THE OPTIMIST: Excuses Are OK For Fans

December 24th, 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.

I recall a critic who once said I can’t write an article without talking about Derrick Brooks or Warren Sapp. I hope that person doesn’t catch this one, because I’m going to mention one of those guys and more!

Because we are not the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we ARE allowed to make excuses. Now whether we make them or not, the Bucs had the Lions beat. There was no excuse needed for that game. You play with a little more fire and throw some caution to the wind, and we’re talking playoff opponents now instead of playoff chances.

But when your injured reserve list could be the starting lineup on a fantasy football roster, its time to stop calling it an excuse and calling it a reason. Think I’m kidding? Here is the Bucs IR team line up. “Now starting on defense…”

DE Brandon Gilbeaux, DT Brian Price, DT Gerald McCoy, DE Kyle Moore, LB Jon Alston, LB Quincy Black, DB Aqib Talib, S Cody Grimm, S Tanard Jackson (suspended reserve)!

Not a bad lineup, huh? Of course like their real counterparts, this team would get a penalty for not enough men on the field, theres only 9 there. Somehow I get the feeling that won’t be a problem by Week 17. Maybe some of the offensive players like Jeff Faine, Davin Joseph, Demar Dotson and Kareem Huggins can switch to defense!

I’m kidding to a degree, but every knowledgeable Bucs fan watching the Lions march down the field not once but twice was thinking the very same thing. This team has finally felt the damage of all the injuries.

It was amazing for the Bucs to lose Tanard Jackson and replace him with Cody Grimm. It’s incredible that Jeff Faine and Davin Joseph can go down and be replaced by Jeremy Zuttah, Ted Larson and Derek Hardman. Simply put, that is fantastic coaching. But it can only go so far; you can be amazed how far rubber bands will stretch before they breaks.

The really remarkable part of the whole situation is the ‘negative Bucs fan’ guy who doesn’t believe that injuries should be used as an excuse. Like I said, I can understand why Raheem Morris doesn’t want his team to use them, but as for us, well it’s really easy to understand.

How far do you think the Bucs would have gone in 2002 had Dexter Jackson been declared ineligible. Then, John Lynch lost for the season. Say goodbye to Greg Spires, and bye-bye to Booger McFarland. See ya later Brian Kelly, and Warren Sapp. Nice to know ya Cosey Coleman and John Wade. Finally, have a good time Alshermond Singleton. Somehow 12-4 would be a stretch, heck 8-6 in week 15 would be a major undertaking, just like it is now.

To clarify, so there is no misunderstanding, I do not assume that the 2010 Bucs players on IR are anywhere near as good as their 2002 Super Bowl counterparts. Not even close, but for comparisons sake, those are the same positions that got hit. Kind of makes you think, huh?

Truth be told, I would not be surprised if the Bucs can compete against the Saints in week 17 if they can make it that far and still be in contention. It seems it takes these young players that the Bucs are plugging in a week or two to learn the nuances of their position.

But when you continue to play musical chairs with the Bucs starters, there is going to be a limit to how far the Bucs can go before they, like the proverbial rubber band, just snap.

22 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: Excuses Are OK For Fans”

  1. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Optimist I have 1 MAJOR problem with your thoughts about the Lions loss: What was the difference in the Bucs defense that beat Washington and the Bucs defense that lost to the Lions?


    Now people will say, GMC played against the Skins but I’ll remind them that GMC went out in the 1st quarter. Remember that game where the Redskins RB set a club record for rushing in a half? Well the Bucs shut the Skins down in the 2nd half, on the road didn’t they?

    QUESTION: When the Bucs are playing at home with better weather, against a ‘lesser team’ why couldn’t the defense stop a 3rd string QB?

  2. Mr. Lucky Says:

    So are excuses ok in Indy with Payton Manning et al?

    How about in Houston for the Texans? Are excuses acceptable there as well?

    How well did excuses work in Dallas for Wade Phillips?

    Excuses are just that – words to cover deficiencies in personell and lack of experience in coaching.

    Hey Optimist ask the Democratic National Party how well excuses work will you?

  3. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Excuses are like ‘stats’ – they’re for losers.

    Believe it or not America & American’s LIKE people who come clean.

    Admit your mistakes…admit it when you’re not good enough and got beat…admit that you had a lack of judgement.

    Most American’s understand that EVERYONE makes mistakes. Most American’s forgive HONEST people. Most American love an underdog to make it.

    Most American’s HATE excuses…

  4. BigMacAttack Says:

    Chucky’s teams had the same injury problem. The Bucs average about 14 players per season lost to IR. Fortunately for the Bucs this year, their skill guys on offense have held up. #5 is the Bomb. Oh yeah, all refs suck.

  5. Buc You Says:

    Is the Optimist a socialist? Glen Beck has warned us many times over about this top down, bottom up, inside out cancer rotting thought control socialist excuses and propaganda to apologize for the lefts follies, as if they never happened.

    I see that in the optimist. 🙂

    If you don’t scrutinize the head coaches decisions when they result in poor outcomes, then you are hereby excepting poor performance and behaviors that will not only never get us to a super bowl, but even worse, destroy the opportunity for growth with this young team.

    Alas, can RaheEEEEEEEem even take this team to a super bowl???

    No way in hell is he capable of that. So the ultimate question is, why is he even the head coach then?

  6. McBuc Says:

    Buc You…I like you new nickname for Morris…Every time I read it a voice in my head goes high pitched during all the eeeeeees. Kind of makes me chuckle.

    Are you trying to stir up another triple digit political post again? Another train wreck waiting to happen?

    Merry Xmas all…or whatever holiday you may celebrate.

  7. Joe Says:

    Is the Optimist a socialist? Glen Beck has warned us many times over about this top down, bottom up, inside out cancer rotting thought control socialist excuses and propaganda to apologize for the lefts follies, as if they never happened.


    Joe is surprised that no one has teed off on Buc You for watching Glenn Beck.

  8. Teddy Says:

    Sorry for the fact-check, Nick, but Booger McFarland went on IR in week 15 of the 2002 season after breaking his foot at Detroit.

  9. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Buc U wrote: “Alas, can RaheEEEEEEEem even take this team to a super bowl???

    No way in hell is he capable of that. So the ultimate question is, why is he even the head coach then?”

    Alas someone asks the REAL QUESTION – Does Tampa deserve a first rate coach for a second rate team?

  10. MOBucs Says:

    Although he won’t get it, Raheem deserves Coach of the Year! No coach has done more with so little. If the officials wouldn’t have blown that call on the TD pass to Winslow against the Lions, we’d be in a much better position. Hell, the officials sent a letter of apology to the Bucs for the horrible call. A little late, but at least they knew they truly screwed up! Injuries happen to every team, but when 7 starters (a few who would be backups on most other teams) go to IR, thats tough to overcome. This team is going to be very good for years to come. With the way Rah and Dom can draft and bring in “diamonds in the rough” should make all Bucs fans very excited. I just hope theres football to watch next year!

    Merry Christmas and GO BUCS!!!

  11. BamBamBuc Says:

    I can agree with the optimist here. In week 5 or 6, injuries would have been an excuse. Sure, Price went to IR around then and Tanard was suspended, and we had some other backups on IR, so maybe we lacked a bit of depth then, but not enough to say we lost BECAUSE of the injuries/suspension. An excuse would be saying we lost the Steelers game because Tanard was suspended. Sure, Cody played his first game and didn’t turn around on a big TD pass, but there was a lot more than just that one play that lost that game.

    But when you’ve lost your starting DT AND your rotational DT AND your #1 CB AND your starting FS AND your backup FS AND your starting OLB for the season, it stops becoming an excuse and it’s now a reason. There is a REASON we lost, and a lot of it has to do with who’s NOT playing. Sure, the coaches have to adjust the game plan and the players have to step up and execute, but when you’re dealing with players that didn’t get much, IF ANY, reps in OTAs and training camp and pre-season… or even during practice this season with our team… Then there’s a reason, not an excuse, why the D can’t hold the Lions and a 3rd string QB in the 4th quarter.

    Coach Morris has made some pretty good calls this year. He plugged in Grimm when everyone was whining and crying that it should be Lynch, that Grimm was a 7th round choice and a special teamer only, and even stuck with him when the whining and crying turned into an uproar after the Steelers game…. and Grimm turned out pretty good. But was lost for the season. He’s shuffled the secondary after the loss of Talib, putting Barber against some of the top TEs in the league and trusting Biggers and Lewis on the edges, and that worked pretty well too. But it only goes so far. The adjustments and plug-in players can only do so much before they’re getting beat by the likes of the Lions.

    There are reasons we lost, and it’s undeniable that one of those reasons is the loss of 5 defensive players in a matter of a few weeks. Moore, Talib, McCoy, Black, Grimm and more losses earlier in the likes of Jackson and Price. It’s not an excuse anymore. It’s a reason.

  12. eric Says:

    Didn’t Mr. Dungy have to rely on rookie QB Shawn King to make it to the NFC ‘Championship game.

    As i recall Chris Simms was not the starter at the begining of the 05 11-5 season. And in 07 EG stepped in when caddy went down and had to win a key game with Luke at Qb also.

    I supose we will have to alter the “no excuses, no explanation” philosophy of Tony with “unless we have young players and injuries, and really sucked last year”.

  13. Buc You Says:

    Even God himself ( aka Tony Dingy) didn’t get this many excuses for doing so poorly.

  14. Buc You Says:

    Lord Dungy

  15. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I think there is a difference between an excuse and reality. I’m not saying, “We would be in the Super Bowl if we didn’t have so many injuries.” You really can’t do that because injuries are a huge part of this game, and they happen to everyone. But the do happen to some teams much more than others. There is no disputing that. However, in reality, we are not very good right now because of injuries. No matter what you thought of us before the injuries, we are definitely below that now. You will not find ANY team, past or present, that has lost 7 starters to the IR and still won a Super Bowl. And yes, teams like the Colts and Packers have injuries too. But look at their record, exactly the same as ours. They were both teams a lot of people picked to be in the Super Bowl. Because they have so many critical injuries, they just don’t have the players to get there. The teams that win in the playoffs are the teams that get healthy toward the end of the year. That is a fact (and I’m not talking about missing 1 or 2 players).

    Again, I’m not giving anyone a free pass. It is the job of the coach and GM to build depth for the team. But you are a fool if you think injuries are not a factor in our struggles over the last few games. And for Buc You and Eric, admitting that does not mean you are a Raheem fan, so don’t worry no one is going to think you’ve changed sides. Your places in the “I hate Raheem Morris and everything he does” club have been set in stone.

  16. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    And before Eric comes back with another Gruden comparison, Gruden did have some really rough years with injuries too. And the same reasoning applied to him as well. You will notice, that we didn’t go far on those years either. Our Super Bowl team was our healthiest team too. I doubt that is a coincidence.

  17. eric Says:

    Raheeeeeem Morrrrrrris sucks a-romp-pa-pommm……………………… and my drummmmm………….a-rompa-pa-pommmmmmmmm.

  18. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Joe is surprised that no one has teed off on Buc You for watching Glenn Beck.”

    Some things are just too easy, Joe.

  19. Buc You Says:

    Yes Joe, that Softball I served up was a swing and a miss by the home town rah luvas.

    They must have all been out, last minute shopping.

  20. BigMacAttack Says:

    Glen Beck doesn’t want to pay for it either.

  21. McBuc Says:

    I caught it Buc You, but that RAHEEEEEEEM thing made all good.

  22. niko (The Optimist) Says:

    Not to get too political here, but socialism, communism, they are all isms. The best thing about a radical right winger is that he pulls on the radical left winger so that we can all have a nice middle.

    There are so many examples of socialism in our country its not even funny, yet they are accepted. Franklin Roosevelt was called a socialist, his programs which we have today through the New Deal, Social Security, Medicare, Welfare, Medicaid, all social programs. You can call anything socialist if you want.
    Just being social 🙂 Thanks for all the comments. BTW, I find it amazing that anyone could still be blind enough to not like the work Raheem Morris is doing. At this point, you have to admit to yourself that you are just a hater, for the sake of hating.
    Or, a hatist.
    Merry Christmas all!