How Far The Bucs Have Sunk

April 17th, 2010
In a poll of most popular Tampa Bay area athletes, Ronde Barber was the highest rated Bucs player at No. 4.

In a poll of most popular Tampa Bay area athletes, Ronde Barber was the highest rated Bucs player at No. 4.

There is no question the Tampa Bay region is a football area.

Those that loathe football but choose to live in the area endure a virtual prison sentence from July through January each year, which may explain why yentas tolerate Bay Sludge 9.

So it was somewhat shocking to Joe to read Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times (apparently taking a break from watching DVR’ed episodes of that weekly wretched BSPN Mike Lupica abortion of a show, a production that Jones clearly is addicted to since he regularly references it in his non-interactive blog postings)  write about the most popular local athlete in the Tampa Bay area.

Seems the high priests of the Politburo of the Poynter Paper decided to run a poll of who the most popular Tampa Bay area athlete is.

It was not surprising to Joe that Dirtbag himself, Evan Longoria, is the most popular local athlete. Joe has heard from many first-hand accounts that the Rays all-star slugging third baseman is well-familiar with virtually every watering hole on north Fourth Street in St. Petersburg in addition to many trendy hotspots in Tampa where attractive, nubile young lasses tend to gather and cavort.

All the things Joe has heard about Dirtbag, none have been negative. The guy is enjoying the fruits that come with being a stud athlete for a winning team. Dirtbag’s always ready to flash a smile, offer a warm handshake and thank his fans for following the Rays.

And of course, the ladies love Dirtbag. Dude is living a charmed life and Dirtbag seems to appreciate that. Joe is jealous.

Back to the most popular local athletes. Of the list that Jones documents, only two in the top ten are Bucs players and Ronde Barber is the highest listed at No. 4.

4. Ronde Barber
124 votes, 11 percent
Of all the stars on the Bucs’ Super Bowl team (and the good teams leading up to the championship), Barber is the lone holdover. These days, as the Bucs try to rebuild, Barber remains the voice and face of the team, it’s most recognizable player. Perhaps if the Bucs were better, Barber would rate higher on the list. It shows just how well-liked Barber is to finish fourth despite being on a team that isn’t particularly well-liked at the moment.

Wow! Let’s think about this for a moment: This is a football mad area. Rays “fans” are more whiners than fans. “I can’t drive 20 minutes to a game. It’s too fahr!”

As the great Artie Lange would say, “WAH!”

Bolts fans are, well, sort of bandwagon. At least they don’t ever whine about driving to a game, Joe’s gotta tip his Caybrew-stained cap to them for that.

The fact we live in a football-crazed area and the Bucs only have two players crack the top ten in most popular athletes (Josh Freeman is No. 10) is yet another example of how far the Bucs have sunk in the eyes of the community.

Could it be that, when the Bucs kicked Derrick Brooks and Warrick Dunn (and perhaps, Chucky as well?) to the curb last year, that fans took those moves as a collective kick to the mouth and thus tuned the Bucs out?

6 Responses to “How Far The Bucs Have Sunk”

  1. jake Says:

    People gravitate towards and embrace success and unfortunately the Bucs havent had a lot of that lately. Ordinary life is hard enough. People look for a release with sports and identify with winners and winning. Before, Longoria and during the Devil Ray era most of the public in the Bay area probably couldnt even name a single player on their roster. Once (if) the Bucs start winning again, the players that are causing the success will be extremely popular.

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    Obviously, the 135,000 of us at weren’t included in this survey. My number 1 is Raheem Morris, not really, Derrick Brooks is the mack daddy. Soon it could be Ndamukong Suh or Eric Berry.

  3. tampa2 Says:

    Joe, Why the “dirtbag” thing on Longoria? Hasn’t he earned his fame with his play?

  4. thomas Says:

    Josh Freeman #10. That is pretty sad. He was the 28th ranked qb in the league. Dead last of three rookie first-rounders. He threw 18 picks with only 158 completions – 1 pick for every 9 completions. Stafford and Sanchez both threw 20 pics but have about 100 more attempts each.

    What number was Radio? How about the next Buc Hallof Famer Sammy Stroughter (acccording to Dom and Radio).

    The reason that Rays top the list is because they are a quality org run by quality people with ownership that is honest about its limitations – something the glazerhouses are not. Case in point, the rays do not need to hire a spin doctor, uh p.r. man, like ari fleisher.

  5. Joe Says:

    Joe, Why the “dirtbag” thing on Longoria? Hasn’t he earned his fame with his play?

    That’s his nickname. (Always helps to click on hyperlinks.)

  6. JimBuc Says:

    Thomas, you are a very open-minded optimist.