THE OPTIMIST: Stop Jumping ShipSeptember 21st, 2011
THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers 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.
Every once in a while, everyone feels the urge to jump ship. Yes, even The Optimist.
Ask yourself honestly, did you on Sunday?
You watched a slow backup running back take a handoff and run around the left side of the field, as Ronde Barber missed, as Quincy Black took the worst possible angle, Tim Crowder jogged, and as Cody Grimm appeared to run hopelessly nowhere near him, all the while Toby Gerhart gained 31 yards.
Did you feel like going overboard then?
How about when Donovan McNabb made you think you were watching Randall Cunningham as he ran around the end and tiptoed along the sideline getting a first down when it was 3rd- and-long. All the while Brian Price was hobbling along.
Did the thought cross your mind to look for the nearest life preserver?
Maybe when you saw any of the many Quincy Black whiffs, or whoops attempted tackles?
Because it’s ok…The Optimist did. I had enough. I thought back to a few other times I had to consider the benefits of being a Bucs fan. Halftime 1983, the Bucs were 0-4, but they lost their games by 11, 7, 3 and 6 points, respectively. So of course I’m going to watch the Bucs play at Green Bay. It was Packers 49, Bucs 7 — at halftime!
In 1985, the Bucs just won their first game of the year, they were 1-9, but being a mini Optimist back then, I always watched the Bucs. They went up on the favored Jets 14-0 in the first quarter. OH! Lookout, the Bucs are back! The Jets led at the half 41-21.
Orange Man Overboard!
Listen, it happens. After everything I went through in the 80s and early 90’s, the Bucs were even THINKING about moving out of town? That was going to be Hugh Culverhouses legacy? Cheapness? Followed by abandonment?!?
Sometimes, especially when hopes are inflated a little higher than they should be, the let-down is just too much to handle. But is it really jumping ship when you know someone is going to come swimming after you? Is it really all that bad to curse out Buccaneers when you know the players are going to come to life in the second half?
Trust me, even the Bucs know they let down themselves, their fans, and relatives, and everyone who has anything vested when they under perform.
It’s the same thing as the team did last year, so you have to look for the common denominator; youth. Raheem Morris coined the phrase ‘Youngry’…but this is a team that gets hungry only once it’s able to get over its own poor play. They need to learn how to move on past a bad play. Arrelious Benn dropped a ball and was down all over himself. One has to wonder how many other Bucs players are doing the same thing,
wallowing in their despair over a poor play. Maybe instead of Youngry, the word should be You-gretful! Or You-covery!
If that’s the case, then we are going to have to get used to this brand of football, because until the Bucs get more experienced, they’ll give
us all the first half springboard material we need to get ourselves in trouble.
Until then, we must watch Mason Foster grow before our eyes, Adrian Clayborn, too. And maybe after a year to think about it, Tanard Jackson has matured enough.
Lets hope so, jumping ship can be quite painful! But it’s not permanent.