Hope IndexMay 29th, 2014
One of Joe’s all-time favorite sports personalities is none other than “The General,” Robert Montgomery Knight. Bob Knight, the greatest basketball coach Joe has seen.
When he was coaching at Indiana, when Joe was growing up in the Midwest, Joe never, ever missed a game. Appointment television. At his height, Knight’s teams were what Joe called perfect basketball, not this schlap pro ball that BSPN assaults people with and uses to brainwash and indoctrinate innocent viewers’ senses. It was beautiful basketball.
Joe also revered Knight because Knight was always a frustrated comedian. Great one-liners. Years ago, before TV became such an intrusive presence on sports, the mid-court camera angle at Assembly Hall was like the camera angle at Madison Square Garden. It was as if TV viewers were sitting center-court 20 rows up from the floor.
Whenever the camera would pan the Indiana bench during a possession, Knight near always got out of his seat. What a drinking game that would have been!
Anyway, one of Joe’s favorite Knight quotes — there are many — is that hope is the worst kind of four-letter in the King’s English because it is rooted in nothing. Nothing more than a dream, a wish.
So Joe can only guess that good guy Mike Tanier’s NFL Hope Index, as seen on the underrated SportsOnEarth.com site, would elicit a few choice words from Knight. In ranking the Bucs’ hope index for the 2014 season, Tanier doesn’t find much, ranking the Bucs in the bottom half of the NFL.
18) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 10.5
I expected these guys to be higher. But Lovie Smith only gets one point for leading the Bears to a Super Bowl years ago, and there is only one regime-change point to be had, even if you are banishing Loki from Asgard forever. The Bucs had just three Pro Bowl selections last year, which seems low (one was Darrelle Revis), but never underestimate a terrible coach’s ability to suppress the quality of his own players.
Tanier makes a helluva point. Former Bucs commander Greg Schiano really didn’t get a whole lot out of good players. At least not wins. His defense did OK, if you ignore the revolting lack of pressure put on quarterbacks. Yes, his defense forced turnovers, but the offense, even with weapons for Mike Glennon to use, rarely took advantage. The offense was simply woeful.
Just on Lovie’s ability to get production out of players, the Bucs can only get better. Hell, last year was so miserable, the Bucs could double their win total from 2013, and still not have a winning record.
Almost every time a team doubles its win total from the previous season, that’s a nice job.