THE OPTIMIST: To Dash Or Not To Dash

November 6th, 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.

The Bucs coach though he was getting a bad rap from the local press. The local press liked the coach, but was wondering when he was going to get the Bucs to actually win. In his third season, Sam Wyche had the team with the Orange pants at 2-9.

The Buzzards were circling not only the Coach, but also the team, the stadium, everything. The Culverhouse trust demanded the team be sold to the highest bidder, no matter if keeping the team in Tampa was its priority or not!

Buzzards weren’t the only things twirling in the air…fingers of fans were doing the same; an obvious mock of Coach Wyche’s formation call — a finger in the air with a twirling motion.

At the Minnesota game, Tampa Stadium patrons sick of their team’s performance while losing to the Vikings 36-13 (a week after losing to San Francisco 41-16, which was a week after a 34-13 loss to Atlanta) started to throw stuff at the coach. I don’t mean cups, either. A pair of binoculars just missed Wyche’s head.

Suddenly, the Bucs got it. They closed out the 1994 season with four straight wins before losing to the Packers in the season finale. The Bucs used their high draft picks to take Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks. They won their 1995 opener at Philadelphia 21-6 over the Eagles, which had new boy genius offensive coordinator Jon Gruden. They Beat the Skins by a point. Sam was getting confident. They beat his old team by a FG, and he got louder. They beat the Vikings at home, a year after the near miss by the binos!

Then Sam decided to tell everyone the heck off.

“We are Five dash Two. “

In a few weeks, the press pointed out to Sam they were 5 dash 5. They finished 7 dash 9.

Fast Forward 15 years, and the Bucs are once again 5-2. But is there a dash?

Some would say we are just like that ’95 team, that the wins are just as close, that it’s just smoke and mirrors.

Still, there is something different about this Buccaneers team that makes you think a 5 dash 2 is not something that is going to happen this year. The head coach is not a retread living off the laurels of a SuperBowl apperance. That difference is Raheem Morris is a second year coach who learned under the tutelage of Monte Kiffin and Mike Tomlin as well as Jon Gruden.

To be honest though, the stats (which are for losers as were told) show 2010’s record is actually closer than the ’95 team’s wins. That team went 5-2 by beating teams with an eventual 39-41 record. Our Bucs? The five teams we’ve beaten are a combined 12-24! That’s a .333 winning percentage compared to a .487 mark for Sam I am.

The victories are a lot closer today than they were back then, too! That’s even more disturbing.

Still, that team had veterans spread out all over the place. Lonnie Marts and Hardy Nickerson were the linebackers joined by rookie Derrick Brooks. The secondary had Martin Mayhew and Charles Dimry and there were WRs Alvin Harper and Horrace Copeland, all had been in the league for years. 

Our Bucs have two rookie WRs and a second-year wideout. We have a rookie running back, rookie linemen on both sides of the ball, third-year linebackers and youth in the secondary.

This 2010 Bucs team may be beating the weak teams they are supposed to, but they are also telling us that they probably are going to keep beating the teams they are supposed to, and continue to grow as a team.

So just remember when your telling your friends what the Bucs record is today.

Its 5 AND 2, Thank You.

With a dash of first place.

9 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: To Dash Or Not To Dash”

  1. BamBamBuc Says:

    With preseason predictions of 2-4 wins, there are NO teams we were “supposed” to beat, only teams “we might have a chance” of beating. Well, this team is taking that chance and making the best of it.

    Preseason prediction of teams we “might have a chance against”: Cleveland, Carolina, St. Louis, Detroit, Washington, Seattle.

    Preseason prediction of teams we “have no chance against”: Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, New Orleans, San Francisco, Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore.

    Well, we’ve beaten all 3 of the “might have a chance” teams we’ve played to this point, and 2 of the “have no chance” teams.

    Admittedly, some of the “no chance” teams aren’t playing as well as they were projected (Cincy, San Fran, Arizona), but some of the “might have a chance” teams are playing better than expected. One thing is for sure, the Bucs are playing better than MOST predicted.

    The offense is looking more and more impressive each week. The line is doing just enough to pass protect and run the ball, although Freeman is making them look better with his ability to move around and run, and Blount has made them look even better with his ability to break tackles 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The offense will continue to get better as the run game lends to play action passing and big plays. By season’s end, we will have 3 rookies (Williams, Benn and Blount) and two second year guys (Freeman and Stroughter) that will be leading this offense into the future.

    Defensively, it’s not as bad as many have seen. Sure, we’ve had trouble stopping the run. That’s a given, since it’s been a problem for a while and we have young guys playing up front that need time to learn. But what I’ve seen most is missed opportunities from the LBs and DBs. INTs in hand that were dropped, tackles for loss that weren’t wrapped up. A few mistakes here and there that make the D look pathetic. A penalty that turns a FG into a TD, a missed INT that becomes a TD. Clean these things up, and I think you’ll find the D is not as bad as appearances make it seem.

    Of course, that’s the question, can they clean up the mistakes on D. If they can do that this week, against the Falcons, they’ll win this game and prove to be closer to the 1979 5-2 team, or the 2002 or 2005 5-2 team, than the 1995 5-2 team.

  2. BamBamBuc Says:

    Where is the PESSIMIST? My goodness, I don’t think we’ve heard from him since the offseason. Yeah, we’ve had a few negative posters on here trying to imitate him, but no articles. What happened? Did the Grinch’s heart grow 10x that day? Is there NOTHING negative to say about this 5-2 team? Sheesh, talk about hiding under a rock….

  3. Capt.Tim Says:

    BamBam-“grew 10 times that Day” lmao. We won’t collapse like that team did. No chance. Why ? Josh Freeman. This is a QB league. You won’t win consistantly without one. If you have a good one, you always have a chance. If you have a great one, like us, you should always win. Josh is 8-8 . That dynasty is jus gettin started!

  4. Troxell8t8 Says:

    @Capt. Tim

    You are completely correct about Freeman. He is turning into a franchise QB, not another Trent Dilfer. It is almost people can’t believe what they are seeing with Freeman. He is the real deal and I enjoy watching him play and grow every Sunday.

  5. Miguel Grande Says:

    I can’t believe you actually called Sam Wyche, “Sam I Am”. That is 10 times worse than Trey Wingo calling our coach “Radio Raheem.” Sam I Am is a retarded movie character played by Sean Penn, Radio Raheem was a noble character in Spike Lee’s eye opening film, “Do The right Thing.” It seems Joe is a hypocrite.

  6. Joe Says:


    That’s a funny one. First, Joe didn’t write this. Second, Sam Wyche was called that long before Penn’s character. And the real Sam I Am is a nice little non-human fellow in a classic children’s book.

    Hate to rehash this, but since you insist. Trey Wingo and Tom Jones don’t get to decide with absolute certainty what’s insulting. Neither does Joe. And intent doesn’t determine whether something is insulting or not. Lots of fans took Wingo to be insulting the coach, and Joe’s quite certain One Buc wasn’t happy about it either.

  7. Cannon Says:

    Could have been worse, Joe could have called him Son of Sam…

  8. BamBamBuc Says:

    Heck, I thought we were just using Dr. Seuss analysis. Sam I am, Green eggs and ham…. the Grinch…. Hmmm… who can we say is Horton hearing a Who?

  9. Tampa2 Says:

    “That difference is Raheem Morris is a second year coach who learned under the tutelage of Monte Kiffin and Mike Tomlin as well as Jon Gruden.”

    This denotes that Raheem was trained and/or tutored by Kiffin, Tomlin, and Gruden. And that is Bull….! So much for the Optimist’s “difference”.
    So far, Raheem has been extremely lucky, riding on the exceptional abilities of Freeman, whom I sincerely believe will be the Bucs 1st HOF QB.
    But Raheem’s defense is allowing yardage very similar to Bates defense. And we all know what happened to Bates! The Atlanta game will tell the tale on whether or not the Bucs are for real. And it will show us whether or not Raheem can have his defense ready to challenge a good team instead of a powderpuff team.