Tag: Tampa bay buccaneers

 
Jon Cooper’s done better as a Lightning head coach than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers all-time

Jon Cooper’s done better as a Lightning head coach than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers all-time

Hockey, specifically the National Hockey League, is not football nor the National Football League. I’m always drawn to compare the two with thanks to the Tampa Bay media going ga-ga over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and holding back all-too-much on Tampa Bay Lightning coverage until the end of the NFL season. To hell with success and competitiveness, Buccaneers uber alles.

Something popped into my head last night after the Lightning’s 1-0 win in Philadelphia to extend their winning streak fluke to 10 games: How does the tenure of head coach =Jon cooper compare to the Bucs all-time?

One coach? Compared to 40+ years of gameplay? What the hell leads me to think of something like that? Quite simply, the fact Cooper’s Lightning have made the playoffs five times in his 6 full seasons as head coach (and could be on their way to a sixth berth as the 2019-20 season rolls on) which is half as many berths as the Bucs have all-time.

Coop’s in his seventh full season as head coach (he joined as head coach during the 2013 season and had 17 games), helming Tampa Bay for 553 games as of this writing… That just so happens to be 124 games less than the Bucs have played all-time (677 in 43 seasons); about 82% of the games played. His success in that time dwarfs that of the Bucs: Of the 553 games played, 332 were won. That’s a .600 win percentage (though the common stat used in the NHL is tied to point-percen5ate, which is .619). In 43 seasons in the NFL, the Bucs have won 281 of 677 games played; a .409 win percentage.

While fans cry foul over Coop’s playoff-performances (No title! Bad you!) it’s worth noting he’s coached the Bolrs to the same number of Conference finals (3) and playoff finals (1) in his tenure as the Bucs have done in franchise history. Only three of the Bucs 12 head coaches ever made the playoffs (John McKay, Tony Dungy, and Jon Gruden). Of course, that Lightning has gone into the playoffs with four HCs (Terry Crisp, John Tortorella, Guy Boucher, and Cooper)  with eight total coaches.

They are two completely separate sports and there’s no argument against that. It’s still a message of competitiveness and local pride that has to be hammered home: The Tampa Bay Lightning are a force in their league. The Bucs aren’t.

What is the next accomplishment for Cooper and the Lightning? We’ll find out in this second half of the NHL season and in the proverbial Second Season that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  

In search of Andy Hardy’s “Casablanca” parody-clip with Head Coach Sam Wyche

In search of Andy Hardy’s “Casablanca” parody-clip with Head Coach Sam Wyche

The late Andy Hardy was Sports Director at WTVT Channel 13 for longer than I know. In his last years in his role, the latest futility of Tampa Bay Buccaneers football was overseen by head coach Sam Wyche (we’re talking 1992 through 1995).

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A lackluster competitiveness and the drive to improve (or lack thereof)

I was going to be critical of Edmonton, Alberta, and Canadian hockey fans who have gone to social media to protest Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli after the Oilers were flambéed by the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

I was. Past tense.

If you’re an Oilers fan and see this and get pissed off at the would-be criticism, relax. Really. You’re reacting to a shit situation that’s been ongoing under different guidance for too-long now. You’re reacting as you should.  Do Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans do that? No so much.

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Attendance in Tampa Bay sports sides with the might of the Lightning

Tonight is the 20th home game of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2018-19 season, the second-to-last home game event of the year 2018 as well. I’ve already heralded the accomplishments of the Bolts first-half in on-ice achievement. Now let me shed light on an aspect of the Bolts off-ice. Something Tampa Bay sports media gives the brush-off in overall coverage in town.

Amalie Arena’s stated max capacity is 19,204, and the Lightning has filled the building at or near capacity for their 19 games at home so far this season. That’s a home-capacity total attendance of 362,748 (you can view full attendance numbers for the NHL here, via ESPN). That’s a pretty damned solid turnout; the Bolts are 5th in the NHL in attendance.

Now, how ‘bout dem Bucs? The much heralded, over-promoted in Tampa Bay news, over-hyped Tampa Bay Buccaneers team have been meh in their season performance, a 5-10 record. Raymond James Stadium’s max capacity is 65,890 and the Bucs haven’t quite made it to capacity too often. After 7 home games, the Bucs average attendance is 54,567, 82% OF CAPACITY AND fourth weakest in the NFL this season (view the full attendance numbers here). It’s the season total attendance number that’s of most note: 381,971.

The Lightning should meet that attendance total tonight as they host the Philadelphia Flyers. They’ll exceed the total with the final 2018 home game against the Montréal Canadiens on Saturday. The Bucs will, of course, top that number with their final home game against the Atlanta Falcons… But the Lightning will top that total-attendance number early in 2019. C’mon, their averaging 19,000 a game, the finale at Ray Jay will bring 54,000 (give or take). The Bolts will make up that differential in three games at the Amalie.

There are many aspects that can be brought up to factor in with attendance (ticket prices, economy issues), but the one aspect that tops it all: this is common. 41 home dates will do that for an NHL team.  41 home dates will do that. The Lightning are still a dominant presence in the NHL while the Bucs are a dominant topic in Tampa Bay sports media coverage while mediocre in performance.

The Tampa Bay Lightning thrives while the Tampa Bay media look elsewhere in sports

Late this summer, before the NFL season was underway, the Tampa Bay Times did the Tampa Bay-media thing and played up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers season ahead. “Most talented offense ever?” discussion before a regular season game had been played seemed like… well, an attempt to raise expectations.

I’m not here to judge the Buccaneer season as it nears a conclusion, I’m here to ask about the Tampa Bay Lightning.

See, with that hype about the Bucs, there hasn’t been the same headline-priority work for the Bolts in the Tampa Bay media, at least not from what I’ve seen. All while the Bolts are doing what counters Tampa Bay college and pro sports teams most of the time: Winning and winning. And winning.

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A quarterback alone cannot cure what ails the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It’s a shell game at quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season with Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick sharing time at QB. Not that they planned it, not that they intended it that way, and not that the Bucs have found success with either man behind center.

Oh, Tampa Bay is .500 after four games, leaving the door open for success or failure with 12 more games to be played. Hey, it’s par for the course so far. The downside being that last two games were losses. Sunday’s was a Chicago Bears blowout of Los Buccaneers, 48-10. One of the leading headlines Monday afternoon on TampaBay.com read that Jameis Winston will return to the role of starting quarterback full-time for the rest of the season and possibly longer. All by way of a loss and Fitzpatrick not solving every issue during play.

That does not, in any fashion, cure what ails the Buccaneers. Not remotely and offense-first hype from the Times (and from fans) is part of the failings. Read More

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.

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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.

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. Read More

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

The weight of the Lightning and an absence from the headlines

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.

Four and Twelve seems like a real possibility

I haven’t talked about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a real long time… I think the last time I put up a post was in January where I gave a general sports roundup. Of course, my sports eye has been on my primary love in Tampa Bay — The Lightning — and that means the Bucs (who I grew to love during their hapless years) have taken a back seat.

Before anyone lays into me about being a bandwagon fan, I support the Buccaneers and haven’t turned a blind eye because another team in town won a championship. The Bucs earned my love over the years from miserable to respectable, and the Lightning won my love since their inception and I place hockey just ahead of football because it was a sport I liked to compete in.

Anyway, I haven’t abandoned the Bucs but I have to turn my eyes because of the train wreck the franchise has become.

Lets go to January of 2003 first and foremost and Jon Gruden / The Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl. When Jon won the title, little did fans know it gave him carte blanche over the Buccaneer Franchise. A team assembled by Rich McKay and Tony Dungy was put over the top by Jon and of course we all loved him for it because this was the Buccaneers finally reaching the paramount of the NFL after being as low as you could get for so long.

Things fell apart last year as Jon Gruden started to follow a trend that previous Buccaneer coaches have shown and fallen with — Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Glazer’s catered to his every whim and the only guy who stood in his way was Rich McKay…

Was, past tense. Rich left the only franchise he had known and went north to Atlanta… Jon was allowed to keep walking the walk he wanted and the Bucs continued the downward spiral.

A trend from Oakland seems to be in place here — not just a desire for veteran players over building a team from the ground up with talented youngsters, but also a “Just win, baby” mentality that tells players their off-field antics amount to shit as long as they perform on the field.

Case in point – Michael Pittman remains on the Buccaneer roster even though he is guilty of ramming his car into his wifes vehicle with children inside. He faces possible jail time and Jon Gruden could give a shit.

The Bucs picked up another ass-clown from the Raiders in the form of Bruce Allen who cut one foo the greatest players in Tampa Bay Buccaneer history – John Lynch — and signed one of the most notorious players in NFL history — Darrell Russell, who drugged a girl and taped him and his friends raping her.
Allen went so far as to compare Russell with former president Bill Clinton and said the rapist is guilty of less crimes than Clinton. (side-note, Allen’s brother is a Republican Senator in Virginia)

I could keep going with moves the Bucs have made and crimes their players have committed since the Super Bowl Championship, but I can’t. It’s watching a train wreck as it occurs and their are more people than just myself who can see this. For the first time since Raymond James Stadium was opened, their are tickets available on Ticketmaster for Buccaneers games this late after the initial public offering of tickets. The Bucs boast a season ticket waiting list of 110 thousand but all it takes is filling out a form online in order to do so. Somehow, my name is on the Season Ticket waiting list and I hate watching football in person. I didn’t sign up and I don’t have the foggiest clue how I got on there…

The number is artificially inflated and more than half of those on this waiting list would not invest in the current product on field.

I look at the Buccaneers this season and I see the train wreck in progress. I feel bad for guys like Derrick Brooks and Mike Alstott who are pillars in the community and who will be cut lose if it meant a marginal offensive tool could be picked up. The once vaulted defense is in shambles and Jon Gruden was given a contract extension before the season to continue is free reign over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

6-10 may be a reach but 4-12 is still a possibility this season. Break out the orange, it’s Yuccaneer football all over again.

Something strange is afoot here…

Just when did i get on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Season Ticket waiting list???

I got an email from the team that addressed me as a Season Ticket Waiting list member. I don’t recall ever adding my name to the season ticket waiting list. Hell, I don’t even have the money to get a season ticket – let alone would I enjoy being at Buc games (sorry boys but Football is better, for me at least, on Television).

Thoughts on Pat Tillman — former NFL player killed in Afghanistan

Pat Tillman, former NFL player who gave up the game and turned his back on millions from the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army Rangers after 9-11, was killed while involved in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. I know at the time he joined up and news was everywhere about it, I was a little put back by this — for political reasons, admittedly — but now I have such a new appreciation for him and I can’t fathom the amount of sacrifice this man has made for America.

I wrote a couple of “Letters to the Editor” at the St. Petersburg Times over this, and I won’t repost it entirely because I took jabs at Simeon Rice, Defensive End for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former Defensive End for the Arizona Cardinals who put down Tillman in general in the media after he enlisted (and personally I like taking jabs at that pompous son of a bitch when I can get the chance) but I did make the statement that Tillman has made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, and he is a prime example of why we here in America are able to enjoy the comforts we know and live a good life where we can do things like play a game for a living in the first place.

Tillman was fighting on the front that mattered IMHO… Someone attacks the US and you go find the source and deal with it… And to lose your life trying to stand up for your country… that just means a hell of a lot to me. That’s Patriotism, that’s what the government has distorted and perverted for Politics since 9-11 happened.

It further cements certain ideals in me… That Iraq was wrong (and costing us billions while costing US Soldiers their lives to fight for a rich man’s principles), that the War on Terrorism needs a new game plan, etc… Yet it gives me a better understanding of how and why we should appreciate the comforts we have…. Because these comforts were paid in the price of blood by many before us. It also makes me feel a monumental appreciation — that’s not even the right word, admiration might work better — for Tillman who gave it all up, who turned his back on MILLIONS to fight to protect his country. Fighting to protect makes me feel so much more for a war than fighting to spread an ideal. Vietnam was fighting to spread an ideal and it wasn’t the right thing to do. Iraq is fighting to spread an ideal and it’s spreading hatred instead and helping the forces we wanted to stop in Afghanistan It’s ironic I blasted Rice because I admire Defense so much more than Offense as these political statements make.

I could go on about political beliefs here and thoughts on war but this should be Pat Tillman’s post… because Tillman’s sacrifice can’t be dismissed.

Rest in peace, Pat Tillman. And let honor ring around your name as it rings around the names of those who have fallen before you to protect the nation and the world.

I CAN'T LOOK! I CAN'T LOOK!!!

Anyone who knows me knows I love the Buccaneers — or did love the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Maybe they were hapless in yesterday, maybe they were oh-so-close and that’s why I loved them. Right now I can’t bring myself to love them, or even watch them for that matter. On this first day of Autumn (or is that tomorrow?) I can’t bring myself to sit down and enjoy the game like I would usually do.

“Why?” you ask. Well, The problem is there is differences in this offense and this team compared to the old teams. There was this “They could do it! They just got to do a little bit more than the basics to get it done!” attitude to everything in the past. In fact I grew up on Slam-mouth football (running the football and passing on key downs alone) with the New York Giants and the Buccaneers under Tony Dungy… Yet now with Jon Gruden, the team has become a flying circus or it at least feels like it is being one under Gruden’s playcall.

Barely any running, giving too many attempts at the pass… Not owning the clock, not giving the defense a chance to rest… Just ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK. It just is NOT how you should play football unless you have a significantly weaker opponent. And you RARELY get that in the NFL.

At any rate, I’ll update you all (or key people) how I am doing later on… Right now I need to vent. I need to eat. I need to drink. I need to get my ass in gear and WRITE my next assignment.

Happy Valentines Day Sarah

Well it’s been a month since I left a entry into my journal in any way shape or form. I’ve avoided this for one reason or another and in fact my journal came back to haunt me again a few weeks ago so I don’t know for sure if I should continue saying anything in these things. Is it because I want to be secretive? No, it’s more along the lines I don’t want to confuse anyone or upset anyone like I can do in here.

That leads me to my writing today. Today is Valentines Day, a day of heart, a day of joy for those who have found love and a day of misery for those without it, or a day or longing past romance from those you may very well be in love with but haven’t experienced the romantic side from your other in a while.

I’ve admittedly been in love since August with someone I haven’t ever met in person… Someone that has meant a lot to me because she’s not only been there to listen to me, but because we’ve just clicked in a lot of ways and I feel like she makes me better when I am with her. A better human being, a better comedian, a more thoughtful person, etc…

I don’t know what the future will bring us – if things will last any longer than a week or things are long term in the grandest meanings of the word – and of course I’ve had my doubts before (and still do of course, who doesn’t at times) but I realize the reason I am doubting a lot of the time is because of my own past or my own insecurities and paranoia… Life just tends to throw you off course whenever you see something you want and you have to keep going towards it while you can until what you desire moves either clearly out of the picture or is in your grasp.

1-4-3, S.M.R :kiss :rose

OK, now that i have gotten matters of the heart out of the way, it’s time to tell everyone just what I have been up to the past month that has made me not want to come on here and rant and rave… Well, I got fired from Target for starters. Not fired from screwing up but pink slipped. Cut backs and what not. I’m not exactly medically sound right now but I know I can get through this like I get through everything else that has ever made me intimidated before in my life — because I’m just too damned good to let it go to my head (you don’t know how bad a pun that was just now).

I’ve been all over the web trying to find something to pass the time – be it talking on instant message programs to talking on Message boards. I single handedly turned around the Segway-open mailing list as I may or may not have already reported. Segway’s, by the way, start shipping on March 1st. You’ll be seeing more of those buzzing around you soon enough.

George Dubya “Warmonger” Bush is dead set on a war in Iraq…. This goes as no surprise to me because they’ve been planning this thing since Bush took office in 2001…. Yet the entire world is against the US efforts to start a war and that is causing a bit of a problem.

Of course there is also the fact that Osama Bin Laden has issued a couple of new Communication tapes — which is always foreshadowing to an attack. The US is on a heightened terror alert right now and rightly so.

Oh yeah, and before I close this Journal entry off, I think that I have avoided a subject matter that in itself is huge that should have gotten it’s own private entry in here over the past month (but I’ve been too lazy to get to it) —

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS! SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS, BABY!!!!!!!!! DEFENSE WINS IT ALL!!!!!!!