Another Round Of Blackout Excuses

June 7th, 2010

For Joe, the reason the Tampa Bay area is facing the embarrassing prospect of Bucs home games being taken off local television this year is simple:

Ugly record + Ugly economy + Little star power = Ugly attendance.

Sadly, the Bucs aren’t much of an attraction beyond Joe and the rest of the hardcore fan base. That’s just reality of years of poor drafts, flimsy spending and now a head coach with low approval ratings and little experience. And ownership seems to be just fine with enduring the result of all this in 2010, in order to build a “lasting contender.”

Typically, the local voice of the Kremlin-based, Pat “Vacation Man” Yasinskas, misses most of these points. Vacation Man was asked recently by one of his readers why Tampa Bay is having so much trouble selling tickets when a smaller market like New Orleans packs in the fans.

Pat Yasinskas: Technically, Tampa Bay has sold out every game since Raymond James Stadium opened, but team officials are bracing for local television blackouts this season. That will be reminiscent of the bad old days of the 1980s and ‘90s. Tampa Bay is a unique market. I live here now and have spent about half my life here. Any Florida city is going to have lots of transplants from up North, who hold onto their allegiances. The weather also presents lots of opportunities to do other things on a Sunday. This isn’t New Orleans where children are born and raised to be Saints fans. The Bucs have a great crew of die-hard fans. But the nature of this market means there also are a lot of fringe fans and they show up only when the Bucs are playing well and going to games becomes trendy. Even then, this is a tough market. Just ask the Tampa Bay Rays. They’re having a great season, but Tropicana Field doesn’t draw huge crowds.

Joe’s not buying any Rays-Bucs analogy. It’s apples and oranges. Bucs tickets would be a scalper’s dream if the Bucs were loaded with talent — and successful — like the Rays.

Vacation Man is wrong. This isn’t a “tough market” for a good football team. And how Vacation Man could have omitted the economic downturn affecting the entire NFL is hard to understand.

20 Responses to “Another Round Of Blackout Excuses”

  1. Capt.Tim Says:

    Ommiting the obvious, and obscuring the truth, seems to be at an all time high. And not just in the thing to note, the Glazers knew rebuilding would cost them in ticket sales. They did it anyway, in the best intrest of the Team. If they were really money starved, they would have left the team as it was.Grudens teams produced Just enough, every other year, to keep the seats full.
    I believe the downward spirally economy is the biggest culprit. I know Lots of Buc fans that aren’t buying tickets due to money issues, much more so than team issues. Don’t know of anyone who didn’t get hammered the last few years, and it’s just starting to bounce back.
    Hopefully, enough fans will be able to get to the games. Really would hate to see the games Blacked out.

  2. Snook Says:

    Using New Orleans as an example of hardcore fans is a joke. Before Katrina, there was talk of their owner moving them. The Saints sell out games right now because there a good team. Period. That’s basically the story for most NFL markets. Funny how Pat didn’t mention Atlanta. Their games are hardly ever sellouts… The GA Dome is never full. And they’re a good team.

  3. Snook Says:

    If the Saints were 3-13 last season, they’d be facing blackouts, too.

  4. ben Says:

    The only thing that I can agree with not going to games is the “economy” excuse. I’m sure many fans are cutting out games to save a little dough. I’m a broke college student and I still EVERY YEAR go to at least 2 games! Hopefully when I graduate I can get season tickets to Bucs, Rays and Bolts! Listen people, going to a football game is awesome no matter what! We have such a young team and future optimism is high! What if in a couple years Johnson to Benn/Williams/Stroughter is the best damn air attack! What if GMC/Price/Black/Rudd/Talib are the next dominating defense in the NFL! I’m 27 and I was alive/very young in the dark days of the Bucs but I bet all the long time fans loved winning the first Super Bowl in Tampa ever! I’m the next generation of Bucs fan, and forget last year, I’m here for the now and the future! I love my team! Go Bucs!

  5. JimBuc Says:

    Joe said:

    “This isn’t a “tough market” for a good football team.”

    Most markets are not tough for good football teams, but many are not that tough for bad football teams. Tampa is not one of those markets.

  6. pete Says:

    Lower the darn ticket prices. $75 for the top row of the stadium is silly.

    And the $35 adult tickets are in the corner where the sun is shinning all day.

    Take the NY Giants game last year.

    $75 + the worst offensive game in bucs history + 200 degree heat = not much fun

    $35 + the worst offensive game in bucs history + 200 degree heat = not much fun either but at least I would have $40 dollars to spend on other items.

  7. Joe Says:

    Lower the darn ticket prices. $75 for the top row of the stadium is silly.

    And the $35 adult tickets are in the corner where the sun is shinning all day.

    Take the NY Giants game last year.

    $75 + the worst offensive game in bucs history + 200 degree heat = not much fun

    $35 + the worst offensive game in bucs history + 200 degree heat = not much fun either but at least I would have $40 dollars to spend on other items.

    And there you have it. Not quite as much as baseball, but football — as have other sports — have courted the high rollers thinking the littles will always be there. But now the NFL has not only priced themselves out of the reach of the common man, they have made the game more enjoyable at home.

    All of a sudden teams are shocked and trying to figure out why and how they can get the littles back.

    Real simple: roll back tickets prices, stop gouging for beers and parking at an obscene price and make the experience more enjoyable in-person.

    Not that difficult to figure out.

  8. Patrick Says:

    Yeah this is the kind of crap you get when you have Raheem and co. in charge. No media attention, no popularity, no primetime games, no nothing.

    I understand we’re rebuilding and all, but I think the progress needs to be a little faster here. It’s been proven many times that teams can be turned around in 1 or 2 offseasons. The Saints went from 3-13 in 05 to 10-6 in 06. The Dolphins went 1-15 (yes, 1-15) to 11-5. The Falcons went from 3-13 in 07 to 11-5 in 08. But no, we have to be happy with going from 3-13 in 09 to 6-10 this year. And then MAYBE, just MAYBE a playoff berth in 2011. By what everyone is saying, it’ll take that long to just get back to where we were in 08 (9-7).

    The reason many fans, including me, have been disgruntled about what the team has done since Raheem took over, is because we weren’t even that bad in 2008. We were a 9-7 team that just choked. We weren’t a HORRIBLE team. Yes, we needed to get younger, but you just don’t from 9-7 to the armpit of the league. You rebuild and try to remain competitive at the same time. Take the Patriots for example, they’re an old aging team on the decline. They’re trying to restock their roster through the draft, but you don’t see them getting rid of everyone all at once and just starting nothing but unprovens on the team. They’re rebuilding, but also still remaining competitive, and not deciding to take a step back like we are.

    They could have brought in 1 or 2 good free agents this year to pair with the young guys. That’s what the Lions are doing. They’re building through the draft just like us, but they’re also adding free agents to remain competitive at the same time and make faster progress. Imagine how much of a difference that would make for us NEXT year and the future. I don’t see how that could’ve hurt us at all. Many people out there were young and affordable.

    I understand what Raheem was trying to do, but he never even gave us a chance of success in 09. The season was just practice for him. And that’s not right. I get the feeling that a losing mentality has been created here, and that there’s no urgency to win right now. I understand we’re rebuilding, but the front office seems like it’s willing to have slow as hell progress and doesn’t even mind going through more losing seasons. The “win now” mentality is the right one to have. Not the “we’ll be in the playoffs in 2 years” mentality. The only time “win now” is bad is when you’re doing patch up “old veteran” work on the roster. There were some young talented guys we could’ve brought in during FA, that would not have been band-aids.

  9. JimBuc Says:

    Patrick said:

    “We were a 9-7 team that just choked.”

    This one comment is the basis for most disputes between Bucs fans. If you believe that, then of course you are upset about the Bucs. If I believed that I would be absolutely pissed.

  10. RustyRhino Says:

    “We were a 9-7 team that just choked.” i think that a few words where omitted in this comment. and those words are “old” & “slow”

    “We were an old and slow 9-7 team that just choked.”

    Now this is what i saw on Sunday all 16 of them….
    the way to bring in young players can be through Young FA, who are good,(few and far between) and drafting your own players.
    With the previous Gruden/Allen drafts we did not do a good enough job of bringing in many good young fast players.. so we went out and got older slower more established players.. good for 1-2 years and kaput!!
    Thats not the way to build for long term, IMO.
    either way we are looking at 2010 and i think we will be competitive in 65-75% of our games this year. We are not yet where we all want us to be 80-85% competitive, but we should be much more so than the last 4 games of 2008.

  11. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    The Saints had empty stands for Decades …give me a break.

  12. Eric Says:

    old and slow like Joey Galloway and Antonio Bryant?

    Or Talib, TJ, Geno, Joseph, Faine, Penn, Smith, White, Ruud, Black, Hayward, Trueblood, etc.

    Andthe chockers with the 12-4 home record in 07, 08? Winning seasons three of last four years two division titles?

    Of course those teams only played the lastfour games of 08……………and the 09 team didnt start till week seven.

  13. JimBuc Says:

    Eric, like your commitment to slanted arguments. Let’s fill in your blanks. First, only talking about 08. Second, Talib only played nickel under Monte. Gino and Black did not play due to Monte and who did they sit behind? Brooks and June, who never played another down in the NFL, right? Add to that Garcia, your prized Galloway, Dunn, Bryant, Bidwell, what’s the other receiver? Not in the league anymore, do I need to go on?

    Only someone in complete denial would state that a team that cut 9 guys that never played again was NOT old

  14. Eric Says:

    Actually Jimbuc I was responding to Rusty Rhino, who made some broad remarks about Gruden/allen brining in old and slow players. I merely pointed out many players on the team and “brought in” during that period who were not old and slow, thats all.

    For exampley, Galloway had three straight 1000 + seasons, AB went for 1200 in 08. Galloway led the league in YPC in one of those 3 years. Slow? Hardly. Good? Yes. Competitive, absolutely! two division titles and winning seasons in 3/4 years. 12-4 home regular season record the last two.

    Way better than the BS Football we saw in 09…………….totally!!!!!!!!!!

    Will the Gruden haters/Rah supporters ever admit it……………nope. They aint relished the bottom long enough……………………yet.

  15. JimBuc Says:

    Eric, you are a lost cause. Even with your explanation, Rusty Rhino’s comment still make sense. Yes, Galloway came in an played well for a few years, but then he never played again. As Rhino noted, that is the difference between FAs and draft picks. Not that a FA cannot be helpful, but they are usually short-term fixes. That point seems obvious to me, but it is lost on you? Really? I don’t think so.

  16. Eric Says:


    So, you wouldnt have traded Key for Joey Galloway, knowing what you know now? Wouldnt have signed AB and got the 1200 yards? Faine? Penn?

    Was Joey Galloway slow? I must have missed that. AB? slow? missed that too. (as did the DB’s trying to cover those guys).

    If you turned back the clock on JG and he was available today, at the 05-07 level, you wouldnt take him? How about 2008 AB?

  17. JimBuc Says:

    Eric, I am starting to feel bad for you. Or, maybe I should feel good for you because you are rambling on due too many of your favorite adult beverages? Whatever helps you let go of it I guess. Galloway (who was really fast, but who no longer plays football) and AB and Faine were all picked up BEFORE the Bucs started to rebuild. Besides, no one is saying all FAs are bad, just that they serve a specific purpose. As much as you want to “turn back the clock” those days are over for a reason. Time to let it go. Two years is the official NFL mourning period.

  18. Eric Says:


    As I have stated, I am the unofficial Jon Gruden apologists of

    Accordingly, when someone says somehing like “all they did was bring in old slow guys” when in fact they brought in one of the fastest guys in pro-football I must correct the misrepresentation.

    However, I must confess mourning is a good word for it. I liked challenging for the division title, nabbing a Super Bowl, some winning seasons, stupid stuff like that.

    Lastly, Mr. Glazer said FA’s are bad………………”fools gold” to be exact.

  19. JimBuc Says:

    Well Eric hate to put it to you so bluntly but if the Bucs dont’ have the best defense on the planet for nearly a decade — a defense that was built almost exclusively through the draft — your Gruden era ends much quicker than it did. Gruden lost his job due to drafting not coaching. Sad, but true. 2008 was the year the cupboard finally ran dry

  20. Eric Says:


    And how do you explain the rather excellent Gruden era in Oakland? Was Monte Kiffin there also?

    You cannot say what moves Mr. Gruden would have made between the 2008-2009 season. What we know is his team had a wining record three out of the four previous seasons, two division titles, and perhaps one play or two away from playoffs in 08. 12-4 home record last two years (vs. 1-7 with “Rah”). You can’t blame Gruden for decisions made after he left.

    Personally, I believe we would be currently ooking at a Mcnabb/Vick Brandon Marshall/Holmes/AB/boldin ………..not all but some combination thereof.

    And with that, and Rah focussing on just defense with draft choices and FA’s to shore up the defense, based upon history, contention for the Division Title and beyond would be within our grasp in 2010.

    Instead, we got nuttin but misery, inexperience, a lousy HC, lousy coaching staff, and a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng stretch of getting our asses kicked.