One Buc Palace Doesn’t Smell

November 17th, 2008
SI.coms Peter King apparently has been sniffing around One Buc Palace and cant find anything that stinks.'s Peter King apparently has been sniffing around One Buc Palace and can't find anything that stinks.

It’s Monday, so while digging for blog tidbits, Joe read Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback as he has done for years. As expected, King had an interesting item that one won’t find in too many other places:

One Buc Palace doesn’t smell.

Peter King makes his living being in NFL locker rooms. And they stink! So King, who when he isn’t writing about the NFL and slurping Brett Favre, loves to write about fine dining and the joys of Starbucks, boasts how One Buc Palace is indeed a palace.

Each locker has a 30-inch-by-10-inch fine-mesh metal screen high in the stall, where the helmet and shoulder pads rest, and then a 30-inch-by-16-inch screen at torso level, to dry and suck out odors from practice gear and shoes. Other than it smelling nicer in the locker room, there’s a bacteria and infection benefit in sucking out many of the germs in the joint.

The exhaust from the lockers is removed when the temperature rises in the room (usually when a mass of bodies occupies it), and the air-conditioning automatically clicks on. That prompts a mechanism in the system that forces the air out of each locker through spiral ducts into a series of galvanized metal pipes, sent through a network of pipes 44 feet to the rooftop, and expelled into the air through a fan on the outside of the building. The theory: If the odor-causing items — shoes, pads, helmets, practice gear — are near or next to an exhaust system designed to suck nearby air out of the locker through two big vents, there won’t be any smell to linger.

What Joe found even more interesting was King’s comments about the former One Buc Place, which must have been the pits.

You had to see the old Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice facility, called One Buc Place, to believe it. I’d be kind to say it was a shoebox. By the end of its run, in 2006, one office-sized room was shared by assistant coaches Raheem Morris and Jay Gruden, the NFL Network remote camera and backdrop and the airport X-ray machine the Bucs used to screen belongings before road trips (every team does this at its facility now, so officials and players and coaches can simply walk onto airport charter flights).

Food service was done in a hallway, and players ate on their laps at their narrow lockers. Mice, rats and opossums — and the cats who chased them — lived in, near and under the building and the adjacent office trailers for staff and the press. The trainers’ room had no modern amenities, and if trainer Todd Toriscelli wanted rehabbing players to do pool therapy, he put them in his car at lunchtime and drove 10 minutes to then-GM Rich McKay’s house, where the players would go in the shallow end of the family in-ground pool and jog for half an hour.

Isn’t it amazing that NFL owners, who make bazillions of dollars from their football teams, the revenues of which they can use for all manner of things from buying soccer teams to helping bankroll failing auto industries couldn’t afford to pay for facilities not fit for a high school team and needed the help of taxpayers to pay for their weekday offices?

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