It might as well be you.
As I watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers feebly lose to the Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday, I became frustrated. The Glazer family, who owns the Buccaneers, purchased the Manchester United soccer team a couple years back. For those of you who don’t know, Manchester United is one of the world’s strongest “European football” teams going, and they have a long tradition of championships.
Ever since the Glazers purchased Man U, their investment in the Buccaneers has slowly waned. This year, it’s becoming obvious that they are pinching pennies big-time, perhaps trying to make the team more attractive to sell. I don’t know that for sure; it’s just a guess. Right now the Buccaneers have:
* A rookie head coach (Raheem Morris) who, before this year, had never held a head coaching position on ANY level and had never held a position above Defensive Backs coach
* A rookie General Manager (Mark Dominik) who was promoted to that post by the team
* The lowest current payroll of any NFL team, roughly $30 million under the salary cap
* A journeyman quarterback in Byron Leftwich, who has been cast off by three other teams
* A defensive line that obviously needed addressing but got no attention in the off-season
* A wide receiving corps that features Antonio Bryant and very little else
Memo to the Glazers: If you’re going to continue to pinch pennies, get out. Sell the team and go watch your soccer. If you’re in, you should be all in.
Memo to Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik: Do you realize you’re being exploited as low-budget scapegoats who will take the fall for the Buccaneers’ ineptitude? Dominik has done nothing to impress me up to now, with questionable trades (Kellen Winslow) and draft choices (Josh Freeman, among others) – but he, too, is handicapped when he has about $20-$30 million less to play with than the rest of the league. That is three or four very good players’ salaries. Considering that only 11 can play at a time, don’t you think that would make a difference?
Memo to my fellow Buccaneers fans: Let the Glazers know this is not acceptable. Times are tough right now, and tickets are not cheap. The entertainment dollar should be spent wisely, and quite frankly this version of the Buccaneers is not all that entertaining.
It’s appropriate that they are going retro for a game this year, wearing their hunting-vest/popsicle orange uniforms with the not-so-scary “Buccaneer Bruce” logo on the helmet. Those early Bucs teams were the worst in history until last year’s Lions.
This year’s squad may very well wind up alongside them, and that’s just plain sad.