There Is No SpinningSeptember 12th, 2013
Naturally, when drama seeps from the walls of One Buc Palace like in recent days, such as the manufactured news that Bucs franchise quarterback Josh Freeman is no longer a captain and whispers of a classified team meeting that either did or didn’t take place before or after the Jets game, and the legitimate news that Freeman missed the official team photo session, there are bound to be all sorts of ways to spin this information.
The popular folks at Deadspin.com, who write about the Bucs as often as Joe wrestles with Rachel Watson between the sheets in the wee hours, is now on the trail of the Bucs and they seem to believe a) either Bucs commander Greg Schiano or Freeman will not be with the Bucs at season’s end; and/or b) the news of Freeman missing the team photo is a plant by the team in an effort to use the spin cycle to the team’s advantage.
Schiano denied vote-rigging yesterday, saying, “it’s 100 percent false. If there was such a thing as a 102 percent, this would be it.’’
Which might be true! And wouldn’t change the level of dysfunction one bit. That Bucs players would even entertain the possibility that their head coach is out to get their quarterback is not a sign of a healthy locker room. Then there’s this report in today’s Tampa Tribune. “Multiple sources” claim Freeman did not show up for the team’s photo day last week. Don’t bet against this leak only coming out now as a way for the front office to sway public opinion: See, Freeman doesn’t deserve to be captain.
The Buccaneers have a brutal first-half schedule and could easily be 1-7 at the halfway point. It seems certain that either Freeman or Schiano won’t be back next year. The more immediate question is whether they will even finish the season.
Now, there’s no way to know if Schiano went all Dick Daley on Freeman, but what the hell would be the point of pulling such a stunt when the only end result is a blowup in your face?
Joe truly believes the “captain” moniker on a football team is an empty, vapid figurehead moniker. Schiano may be a control freak but he is not a megalomaniac.
Joe can categorically write that the notion Photogate being a plant by the Bucs is absurd on every level. Joe was working on this story for days before he broke the story and can flat out state not one person who works at One Buc Palace in any capacity had any communication with Joe about this story until team sources were approached.
Whether this Photogate flap is the public beginning of the end of Freeman in Tampa Bay depends on one simple thing: wins. If the Bucs win Sunday, all of this nonsense is on the backburner. If the Bucs make the playoffs, it is all forgotten.
It is no more complex than that.