THE OPTIMIST: Stop Jumping Ship

September 21st, 2011

You’ve all read THE PESSIMIST, who spews his Bucs-related anger like no other. But Joe also brings you THE OPTIMIST

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.

3 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: Stop Jumping Ship”

  1. stimpy Says:

    Ill admit it!

    I took the plank, placed it on the side of the ship, walked myself out to the end and then did a noise dive off of it.

    I tell you now. I cant keep this up for much longer. My doctor said i need to take it easy…


  2. IMHO... Says:

    much as I love them, they can be bad 4 ur health. Thru tha years of being a fan I think I developed a mild case of tourette’s

  3. Piratic Says:

    “Every once in a while, everyone feels the urge to jump ship.”

    Nope. Not from THIS ship.

    “Ask yourself honestly, did you on Sunday?”

    Nope. Not in THIS lifetime.

    “Did the thought cross your mind to look for the nearest life preserver?”

    That’s what Newcastle (The One and Only) is for!

    “Sometimes, especially when hopes are inflated a little higher than they should be, the let-down is just too much to handle.”

    Great take, but I’ll never allow myself to forget that last season was supposed to be a continuation of the process of evaluating the young talent on the roster. To a large extent, that’s what this season is about, as well. Last season’s playoff chase was pure gravy.

    “Raheem Morris coined the phrase ‘Youngry’…”

    First, a single word is not a phrase. Second, it’s “Yungry”. Didn’t you see Coach Morris’ post-game speech? He had hats made up!

    “…we are going to have to get used to this brand of football…”

    For the short-term, no doubt about it. A young team will almost always play with inconsistency, regardless of talent level or coaching level.

    “…we must watch Mason Foster grow before our eyes, Adrian Clayborn, too.”

    #59 plays with a nastiness that is going to be a pleasure to watch develop.

    #94 has great hands and is nasty, too!

    But your list is WAY too short.

    As this absurdly young roster slowly matures into what is hopefully a perennial contender, their journey won’t be an easy one, but an incredibly difficult one, full of hard work and disappointments, and one whose outcome is uncertain. To be able to witness that journey while aboard this ship is a complete privilege.

    “jumping ship can be quite painful!”

    And it should be!! The punishment for jumping ship should be VERY painful indeed!

    NEVER will I even CONTEMPLATE jumping ship. I will always be loyal to the flag.

    “But it is not permanent.”

    It is for me.

    The only way I’m leaving this ship is when they drop my corpse overboard.

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