Tag Archives: Tampa bay buccaneers

Regionalism versus myopia: The resumption of Hatfields versus McCoy in Tampa Bay sports

More than a year ago, I wrote about the issue with St. Petersburg and the Rays. The city’s logistical location at the southern tip of Pinellas County is a rather isolated locale for the greater Tampa Bay metro region. Of course, for residents of St. Petersburg, the issue is simply because Tampa gets the unfair advantage, it’s the difficult place of the region to travel to and … and… and…

And I’m hearing too much of this Hatfields vs. McCoy’s bullshit once again. A myopic mentality has come to light once again after the Rays unveiled their new stadium proposal in the Ybor City area of Tampa.

Remarking about the proposal before getting back to the topic of this blog post: An $892 million stadium, only seating between 28,000 and 30,000 was proposed with a translucent roof structure so natural grass can be used in an indoor ballpark. A very-much excessively priced structure with an experimental asset? If you’re a resident of Tampa, St. Petersburg, elsewhere in the region, or even in Montréal for that matter, you should take issue with this. This is Jeffrey Loria-like tactics being employed by Stuart Sternberg. Oh, there is something fitting here, that a small park in Ybor City would mix with the neighborhood a-la Wrigley Field in Chicago.

This isn’t a neighborhood baseball club though. This franchise is supposed to represent the Tampa Bay Metropolitan region. That stadium plan fails unless you’re going to utilize the We must or else! strategy that St. Pete utilized in the 1980s and resulted in the construction of the domed venue now known as Tropicana Field. Continue reading

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Reacting to the Tampa Bay Buccaneer uniform ranking

Via the Tampa Bay Times: “Bucs uniform ranked 32nd among NFL teams, because there isn’t a 33rd”

To be fair to begin and give context, this piece is inspired by a ranking that was done in The Sacremento Bee, so it’s a reaction column inspired by an opinion piece. By way of opinionated reactions to the opinionated ranking, let me give you my own opinion:

If there had been a 33rd uniform ranking, Bucco Bruce would rank below it. Bad uniforms and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a history that goes hand-in-hand with the mediocrity of the club and its lackluster competitive prowess in this day and age.

Continue reading

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A note on Tampa Bay sports and the playoffs

Though it literally does not play out like this:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers make the playoffs on average less than once every four seasons of play. I’ve already pointed out the Bucs annual win percentage is abysmal and this just illustrates the club has only made the playoffs 10 times in 41 years of existence.

In contrast, the Tampa Bay Lightning makes the NHL playoffs once every two-and-a-half seasons or so… Well, that is if they make the playoffs this season and to say that’s highly likely is an understatement. As of this writing the Bolts have 94 points on the season and lead the league. If things stand pat and the Lightning make the playoffs, it’ll be the 10th time it’s been done in 25 years of existence and 24 seasons of play (remember the 2004-05 Nil season was entirely wiped out due to lockout).

I was simply going to share this among friends, hammering home the once-every-four-years vs. once-every-two-and-a-half stat but I felt like I’m being cruel to leave out the Tampa Bay Rays. This will be Tampa Bay’s Major League Baseball team’s 20th season of play (only 5 seasons younger than the Lightning) and it’s notable that the Rays post-season faring is more comparable to the Buccaneers than the Lightning: In 19 completed season of play, the Rays have only made the playoffs four times (2008, the team’s 10th anniversary season, was the first time the club ever went to the playoffs).

As awful as that looks, there’s a defense for the Rays compared to the Buccaneers or lightning for that matter: MLB’s playoff system is a much tighter beast than the NFL and NHL. The league only started using wild cards (single slots in each league) in 1994. It was expanded to two in 2012.

At any rate, unless the Lightning suffers a grand disaster of play to close the 2017-18 season (and there are only 16 games remaining for them), they’ll tie the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in all-time playoff berths. The Rays won’t be coming close anytime soon, if ever, with thanks in part going toward the differences in schedule and playoff formatting between the three pro sports leagues.

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Filed under baseball, football, hockey, Tampa Bay Lightning

Of Tampa Bay sports and media focus

I’ve been put off since last week while scanning headlines and online coverage of news in the Tampa Bay area and seeing a greater-than-usual focus put on the Gasparilla Pirate Festival than usual, while the marquee mid-season event of the NHL All-Star Weekend was an afterthought (or a complication to Gasparilla festivities). It felt almost like the NHL and Tampa Bay Lightning are afterthoughts.

In fact, disappointment and issues with the Bucs holding the headlines in the fall of 2017 and through the early weeks of 2018 have taken away notice to casual readers of local headlines online than the Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t just been playing games, but have been (and this will floor you) winning. Continue reading

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And down the stretch they come….! Thoughts on the Tampa Bay Lightning as the NHL season wanes

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The day when the Jose Gaspar is overseen by Cap’n Jack Sparrow

The Gasparilla season in Tampa, Florida is forthcoming. That’s weeks (if not a month) of civic events around Tampa tied to the grandiose kick-off celebration event: the invasion flotilla of locals, politicians and civic leaders and the “invasion” of Tampa, with the city being claimed by the pirates to officially start the whole season off.

And, yet, it’s just local. It’s not a recognized event nationally. This seems contradictory because there’s an odd timing coincidence: The invasion can also be deemed as a physical representation of the tourist season. From February through April, much of the state of FLA is invaded by that dubious, pirating lot of vacationers and spring training nuts who spend money and relax while also crowding up roadways and areas of commerce.  A pirate invasion? How about snowbird invasion?

(Note: If you couldn’t tell, I’m playing around here with negatives; tourism is a grand part of Florida)

The NFL’s annual championship rite, the Super Bowl, has been played in Tampa more than a few times, and while the game has begun being played later in January and now February, there was never a schedule shift of Gasparilla and the pirates to coincide the hype of Super Bowl Weekend… While that’s a grand marketing failure, it also makes sense: Tampa Bay is represented by the Buccaneer franchise in the NFL after all. Forcing a pirate image / entity down the league’s throat when it’s a celebration of two teams playing for the Lombardi Trophy… Well, it seems like a bad move that will be hit with criticism nationally.

That doesn’t mean always keep the damn thing hoaye, local and low key though.

I’m not here to lobby for much, but there is a point I do want to make that could raise local leaders’ thoughts on the invasion event that earns it a spot in national attention in a positive, tourism-inviting sense. Since the release of “Pirates of the Caribbean” by Disney Films, and with actor Johnny Depp’s has embraced his Captain Jack Sparrow. I’ve wondered why we haven’t heard of Depp being in town for this Gasparilla invasion. Not necessarily in-costume (which he seldom dawns for more intimate events) but just out of his personal “connection” to piracy (in show, not in plundering and looting) by way of Sparrow.

The fact Disney is so invested 90 miles away adds a little touch to the idea. It’s not like Depp has to stick around longer than he wants to (unless he’s in-character). I also want to say Tampa residents/politicians or civic strong-guys shouldn’t actively push to make this happen, or if they do to not make a public marketing push (“See Johnny Depp at Gasparilla!!”). That turns down and ruins the surprise of something like this happening.

Gasparilla is this Saturday, January 28. I don’t expect the presence of Cap’n Jack Sparrow this year… It would be grand if some other star (who is not a local resident) would make their presence known.

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Filed under Movies, Politics, The Life

Contention, mediocrity, and the future of Tampa Bay sports

The storied franchise of each city in the United States is different.  There’s a chance they are all on par, but that’s basically a decree toward the mega-markets – the New York Yankees, Giants, Rangers, Mets, Knicks, Jets; The Chicago Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, White Sox and Cubs (congratulations, Cubbies, on your World Series championship); the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers, Kings, they-have-an-NFL-team-again-in-the Rams and Chargers. That’s talking market size and not what I’m touching on here.

The storied franchise of Tampa Bay is the Buccaneers of the NFL, that one ruling force of the region for its longevity and its beholden nature to the sport worshiped by the region.

Yeah, yeah, Florida loves itself some football.  If it’s not the Bucs then the sport is dominated by college antics, high school efforts, or even the twisted spring and summer interests of Arena Football (that’s not trying to put it down or undermine it as so much admit the fact the league was adopted because of the fallacies of the Bucs in the 1990s).

The thing is there’s a very big breaking point in Tampa Bay sports history on the cusp of coming into existence. It’s already happened, really, but this enigma becomes a fact within the next 5 months. How many NFL fans would expect their NHL teams to be more apt than their NFL clubs are? How many NHL towns can boast that their hockey team is just as often a playoff contender than their NFL team?

Indeed, the Tampa Bay Lightning professional hockey club is close to matching the number of playoff berths the Buccaneers have accomplished in their 40 years of existence. The Lightning can already crow about going to the cusp/brink of a championship more often than the Bucs – the Bucs made the NFC title game three times and advanced to the Super Bowl all of once; the Bolts have been in the Eastern Conference finals four times, playing for the Stanley Cup twice, winning once.

The Bucs made the playoffs all of 10 times in their 40 year history, accomplishing it for the first time ever in 1979, and then crossing into the playoffs twice in the early 1980s (1981, 1982) before failing for 15 years.  Tony Dungy resurrected the Bucs competitiveness in the mid-1990s and got them back into the playoffs in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2001… He was then replaced by Jon Gruden as head coach who grabbed a Super Bowl title in 2003 (his winning season as coach was 2002) before things started growing awkward. The Bucs made it to the playoffs all of two times after the championship (2005, 2007).

For the Lightning, the franchise has existed for 24 full years (but, with thanks to work stoppages, seasons have been abbreviated twice and stopped all together once in that span). They cracked the playoffs for the first time ever in 1996 and didn’t make it again until the 21st century (2003). They won Lord Stanley’s Cup the very next year (2004) and have made the playoffs most of the years following (2006, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016).

I could elaborate on stats a bit, or about schedule shenanigans brought on by Players Association / league conflicts in both the NFL and NHL, but the technical stuff doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the Lightning has made the playoffs nine times in their history while the Buccaneers have made it 10 times.  The NFL season is more brief compared to the NHL, the NFL makeup has been thicker over the years (number of franchises) than the NHL (though the NHL has grown in size; they’ll be at 31 teams next season, just shy of the NFLs 32 teams).

The Bolts are likely to compete in their 10th NHL playoff appearance in team history (subject to change under certain circumstances) while the Buccaneers…? The Bucs are at this position internally and competitively where things don’t matter besides what the market and the league provides for them. That’s not a knock on the market as-so-much a knock on the Glazer brothers who have kept a status-quo of the franchise that mimics Hugh Culverhouse; business first and competitive futility second.  The major difference between Culverhouse and the Glazers is that Culverhouse was not a silent individual whereas the Glazers are mutes in control of the sport the market is in love with. If they want more at a cost to the market, they’ll get more upon demand. If the market expects from them, keep dreaming. That’s all we’re allowed to do.

It’s part of why Jeffrey Vinik, who took over the Lightning in late winter 2010, is such a champion of an owner. Vinik has his hockey team competing at the pro sports level but he is also accomplishing in-market with what he seeks and accomplishes downtown… That’s a far, far cry from the Glazers (who have owned the Bucs a much longer time than Vinik with the Lightning).

The Lightning tying and potentially topping the Bucs in playoff achievements is long overdue. Some football fans might see that as a moot decree – the NFL is much more competitive and influential than the NHL – but to strive to achieve is a grander accomplishment than accepting mediocrity.

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A playoff-berth bar to be met or raised in Tampa Bay sports

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Filed under football, hockey, Sports, Tampa Bay

he weight of the Lightning and an absence from the headlines

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Filed under baseball, football, Raw Charge, Sports, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning

Home Video Lameness and marketing idiocy

It was sort of an interesting thing to happen and cool that it happened to me but at the same time, it aggravated me… No, not just that, it infuriated me.

Last nigh, a representative from Warner Brothers Home Video emailed the webmaster of Boltsmag.com — namely moi — and tried to recruit me to help sling their product on the web. The product in question is the Stanley Cup Championship DVD which shows highlights of the Tampa Bay Lightning season along with Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final and the Lightning being crowned as Champs. It’s a DVD I very much want to be able to enjoy….

But I can’t. No sir, I can’t invest a couple of bucks in the DVD knowing it’s going to a company that didn’t complete the DVD and put it on the market. I can’t invest in a company branch that does it all the time with their sport DVDs. The Warner Brothers Stanley Cup Championship DVD lacks Closed Captioning for the Hearing Impaired and I happen to be hearing impaired.

Lets roll back the clock to more than a year ago with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl…. It was a cap on a dream season for the Bucs and I quickly went and bought the DVD that Warner Brothers Home Video produced that had the entire game — or a likeness of it — along with season highlights and a pre and post game show (so they claimed).

What I found out, cruelly, was when I tried to view the season highlight package (which is always an incredible job done by NFL Films) I got pictures and sound but no clue what the narrator was telling me. No clue what miked players were saying. I could see games and relive moments but not find out what people were blabbering about at any given moment…. Was this a joke? I went to the actual game and they had the network video feed but — what is this? Not only is the video feed replaced by the respective teams radio commentary men but — no closed captioning. I had no clue what was being said by Buccaneer radio man Gene Deckerhoff or the Oakland Raiders respective play-by-play radio man.

So I could see but I couldn’t really enjoy the DVD. I wrote off a scathing letter to Warner Brothers Home Videos and got offered a free DVD of my choice as if to say “Sucks to be you – have one of our movies we can’t move on us!”

This isn’t an isolated incident with DVDs and lack of closed captioning. While major motion pictures are captioned on all DVDs, DVDs tend to be loaded with extra features such as commentary tracks and featurettes. Neither of these are captioned so that the hearing impaired can enjoy these additional features they are paying for when they buy DVDs. To make matters worse, Universal Home Videos doesn’t even use Closed Captioning but instead relies on Subtitles (much like you would see on a foreign film) with their movies. It becomes difficult to follow the film if the text is set on a white background or over a bright object. You lose entire sentences or entire conversations because of the setting of a scene.

And it gets worse from there. Trimark Home Video has the rights to NBC’s Saturday Night Live on DVD — which is both syndicated on TV and broadcast on NBC with full closed captioning… Trimark couldn’t be bothered to add this captioning to their DVDs of Saturday Night Live. Just as Rhino Home Videos couldn’t be bothered to add captioning to their DVD palette which includes children’s TV series like Transformers, Jem, GI Joe… Not to mention their Monkees DVD’s…. Or their original offering of South Park DVDs. (I have no clue if Rhino is still responsible for publishing South Park DVDs at this time. This may have changed).

With the Baby Boom population aging and their bodies failing them to one degree or another, why is it that the Home Video industry gets away with this? Better yet, with 22-34 deaf and hard of hearing Americans out there, why does the movie industry think they can ignore this demographic when it comes to their home video sales? Even more pertinent, why doesn’t someone stick the Americans With Disabilities Act in their face and tell them to shape up or ship out?

It’s an ironic story that Warner Brothers tries to get someone to help sling their DVD — for free — on the web when that person can’t even enjoy the product. It’s even more ironic that no one in the deaf community or elsewhere in America makes a fuss out of this… It’s one of the great dupe jobs going on in the entertainment industry for the sake of the almighty buck.

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