Listener Blog Submission
Growing up as a Buccaneers fan you learned to live in obscurity with low expectations. While teams like the Browns are famous for being terrible in an admirable way the Buccaneers have been ignored, their accomplishments tossed aside. With one of the best defenses in NFL history we won Super Bowl XXXVII, yet instead of being mythologized that team is forgotten by most fans and pundits unless a player from that team is being interviewed.
The frustrating thing for Buccaneers fans was the “Suckaneers” moniker. For 15 years the Bucs had more losses by a TD or less than any other franchise, nearly double the next team. For 15 years the Bucs had lost more games by a FG or less…we were not a terrible franchise, we were cursed. We lost games in the weirdest ways, obscure rules, bonehead penalties on the last play or by missing extra points. For everyone else we just sucked but for those who watched every game, we knew that we were just 1 player away from greatness and when we got him we had immediate success. The entire league woke up to the reality we had been living in.
When the greatest quarterback in history decided to join the Buccaneers the few of us left on the ship knew we were in for a great adventure.
Real life pirate Bartholomew Roberts once said “merry life and a short one shall be my motto”, he might as well have been talking about the Brady Bucs. We all knew that our window to win would be very limited and so we enjoyed every snap. Every day the sports talk shows spent hours talking about our team, our proud jolly roger prominently displayed on screen. Our uniforms never looked so good. We strutted around in our jerseys and hats and didn’t hear a single snicker. Our crew swelled with bandwagon fans. We were a team to be feared.
Life was sweet.
Then after a heartbreaking loss that we would replay in our heads for weeks, it ended abruptly.
How could this be? We barely lost, we still had a great team. Tom Brady was nearly the MVP…there was no drop off, no diminishing skills. We still had treasure to plunder and cities to terrorize but our captain had decided to leave. Most of us were prepared for 3 years of Tom Brady, 4 if we were extremely lucky but only 2?To go out 1 let down in coverage away from yet another legendary TB12 overtime win? It was a shocking blow. We were back to being the team that languished in the seas, rudderless with no wind in our sails.
The thought of suffering through a season of more irrelevance was depressing. We were back to being the “Suckaneers” too soon. We knew that at some point our team would have to rebuild and join the rest of the NFL in the struggle to stay afloat but we had wished to feel the warmth of the sun for just one more season. That, more than anything, was the devastating part of the retirement announcement. It felt like things were unfinished. So we tried to imagine how we could scavenge the parts we needed to hold it together until we found a replacement for the greatest ever to do it, but you can’t replace a mythological level of greatness. All was despair aboard the quickly emptying pirate ship.
Then out of nowhere, like a hero in a folktale from long ago, our captain returned and suddenly we were battening down the hatches, raising the sails and loading the cannons. With a hearty “yo ho ho” our crew was energized and this morning we are back to being that band of ruthless Buccaneers who’s flag strikes fear in the hearts of their opponents. We are once again ready to take on the entire NFL, without hesitation. Even if it is only for one more glorious season.
Prepare the ship for we sail for adventure, treasure and glory and a merry life and a short one shall be our motto!