THE OPTIMIST: Smile At The Bucs In LondonAugust 1st, 2011
THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the team goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.
THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I would have been out there on Dale Mabry watching the Bucs beat up on Da’ Bears in October, but not everyone is able to attend the games like I can, including perhaps myself when the time comes. The job market is shaky around here.
And if it’s so that many people could have a hard time financially attending Bucs games this year, then that means one more game will be on the tube for sure for Bucs fans to enjoy this season — the home game against the Bears played away in London.
The NFL has made it clear it is going to send its name and image across the globe. The greater the fan base of the NFL, the more money it makes, the more money the players make, the better the product is overall.
The London game sells out in minutes. It’s a huge event when it happens, and the Bucs probably had one of the better experiences of teams going over there. No, the game didn’t do much for fans, but when Mike Alstott, Shelton Quarles and Lee Roy Selmon show up for a touch football game with Bucs UK fan club vs. the Patriots’ fan club, well, talk about an experience of a lifetime!
It was so much, NFL Films devoted several minutes of its 2009 Bucs yearbook video on Paul Stewart and the Bucs UK. Stewart, the founder of the Bucs UK, watched a Monday Night game back in 1982 and the Bucs beat the Dolphins that night. He became a lifelong Bucs fan that moment; Of course it may have been different had anyone told him the Bucs would lose for the next 14 years.
I do hope the Bucs are not chosen again for this trip for some time; the fact is, the logistics of a trip to London are brutal. But the impact on the franchise should be a positive one, unless of course they lose by 20+ points again.
But at least if that happens, we can drown our sorrows with Bucs fans from all over the world.