THE OPTIMIST: Bucs Must Overcome History

November 19th, 2010

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

Trap Game? Only if Tampa Bay completely ignores its own deep dark history when it travels to San Francisco — that place where Buccaneers dreams go to die.

No, not Philadelphia, that was a three-year dungeon, and we blew the doors off that place in back-to-back, cross-season games (2002 NFC Championship at the Vet, 2003 Monday Night Football opening day at the Link). It’s not Carolina.

In fact, it’s not any place you can think of easily because this transcends timelines and teammates. It goes beyond presidential parties, because it goes back beyond “W” and his father even. George Bush, the father, was not even a vice president yet. Mount St. Helens still had its top, and AC/DC still had its Highway to Hell singer. The skyway bridge still had two spans, and Star Wars was one great movie. The Empire was just about to Strike Back!

That’s how long it has been since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have beaten the San Francisco 49ers IN San Francisco — 1-11 all-time at the home of the Golden Gate, which has not been so golden to the team from the Sunshine State trying to play in the OTHER Bay Area.

Now sure you can explain quite a bit of it just because the teams we’re talking about made double digits famous. The Bucs double digit losers from 1983-1994, and the 49ers who had double digit winning seasons around the same stretch of time.

But what about recent history when Tampa Bay has been a respectable team and the 49ers have been just trying to restore a once proud tradition?

The world champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers went into Candlestick and got beat down 24-7.

In 2005, the Bucs went into the land of sunflowers and dye t-shirts off a bye week in which their No. 1 defense would help Chris Simms feel his way around. The defense did its part holding the 49ers to five Joe Nedney field goals. Simms went 21 of 34 for 264 yards but it wasn’t enough. Only a Joey Galloway simple slant taken all the way for 78 yards got the Bucs score to look respectable. Once again, the Bucs left the Bay area with a loss like they have so many times before.

A playoff bound 2007 Bucs team kept their starters in for the first half against the 49ers, but a Christmas-clad San Francisco team wearing their old SuperBowl era uniforms made the best out of the Bucs backups in the second half.

Luke McCown led a comeback at the end of the game, but the team that hadn’t won in 28 years there was not going to make it look easy. Mike Clayton could not get both feet inbounds on the 2-point conversion; and now it’s 30 years.

So if you hear anyone say this is a trap game for the Bucs, just remember what a trap is. I’m not sure the Bucs are the ones with the trap to look out for.

5 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: Bucs Must Overcome History”

  1. Buc You Says:

    The 3rd most important game in Bucs history was when they killed San Fran at home during the Super Bowl year in the play offs. Was at the game. It was awesome. We must have scored 21 points before half time. That day we all got big red Flags. It was a great game.

    Who cares about all the other times we played San Fran. We beat them when it counted most.

    History is pointless in that regard.

    Now, the young Bucs need to prove they can win in the cold this year with this different team.

  2. safety Says:

    Buc You,
    I agree that in that regard, history is pointless. We got the big one.
    Some cynics might argue that the curse of history is that those who need it most ignore it.
    I have no doubt that it’ll be a close game, but our Bucs are young enough that they might not care about our overall record at the Stick.
    Adam ‘Gilbert Godfrey’ Schein thinks we’ll win, and so do I.

  3. Jameson Says:

    East Coast teams lose on the West Coast. I don’t foresee that changing, especially with Mike Williams possibly missing the game.

  4. derf Says:

    If Williams is forced to sit – Bucs lose. It’s THAT simple.

    The 49ers will keep our running game quiet – they’re #10 vs. run.

    The Bucs defensive line will be getting ‘Gored’ all afternoon.

    The question is this – can the Bucs force San Francisco to make turnovers AND will Olson put the ball into the air with the pourous 49er secondary?

  5. The White Tiger Says:

    This is more problematic – the 49er defense is good. The 49er offense has been bad, but with a competent game manager with limited talent, Troy Smith can get the job done coupled to that defense. San Fran is like watching Dungy-ball – Troy Smith doesn’t have to win the game, he just has to focus on not losing it.

    Frank Gore and the defense makes that possible.

    Pains me – but I haven’t seen the Bucs beat a good team yet – so I have to say: 49ers win by 3 points.