Pewter Report, The Captain's Deck and BUCPOWER.COM, to conduct their own "let's see how many times we can vote for our own site" competition.
Which of course we were as party to as much as the others. The Captain's Deck was quite funny seeing as how about half-a-dozen people visit that site at most each day, yet were receiving over 5,000 votes per day, which makes even a Ukranian election look like a fair result.
But the undisputed highlight of the whole event, was one person from Pewter Report, we'll call him Scott Reynolds for the sake of this article, absolutely throwing his toys out of his pram over us encouraging our members to vote more than once for BUCPOWER.COM.
Toys out of his pram
Well, when I say, throwing his toys out of his pram, his dummy, a couple of pillows and a blanket went as well. The editorial team of BUCPOWER.COM, Messrs Jones, Bromfield, Davies and myself, could hardly stop laughing last Friday morning when we read a lengthy e-mail he'd sent in between casting a few hundred votes for his own site.
But what is even funnier is that Pewter Report is not a fan site. It is a commercial enterprise providing Buccaneer fans with "inside information" on the team. Of course you have to pay for this access because they are running a business.
What this guy, or Scott as we are calling him for this article, completely forgets, is that I do everything on BUCPOWER.COM for free. I do it for the fun of it and because I enjoy it. And I also do it from 4,000 miles away which makes providing daily inside information on the Buccaneers a tad difficult. If I lived in Tampa, how good do you think I could make this site then?
To summarise all the Buc sites out there
The Buccaneers' own site has the real inside information on the team in terms of videos and team features. It's message board is full of numpties and wind-up merchants, but if you go on there, then you are asking for it. The Tampa Tribune and The St.Petersburg Times are the media outlets worth visiting because that is their job, to report on the day-to-day events of the team.
Pewter Report serves its purposes with a very good message board and if you want to pay for it, "inside information" on the team. BUCPOWER.COM is simply the ultimate Buccaneer resource site - nothing else comes within a million miles of it - fact.
Scott Kramer's Bucstats site uses all the statistical information from this site, but that is it in terms of fan sites. Sorry guys, but that is it. The market is well and truly covered by these sites and anything else is just going to duplicate what is already out there and not very well at that.
And just when you thought
That there was no hope for our pram-dwelling friend, one of his fellow play-mates, Jim Flynn to give him his actual name, wrote almost an identical summary of Pewter Report and BUCPOWER.COM in a post on their own message board. So someone out there gets it!
BUCPOWER.COM isn't going anywhere - well actually that's not really true - it's going forwards like it has gone for the past five years, continuing to add historical information, player details and pictures. We're up to nearly 5,000 different screens now and over 6,500 picture images. And it will always be free and always accessible for Buccaneer fans around the world with nothing hidden and nothing taken away. It's simply the best!
You've been great - enjoy Tina Turner.
Paul Stewart, September 2006.