THE OPTIMIST: Time To Embrace Bandwagoners

September 6th, 2010

You’ve all read THE PESSIMIST, who spews his Bucs-related anger like no other. But Joe also wants you to get to know THE OPTIMIST

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the team goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t.

WANTED: 30,000 bandwagon fans needed to fill seats at Raymond James Stadium on Sundays. Must be willing to wear current Buccaneers garb and put a few stickers on your cars when the team is 6-3.

No joke, that is exactly what we need Bucs fans. Of course, I’m talking to the real Bucs fans out there, the ones who cheer on the Bucs even when they are 3-13 — even if you haven’t heard of too many of our players, yet. 

No one knew who Derrick Brooks, John Lynch or Ronde Barber was in 1997, they called our defense the no-name defense in that year’s Detroit playoff game, because they were no name at the time.

Well, Raymond James Stadium, much like its predecessor Tampa Stadium (I refuse to ever call it Houlihans) is suffering from a case of the empties. Yes, the economy has something to do with it, and so does the fact this team is starting over and coming off a bad losing season.

But we have seen this before in Tampa, and there is a reason why; we don’t have 12 million fans to pull from, we have a small percentage of that, so it’s reasonably safe to assume there are only about 30,000 die hard Tampa Bay Buccaneer fans who are willing to go to every game out there. There always has been, and probably always will be.

Go back to the late 1980s and early 1990’s during the last recession; NFL teams were having trouble with attendance then, too. But while some cities like Baltimore (1983), Houston, and St. Louis (Cardinals) were putting sometimes less than 10,000 in the stands, our Bucs were always showing an attendance of about 30k.

Why? Well, because that is how many Bucs fans there are in this area that will go to the games each week. So what do we need?

Bandwagon Fans!

Bring ‘em on! I don’t hate ‘em anymore! Put your brand new pewter decals on your car (Right over the faded marks of where you took them off back in 2003). Won’t bother me a bit.  Talk about the big name Bucs players from the old days that got away, like Thomas Jones. I’ll know you mean Steve Young.

It’s all good, because I will at least be able to watch my four Bucs games on my HD TV without having to resort to a 420×280 pixel screen on my computer in BS definition (Below Standard) to enjoy my beloved team that I have rooted for on Sundays for 31 seasons now!

I just don’t like to go to every single game, just like the 40,000 people who were represented by empty seats in the final preseason game against Jacksonville. I don’t want to pay to watch Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter.

I also don’t want to pay for my sunburn during early and mid-September games, when I can lay out in my yard and scorch for free! SPF15 should be a running play, not an item that should legally be required to be handed out to fans to prevent cancer!

No, Im not bitter, I’m over that. I don’t care if you’ve been rooting for the Bucs since the old days of Chris Simms while I’ve been cheering the Bucs on since they lost a chance at a perfect 6-0 record by losing to his father’s first start. Doesn’t bother me a bit. Just fill that stadium up please; as long as they are wearing pewter, red, or even orange, I won’t care anymore.

Offer valid while supplies of losses last.

20 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: Time To Embrace Bandwagoners”

  1. RastaMon Says:

    Not since most here were knee high to the bandwagon has getting into the RayJay and experiencing the game live been so easy and affordable !

  2. CharlieB Says:

    I would love to go to the game. $70 (2 tickets) to get a sunburn while watching at a funny angle isn’t really worth it, though. The black out might convince me to go anyway, but sitting in the air conditioning with reasonably priced beer is just a better option.

  3. RastaMon Says:

    gee…nobody was saying that before……

  4. BamBamBuc Says:

    I would love to go to the games, and have gone to a few in the past. Trouble is, I have to get a plane ticket from Colorado, a hotel, AND tickets AND pay for the food and drink…. it’s just not an easy thing for me to do…

    If I lived in the Tampa area, you bet I’d be going to the games. Maybe not all (that’s still a bit steep for my pay grade), but I would be at a couple a year at least. I don’t care that the team is rebuilding and not playing well, it’s my team, and I’d go to watch them regardless. I’d go to see if there are any future hall of famers out there playing. I’d go to try and out-yell the opposing fans that seem to outnumber the Bucs fans (I know they did at the Philly game a few years ago that we won on a 60+ yard FG). I can watch the away games on my HDTV in the AC….

  5. BigMacAttack Says:

    OMG, what a freakin idiot “optimist”. AYFKM??? How in the Hell do you cook up a story like that, asking people to go to all the games, when you plan to lay up at home on your fat @$$ this Sunday. Put your money where your mouth is Houllis, or STFU. Lead by example brother. That has to be the most pessimistic “Optimist” I have read here. Your only real excuse is that your just “A Poor Excuse” for a Buc Fan. At least the haters let you know where they coming from and don’t try to pull some (edited for over the top hate).
    “Hey Everybody, can you guys buy tickets to the Games so I can watch it on TV? “

  6. BigMacAttack Says:

    I don’t care if they televise the game or not.

    Signed, Fan #29,996

  7. Capt.Tim Says:

    I’m ussually a happy person, but I have to admit I’m really a Lil bitter right now. I have been looking foward to tailgating and going to the Buc games this year like you wouldn’t believe!! But now, due to a recent medical issue, I have been advised not to attend the games in person, until we see how I’m responding to treatment. No Buc Games:( . The worst part is not being able to take my young wife and my daughter to the games. I really enjoyed carrying on the tradition my Father established with me! I am really gonna miss this. My advise to anyone is, if you can experience NFL football live, GO! It’s a great time. And some of my best Childhood memories with my Dad were at Bucs games! If ya can, ya should!

  8. Fire Greg Olson! Says:

    That sucks Capt. Tim. Hope your health improves. Sorry that you can’t make it out there.

  9. eric Says:

    I got my tix for Cleveland. Figure I will give the team a shot to show me something.

    If they do well, ill go to Pittsburg. If it looks remotely like 09 I and a lot of other folks won’t return.

    Either way, looking forward to some football! I could care less how hot it is. That’s a total wuss excuse in my book. Gives our team an advantage!

  10. Blackmagic00 Says:

    I’m trying to make the frisco and possibly the ari games. Wish I could get to Tampa. And I think the optimist is taking over the pessimist role today.

  11. Capt.Tim Says:

    FGO- thank you! Eric- that’s fair enough. But as I’ve been saying all off season, I think you are gonna be pleasantly surprised!! If they don’t show alot of improvement, then fans will be justified in not going to the games. I don’t think that will be the case

  12. ben Says:

    Edited for needless hate

  13. Cannon Says:

    Ugh, I don’t have the flow this week to go to the game :O(

    (USF Tuition and 6 months worth of car insurance, all due in September).

    I guess I’ll get punished for not showing up to the game.

  14. RastaMon Says:

    I’ll meet you outside Gate 4 with a $20….you should be able to get in

  15. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Don’t they need to start winning first????

  16. Scott Says:

    I’ve never understood the concept of loyal vs. bandwagon fan. This is a big business, you owe it nothing and it owes you nothing.

    Anyhow if everyone shows up every week no matter what where is the team’s incentive to improve the product?

  17. pete Says:

    Who is planning to buy all these high (or full priced) tickets that litter Ebay, Stubhub, Stubpass and even NFL ticket exchange?

    As I understand it these ticket broker companies may have purchased the tickets and be trying to sell them for face value but what happens to these tickets (and these probably soon to be empty seats may not count for a blackout) when they don’t sell them?

  18. tampa2 Says:

    I would go to the games but I have to mow the grass, wash the car, and fill the boat up to go fishing. And that will be every week until they bring a professional head coach in here.

  19. niko (The Optimist) Says:

    Big mac attack-
    it seems the story’s main point is escaping you.

    Im not calling on ANYONE to go to the games, not pointing anyone out at all.

    I do NOT like to go to all 8 home games. I like to watch (or listen on the radio like ive done hundreds of times) at home for half, and then go to half.

    Ive NEVER owned season tickets because I dont like to be confined to the same seat. I like to sit all over the stadium. One nosebleed, one below the bench, one club if I can afford it, and maybe an endzone too.

    I enjoy both.

    Im simply saying, that there are only about 30,000 of us who go to Bucs games. We need the Bandwagon people, the ones who filled up the Ray Jay season ticket waiting list, the ones who filled up the stadium ON TOP OF US real Bucs fans.

    I was not calling out a single person on this site for being a bandwagon fan. Im saying we NEED some bandwagon fans to fill the stadium up, and dont be a hypocrite and say you dont agree, Im sure YOU would like to watch the Bucs Cleveland game too.

    As for the heat, I was there when Joe Montana opened the 93 season, I was there for Sams first year win over the cards when a ref called offsides on “cincinnati” because Wyche was the coach.
    Back in the day, it was not allowed to have a 1:00 home game for the first two weeks of the season, and even farther back, NIGHT GAMES were required for any Bucs home games in the first few weeks.

    Check the Bucs all time schedule if you dont believe me.

  20. BigMacAttack Says:


    I agree we need more fans in the stands. We also need louder more passionate fans. I see your point now. I’ll be there, not because I’m rich and can afford it. I’ll be there because I’m a Buc junkie and make sacrifices so I can be there week in and week out, preseason, whatever. I interpreted you as trying to manage the attack from the rear, instead of leading the charge from the front. Whatever the case, if fans don’t start buying tickets, there may not be any more televised home games, and one day soon they might just move the team. We’re pretty lucky to have a team in the first place. We need more support, and if that means buying tickets to Pre Season games, then so be it. Everything helps.