Bucs Playing In London Is For The FansApril 14th, 2011
Joe can’t count the number of times he’s read comments from angry fans who threw empty beer bottles at their dog in rage over the way BSPN shafted the Bucs and the ugly fact the constant barking, howling and gnarling from the cur sounded remarkably like Chris Berman.
Joe always countered with “If the Bucs win, the attention will follow.”
Apparently, that didn’t happen in 2010.
Unless someone has lived in a cave for roughly the past decade or is a zombie, BSPN cares only about a few select teams/athletes. They slurp at the alter of Bill Belicheat and Tom Brady, genuflect at the feet of Jerry Jones and the Cowboys, wipe the nose of
Opie Taylor Peyton Manning, sing the praises of the NFC East, unquestionably the most overrated division in football year after year.
Though the four-letter outfit’s baseball coverage is significantly worse and should be a model for all journalism schools on how not to cover a sport — it’s nothing short of shameful — its NFL coverage has also sunk in recent years and Joe can only think that the lone two groups of people who actually turn to BSPN for real news are ADD-afflicted adolescents and invalids who are incapable of operating a remote. It’s why Joe has long preached the gospel of the NFL Network for thinking football fans and men of all ages who actually possess a pair.
(To be fair, the four-letter is the gold standard for college football coverage and does a solid job on college basketball, which makes Joe wonder why the outfit can’t put forth the same effort and dynamite coverage of America’s most popular sport?)
Eash Sunday morning there is the depressing image of stoic if not burned out Ed Werder from Valley Ranch, Sal Pal from Lincoln Financial, never-blinking Rachel Nichols at Gillette Stadium.
How much did BSPN ignore the Bucs last year? When the Bucs and Saints met at The CITS with both teams fielding a winning record, the Mouse Outfit ordered its NFC South blogger who lives in the area to cover a non-NFC South game.
Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik even indirectly spoke about this months ago when he appeared with co-hosts of “The Blitz,” Adam Schein and Rich Gannon heard exclusively on Sirius NFL Radio, that he was pleased to see the Dixie Chicks and the Saints play on Monday Night Football because — Joe is paraphrasing here — TV networks seem to look the other way at the NFC South so any chance two teams from the division got some national exposure, it’s a good thing for the Bucs as well.
Armed with this information, based on multiple sources with direct pipelines to the powers that be at One Buc Palace, Joe learned that the Bucs have tried to go on the offensive in getting the word out that the team has a number of highly-marketable, exciting young players that football fans will gravitate to if they only knew about them.
This push to get the Bucs out in view of football fans everywhere is also part of the reason the Bucs were proactive in offering team access to be highlighted in “Hard Knocks” on HBO.
In short, the move to play in London was a savvy ploy by Team Glazer to ensure the Bucs had at least one nationally televised game. In fact, it will be an internationally televised game. Sure, the Bucs could get a prime time game on BSPN or NBC, but that is totally out of the hands of Team Glazer. The Bucs, to get on Monday Night Football or Football Night in America, are completely at the mercy of TV networks and quite frankly, those same networks haven’t been warm to the Bucs.
Playing in London is a smart end around BSPN and NBC to get the Bucs national and international TV exposure. It also doesn’t hurt that the Bucs are quickly becoming the team of choice for British football fans as there is a large contingent of Bucs fans there.
So for Bucs fans who griped, stomped their feet and nearly scared their pet pooch to death about the Bucs not being on national TV, you have your wish. It will just be in London and not at The CITS.