December 5th, 2011

Joe likes to call Tampa Tribune columnist Joe Henderson — a man he has the utmost respect for both professionally and personally — as the Tampa Bay sports voice of reason.

Henderson is hardly a rash individual and is rather thoughtful and analytical. He wrote a column about how the state of the last-place Bucs has created an intense apathy for the team, demonstrated at each home game by empty red seats.

In so many words, Henderson isn’t sure the Bucs can improve with head coach Raheem Morris as the team’s defensive coordinator and seems to sense there may be a change afoot.

Defense is supposed to be Morris’ specialty, but the head coach has to seriously think about firing his defensive coordinator – if he’s even in position to do that.

Look, let’s be clear about one thing: Changing the head coach isn’t always the best course, and I’m not saying it is this time. But I’ve watched enough football to get a feel for when a coaching change is in play, and I believe it is now.

The apathy angle is an interesting one. As Henderson pointed out, there were barely enough boos to be heard yesterday. It was almost as if fans knew what was coming, expected what was coming, and were resigned to what was coming. And they just wanted to share a moment of team history with Jimmie Giles being inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor. As if the game was just a background event, sort of like the socializing that goes on at high school football games amid neighbors.

To emphasize Henderson’s apathy angle, Joe was taken aback late last night while watching the Saints dismantle the Lions when he received a direct Twitter message from a long-time acquaintance who is one of the most hardcore of Tampa Bay sports fans Joe has ever met; a lifelong Bucs fan.

This person is also a former Bucs season ticket holder, but former is the key word. Not quite a decade ago, this guy admitted he was in ecstasy for days after the Bucs won the Super Bowl. But now, his fandom has whittled away to the following:

Didn’t watch a down … Sad, but I don’t even care about that lousy product #apathy

42 Responses to “Apathy”

  1. Cleggly Says:

    I like Jeff Fisher.

  2. Tye Says:

    I know the feeling…. After many years of being a fan, my Bucs gear has been put up for quite a while!

  3. holymoly Says:

    This is a sorry excuse of a football team . They have turned me from the ultimate optimist to a sour pessimist . It’s sad when the only silver lining you can find is that our kicker made all four field goal attempts . It is time for Rah to go , good luck and God bless but goodbye . I watched that sorry excuse of a team live at the stadium and was appalled at how easy the Cat’s could move at will . Newton did as he pleased and our sorry defense looked as if they are already making plans for the offseason . Oh well , guess we’ll get em’ next year . Frigging pitiful !!!!

  4. Buddhaboy Says:

    Yeah, the worst football you can play is boring football…….I also like Jeff Fisher, he is a no BS type of guy. His only downfall was drafting Vince Young.

  5. digitalone Says:

    Same here..didn’t watch a down. I used to drive from SRQ to Pt Charlotte Hooters to watch blacked out games #occupyonebucplace..out.

  6. lightningbuc Says:

    Obviously I want Rah gone yesterday, but it is also time for the Glazers to move along. Without Dad Malcolm around, this is a sorry bunch of owners. As I was walking to the stadium yesterday I was telling my 13 yr old how back 10-15 years ago, going to the game was an event. There was a buzz in the parking lots, people yelling. Now it is depressing, no excitement (not that there should be, what’s to get excited about). I look at going now as almost a chore instead of looking forward to it. And I think more than anyone or anything, the Glazers are responsible.

  7. NashVegas Ryan Says:

    I would love Jeff Fisher. Fisher was forced to draft Vince Young. Bud Adams wanted the Texas QB. Anyways, when do the Rays pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training? Whenever it is, it can’t get here soon enough.

  8. Jrock (mobile) Says:

    I watched the game yesterday but it was in the background. I gave up during the titans game, our season is over and I don’t expect to win one more game. I almost don’t even care about next season, I can’t count on the team improving during the offseason except for the draft so what’s there to look forward to??

  9. Lunch Bag Al Says:

    Bring in a D Coordinator to clean this mess up, fine. But for crying out loud, bring in an OC that can do it at an NFL level. Not just from an X and O area, but from the O-line down. Mike Sherman is available and Norv Turner will be as well. Those are just two that could call better plays then Greg. I really don’t think it’s talent, we have talent. Talent held its own against the Packers, beat the Saints, etc. But coaching will get it over the hump. You see some of the play calling other teams do, and you have to wonder why we are running a very questionable system.

  10. passthebuc Says:

    The demise of the team. Putting a label on the team seems counter productive at this point. When you have a professional organization, it is assumed that it is just that, professional.

    Years ago, in an attempt to extract dollars from the unwitting public, General Motors, and more specifically, Cadillac attempted to put a sal’s ear on a vehicle and call it an upscale purse.

    It was the Cadillac Cimarron. The vehicle was nothing more than a Chevy Cavalier with leather seats and a Cadillac name plate. Not only a disgrace and a disservice to the loyal customers of Cadillac, it went down as one of the worst cars of all times and a vehicle that almost led to the demise of the Brand, Cadillac.

    In a very short period of time, you have taken a well respected defensive name and made it the laughing stock of the NFL. But more than that, you have possible put yourself in a position to witness the demise of a franchise.

    The only thing left to answer is, do the Glazer’s have the guts to make a statement, now, today, immediately which will possibly change the course for next year and years to come. Or will they instead choose to silence the cannons.

  11. Eric Says:

    Here is the problem with the Glazer Boys, aside from being cheap.

    Somehow they got it in their heads they know something about professional football. They thought they had a hand in building the bucs Super Bowl run. They discounted that they had guys like Dungy, Rich Mckay, Kiffin, Gruden, etc.

    They figured the “plan” was the key. Its the people that are the key.

    HUGE mistake.

  12. Sensiblebuc Says:

    “They figured the “plan” was the key. Its the people that are the key.”

    Truer words have never been spoken good sir.

  13. Buddhaboy Says:

    @ lightningbuc – Very True. I remember when going to the game was cool. People were happy and jubilant. I watched a touchdown highlight yesterday of the patriots game when they scored, and the stadium blew up, fans going nutty, not an empty seat in the house, a general vibe….

    It was like a mausoleum at one buc yesterday……..THose times are gone.////

  14. Sensiblebuc Says:

    I’m apathetic as well.

    Being a relatively younger fan, this was the 1st coaching regime I have experienced as an adult with disposable income.

    I bought “The Plan” hook, line and sinker…clearly we as a fanbase were sold a bill of goods. I’m no longer bitterly disappointed…I just don’t/won’t care until this era is over.

  15. flmike Says:

    As I tweeted yesterday, if you bring in a brand name head coach season ticket sales will increase, it’s an automatic. That’s one of the reasons you bring in a name brand, for marketing purposes, as well as the added benefit he should be able to bring the talent out of what has turned into Raheem’s Club House.

  16. BucFan South Tampa Says:

    Five year season ticket holders like my wife and I, went to every game, never left early. Now, We are done. After we left the Texans game, we went on strike. We are not going to another game unless changes are made. Im not going to spout off who or what the Glazers need to do, but the players are not playing. I dont even call that football. Something happened to these guys. It is up to ownership to figure out what to do. Dont disrespect Tampa Bay by bringing in an idiot and say he is a player’s coach. Fix it Joel, this is BS that we have to put up with this “product” you are putting on the field.
    BTW, what did the Tampa Sports Authority say was the attendance, not tickets bought, but those that went in the door. Im thinking 25k.

  17. FloridaGirl Says:

    After the last dismal home performance, which I left mid-way through the third quarter, I vowed not to attend another game this year. The lack of effort in that game was a terrible signal of the things to come, which was reflected on the field yesterday and will be demonstrated for the remainder of the season. I am a season ticket holder and have been for over 5 years, but I see no reason to attend games if there’s no will to win. They’re losing the fan base with their lack of effort.

  18. macabee Says:

    Where is Mark Dominik these days? Last year during our miraculous 10-6 run, he never missed an opportunity to get in front of a camera to tout his guru status and re-emphasize the importance of building through the draft. I wonder if he’s staying off the street for fear of catching a stray bullet from a Glazer drive-by.

  19. patrickbucs Says:


    Very well said. This is supposed to be an event, it’s entertainment not a funeral (which it’s felt like the last 2 games). I thought this team at least would be competitive after the Saints and Falcons home games, I was wrong. I swear I feel like I should be playing golf or going to the beach instead of wasting hundreds of $$ these last few games. I have been a diehard fan even through previous bad seasons and the 09 season because you see that at the end of the year Freeman would be something to build around.


    also a great point, where is he? Can talk the praise but not the failure? maybe it’s he doesn’t want to have to answer questions about Ras or GO’s job status. I don’t see Dom going anywhere for at least a full 2 years down the road. I hope he doesn’t because that means he failed. It’s to early to say he has with these young pics, there is definitely some guys that will grow especially Claborn, Bowers, Foster, Free, M Willams, Blount.

  20. Hillbilly Heaven Says:

    As an out of town season ticket holder (former), the games were an event in my life

    – Catch a flight from Toronto on Thursday night
    – hotels, food, drinks for 3 days
    – game atmosphere was incredible

    Now I can’t even watch them on TV
    Simply disgusting, that’s all I can say

    I save $2000 a month during the season….but I would give it up in an instant if the ownership took the team seriously

  21. Marlow Says:

    Turning Bucs games off and watching other games for the first time in my life. I only get NFL package for the Bucs. Considering not getting it next season. Bucs have to get some players and I fear they, the organization, will not pull the trigger on enough targets. I live in SC and loathe the Panthers. I am really taking some crap today.

  22. crazy Says:

    Apathy’s rising. The quality and style of play is declining. Despite that until the owners see a significant decline in the bottom line it’s hard to see them spending the kind of money in pursuit of the kind of change so many are expecting. They seem to be trying to emulate the Rays success per dollar spent without the Wall St/stat geeks finding that elusive 2%.

  23. BamBamBuc Says:

    As bad as the team is this year, the fans are WORSE! Apathy, yeah right. “I’m giving up my season tickets”, “I’m not getting Sunday Ticket next year”…. blah blah blah. Spoiled freakin’ fans. I’ve been a fan longer than some of you have probably been alive and seen many consecutive seasons that were worse than this one. I’ve seen head coaches and GMs come and go that only wish they could do as well as Morris and Dom. I’ve seen first round draft choices go play baseball rather than play for this team we were so bad. So, keep whining all you want. I’m not giving up my Sunday Ticket to watch every game (good or bad) next year. And at some point, I will retire to Florida and I will have season tickets and watch every game (good or bad).

    Yeah, I want the team to play better. I’d love better results. But I will NEVER turn my back on them because the owners/GM/coach/players aren’t performing up to the “fan’s” expectations. NEVER will I hope they lose to get a coach fired or move up in the draft. Absolutely pathetic. I really don’t know who’s worse… the team or the fans. Just sad.

  24. lightningbuc Says:

    BooBooBuc- Shut up! How many Bucs games have you ever paid to see? I’ve missed one game in the new stadium so don’t tell me i’m pathetic from somewhere up north. I spend way more in one Sunday on the Bucs than you spend in two seasons of Sunday Ticket. I put my money where my mouth is, so if I wanna spout off about the drivel that is being passed off as football, I’ll damn well do it. While you’re in your EZ chair I’m sitting amongst the opposing team’s fans listening to them ridicule me and my team. STFU!

  25. BamBamBuc Says:

    Lightning – You mean besides the few grand I spent going to the Super Bowl in San Diego? I’ve flown to Tampa multiple times to watch games live. I’ve also gone to other stadiums (closer to my home) to see the Bucs play road games. And that’s even with the Sunday Ticket purchase every year. I also put my money where my mouth is, and I still think many fans are being absolutely pathetic. Probably more pathetic than the team is playing. Can’t sell out the stadium because we don’t have a big name coach? Really? I don’t recall that happening to the Lions when Wayne Fonts was the coach, and the Lions are pretty pathetic most years. The Seahawks sell out consistently, and are consistently bad as well. Not only that, they’re considered one of the loudest fan bases in the NFL. You’d never hear more cheers for the opposing team there (unlike many games in Tampa like the Pittsburgh game last year). The Seahawks have only won 10+ games in a season 5 times in their history, we’ve only done that 7 times. Dungy had 3 seasons, Gruden had 2, McKay 1, and Morris had the other last year. You “New Stadium” fans have been spoiled by decent teams, only two seasons before the new stadium did this team have even a winning record. But if you can’t deal with a bad season here or there, go be a fan of the Patriots or Steelers… but just like the Raiders of the 70’s and the 49ers of the late 80’s or even the Bills of the early 90’s…. those teams eventually fall and you’ll be stuck looking for another team… because they couldn’t win 10 games every year, or make the playoffs every year, or win the Super Bowl every year…

  26. McBuc Says:

    Yu guys can all give up on the team, that is your decision and no one elses. I am more like BamBam, win or lose the Bucs are my team. I have been a Bucs fan by default since I was 6 years old when the team started. I became an actual fan around 1887 when I started watching football on my own, not just because my dad had it on. I became a hard core fan around 1990, so I have seen iot all just like BamBam. I still wear my Bucs gear with pride, and I would NEVER hope for a loss. I am also not happy at all with the state of the team, and agree changes should be made…but to turn my back on the Bucs is just not in the cards for me.

    Eric, you may be right on about having the right people to exectue the plan.

  27. McBuc Says:

    Great post BamBam…

  28. lightningbuc Says:


    New stadium fan? I’m a sombrero fan, douchebag. Just used that as a point of reference that I’ve missed one game in last 14 seasons while you have gone to a few. And even so, how can you call out “new stadium fans” when you’re an armchair stadium fan. And you going to a few away games certainly puts no money in the Bucs coffers. So keep sitting in your EZ chair and bitching at all of us “apathetic” fans who are shelling out hundreds of dollars per game to watch high school football. Unless you sit in that stadium every week putting up with what we have to put up with, shut your fat yap.

    And the reason we have

  29. BucFan South Tampa Says:

    Not a fair weather fan here either. I am proud to be a BUC Fan, and will remain a BUC Fan. Those clowns on the field and the ones calling the plays are not Buccaneers, they are players in Buccaneer uniforms. I love my team, they obviously dont otherwise they would be playing with some effort. I have earned / paid for the right to criticize this team, coaches and owners. When Raheem Morris and the coaching staff are replaced I will then go back to see my Buccaneers play, not before, because I know the players will mail it in.

  30. Sgt Mike Says:

    The Bucs are my team and have been since 1977 but I’m ready to be on the winning train again. Even during the ugly years we seemed to have a pretty decent defense. This at least made the game interesting. These days you have to be competitive or end up with a relocated team due to fan disinterest. I felt that Rah was a mistake from day one. I don’t need the biggest big name available. I just need them to get a moderately experienced coaching staff even if they are new to the head coachimg realm. Lots of excellent DC/OC’s available with a lot more experience than what we have. Football is not OJT and that is what we got. Hopefully for Rah’s sake he doesn’t completely ruin his career. He may be a fine coach someday just not today. He is not done learning how to be a DC let alone a HC. I would certainly entertain Fisher or a couple of others but it needs to happen before the current coach ruins not only his own career but many young talented players that are here to learn now.

  31. Bucs Babe Says:

    I agree with BucFan South Tampa these are not my Buccaneers time to get real and spend some $$ Mr Glazer

  32. Joe Says:

    I agree with BucFan South Tampa these are not my Buccaneers time to get real and spend some $$ Mr Glazer.

    For those who equte spending money with success like Eagles fans do, just wait until 2013 and your dreams will come true.

    Oh, and for the Tin Foil Hat crowd, Rah’s contract runs through 2012.

  33. Capt.Tim Says:

    Bambam. You and I have supported this team long enough to think long term. We’ve seen great players, without much help around them, still fight to to win. We’ve suffered thru DECADES of bad football.

    But my Brother- this needs to end. They committed the unforgivable sin the last 2 weeks. They weren’t trying. They didn’t care. And it showed. I could watch a horribly overmatched team play it’s guts out. Lose, and I still respected them. I remember Ervin Randall roaring at the offense, because they avoided him. Lots of easier places to go. But Randall still stood there. Challenging them to test him- to give him a chance to win!!

    This team has lost it’s focus, it’s heart, its desire. Other than our Young D-line, the rest look like they’ve finally taken Quincy janes message to heart. “don’t try, don’t get hurt, avoid contact- and you’ll get a fat contract.
    They’ve all bought in.

    It was harder to watch than those bad years. At least Testaverde and James Wilder, with terrible lines, no WRs, bad coaching- they FOUGHT to win

    This team has stopped doing that .
    Raheem has lost them. Dominick’s ” Plan” deprived this team of a chance to be competitive this year
    They gotta go. The effort and focus the last few games is unpardonable. It’s gotta stop

  34. Capt.Tim Says:

    LightningBuc- I’ve written 3 scathing retorts to your comments, but they won’t post. I think Joe is trying to save you years of therapy!
    They were so harsh, and spot on, that I believe they would have crumpled you to knees, and left you scarred for years to come. Quess you got lucky this time! Lol

  35. BamBamBuc Says:

    Tim – I’m not even saying there shouldn’t be changes made. Of course they need to make moves to improve. But the fans are quitting on their team as much as the team is quitting on themselves, maybe more. Even in a 10-6 season, the fans of the opponent were louder than the fans of our home team. It was about dead even or maybe a bit in the visitor’s favor in our playoff game against the Giants what seems like ages ago. And blaming the coach for the stadium not selling out? Not cutting it with me. The reason the stadium doesn’t sell out is because fans turn their back on the team, even when they’re playing decent (like last year).

    There is no doubt the team needs to make some changes. Whether that’s coaching staff, players, whatever, but changes need to be made to improve. All I’m saying is that I’ll be with them through those changes, just like I have been for over 30 years. At least this franchise isn’t at the point where their first round draft choice refuses to play for them even one game because of a history of being pathetic. I get the feeling many “fans” here don’t even know what that feels like and would punish the team by not buying tickets or watching the games or cheering, even when the team did what they could do to add the talent needed.

    The Buccaneers need more talent at certain positions, but they’ve made strides in other areas adding much needed talent. Are we done? No, and never will be. They also need better coaching decisions. Is it the head coach? The Offensive Coordinator? The GM? I have no idea, I’m not in One Buc to know what’s going on and see who’s failing. All I can see is what most fans on here can, and that is that something is not working. We can all state what we think is failing, and some may be right. But this is not the NBA or MLB where you can buy a team and become a contender overnight. Can an NFL team become a contender in one season? Sure, but it’s not because of simply going out and buying all the top free agents in an off-season. That’s not how the NFL works, just ask the Eagles this year. And they even have a proven head coach in Andy Reid. And their fans are screaming, but watch the attendance this year and next, you’ll see they still support their team, even when they’re not doing well.

    Sure, you can all vent your frustrations, you’ve spent your dollars and paid for your right to whine all you want. Just realize how pathetic you sound as fans.

  36. Steve Says:

    Changes need to be made all around. The head coach, the GM and the players have to go. The players have given on up on the coach. The Head Coach lacks the capacity to lead. The GM put this all together. Get them all out of here. This is enough! 10 years of a lousy football.

    I’m tired of people making excuses for this team and pounding their chest that “I’ve been a fan since I was in my mom’s belly”. Who cares! We’re talking about right now and the past 10 years! This team is pathetic and its been pathetic for the last 10 years. We need to hit the Glazers where it hurts them most in their wallet. Stop going to the games, stop purchasing their merchandise. If the Glazer’s “bottom line” starts going down watch and see how the “build a team through the draft” strategy goes out the window.

  37. BamBamBuc Says:

    Steve – First off, remember that each team is guaranteed money from the NFL. It’s called revenue sharing. Each team gets about $150M per year, so whatever pittance we fans can “take out of their pocket” isn’t nearly enough to affect the owners. The most it would do is get them to look for another city that is willing to give them the same sweet stadium deal and support the team for another 30+ years. If that’s what you’re looking for, then by all means stop spending your money on the team and let them go elsewhere.

    Second, about the “excuses” being made… the problem isn’t that everyone believes in a different problem and is using it as an “excuse” to explain away the issues, but that very few realize that it’s most likely a combination of ALL the so called excuses that has led to this year. Does the lack of off-season have something to do with it? Probably. Does the lack of veteran leadership and free agency moves have something to do with it? Probably. Does player regression have something to do with it? Probably. How about coaches losing discipline and poor game planning? Probably. Over-rating the talent on the roster? Probably. A much more difficult schedule this year? Probably.

    You see, fixing one or two of these issues doesn’t necessarily get the fans what they want. Some will “auto-correct” in the form of off-season workouts and a different schedule each year. Doesn’t help this year though. The other problem is knowing what is wrong and what is just a by-product of other things being wrong. Is the player regression a by-product of poor coaching? Or is the coaching fine and the players just aren’t listening, causing regression? Pick the wrong one and you may have a bigger problem next year. That’s why we’re fans, and the team hires professionals to make those determinations.

    So, is there AN excuse? No, there are many factors at work here. This season is a combination of many things not working in our favor. It happens, which is why I say it’s a bit ridiculous for fans to turn their backs on their team because the “stars didn’t align” this year.

  38. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I stand up and applaud you for the best post I have probably ever read on this site. I think you are absolutely correct on every single thing you just said.

  39. McBuc Says:

    I second that Hawaiian…Nice job BamBam.

  40. Capt.Tim Says:

    Bambam- I, too, agree with you, Sir.
    Obvious we need some changes, but I remain a Buc fan- as always, forever loyal.

  41. Marlow Says:


    “I really don’t know who’s worse… the team or the fans. Just sad.”

    Sir, if it cost me money to watch my team consistently lose, I think the only logical way to send a message to my team, and save money, is to quit spending my money. Also, how does this decision have anything to do with being a poor fan, or even equate to being spoiled? The NFL package is 300 plus dollars. Hmm, what could I do with that extra money in this economy, specially being a under paid school teacher who scrapes pennies to even get the NFL package? Also, I have been through all the BS you have been through with this franchise, and I refuse to go through it again. Hooray if you are, but I am removing my contributions to the team as my personal protest. We have only had 1 decent decade! I am fed up! If you are not then you must enjoy losing! Personally, it is not my standard, and excuses coupled microscopic incremental strides forward do not make feel better about our future. Soon you may be a LA Bucs fan, you will have to retire there! I will still wear all my Bucs gear proudly, however I am not delusional.

  42. Marlow Says:

    “…coupled with microscopic…”

    I should re-read prior to posting… I know better.