THE OPTIMIST: Matching The Old Franchise QB

November 15th, 2015
America's Quarterback matched a signature Doug Williams moment

America’s Quarterback matched a signature Doug Williams moment

In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers 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. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe.

 When I first became a Bucs fan, our hated rival was the Los Angeles Rams. They beat up on us in 1977, then barely escaped with an upset in ’78, when they illegally hit Doug Williams and broke his jaw. And then we beat them soundly in ’79, but they went to the Super Bowl after shutting us out 9-0 in the NFC Championship game.

I remember how badly I looked forward to the rematch, which was on Monday Night Football, a special Thursday Night edition (They played like three games on Thursdays back then, when the NFL cared about player safety. :)) Unfortunately, things didn’t go well. We sneaked in a field goal over the crossbar, but it was 9-3 with 2:00 left, we only managed to improve by one FG!

Then Hail Dougie threw one up and got a pass interference call. The next play I’ll remember the rest of my life; and you may remember last week’s Jameis Winston play the same way. Williams saw nothing open and took it around the right side and ran into a linebacker who bounced off him. At the 3 yard line, Williams squared off against three Rams defenders and pushed them back to the one-foot line. A QB Sneak later delivered the Bucs revenge — and a QB hero was born.

There may be a Doug Williams curse, but if anyone is going to get rid of it, it’s Jameis. He, too, came around right end and found little there and decided, ‘I’m going to have to do it myself.’

Jameis put caution to the wind and dove over the top of the goal line in an effort that made all the NFL top 10 plays during the week. But it’s not a teenage fan impressed, it’s 23 year old offensive linemen, and 30-something veterans with just a year or two left in the tank. Winston has won over this Bucs team like few imagined possible so soon, with a 3-5 record halfway through a season.

If Tampa Bay is going to make headway in 2015, then it’s going to be from the QB position. Jameis is taking care of the ball — four games in a row — scoring TDs, and seizing respect from Bucs players in the locker room. As the Bucs seek those signature wins to show things have turned around, trying to win two games in a row, there is only one player you need to look for to guide the Bucs in that direction; the first true franchise QB to shine in his rookie season since No. 12 graced Tampa Stadium for the last time 33 years ago.

And the quest begins again this week against America’s Team.

11 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: Matching The Old Franchise QB”

  1. JAB83 Says:

    Well I am all for JW being the the driver of the ship… But the ruter of this team is the D… We can rest assured that the captain has assumed command 😉 Now that being said… If we are truly gonna make any head way this season the rutter that will stear us in that direction will be the D… Hopeless???? Fret not my fellow deckhands fret not…. As much as the first half was about focusing on getting the O going the second half will be all about the D….

    Second half goals are as followed…
    Stay the course on Offense
    Bring the pain on D (not the pain that hurts us)
    Find out who wants to be on this team next year…

    Lovie is now going to really start to prove his worth… Everyone was supper focused on making sure that O got going and it received more attention than the D by far… Could be the reason why the D has been playing like spoiled brats who suddenly felt like they we’re being neglected…

    In any case… Time for this D to Siege the Day and turn this season into a holy cow!!!

    I was confident the would play hard and show some real good things last week… They did as a had hoped… Only thing they did do was get the sacks!!! They did however sack me and my overly optimistic perspective and it left a bitter sweet taste in my mouth…

    So today I am calling for the same results as last week… I smell a shutout for this team this year… TODAY IS THE DAY….

    28-0 BUCS IF,…… IF, we manage the two turnover and 5 sacks that it will take… Either way, last weeks game was a big step in the right direction for the D…. Let’s take one giant leap on America Team and make a statement…. Everyone knows its coming so let’s not keep them waiting any longer….

  2. Wilder32 Says:

    Remember that play clearly! Doug played 100% on every play in every game he started. I like your comparison; I can see the same fire and effort in Winston.

  3. BUCutalkinbout Says:

    Damn i hope we win. Gotta believe in our BUCS, C’MON guys!
    The defense has to step up man, please. I’ve been to Ray Jay alot. Saddest thing I’ve seen is when you first hit Himes coming off 275. Cowboy jerseys everywhere! Like we’re playing in Dallas…WTF, same wit the Packers, n Giants.
    I’m pleading to u…BUCS players
    Please give us fans a team when your home you see your jerseys in the stands.

  4. Bucfan77 Says:

    JAB83, not so fast my friend, Oh how I wish your prediction would be right,but shutouts just dont happen,a shut out is more about discipline than anything,sure dominance as well,but this offense is capable of getting points,but our red zone needs major help to convert 3 into 7,lack of discipline causes to many penalties which we are very undisciplined.Turnovers are a luxury not a commodity.But with all that I said I hope and pray we can shut them out,but I will just take the win,or atleast compete well,look like a improved team as a whole.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I was at that NFC game in 1979 at the Sombrero….in the rain…..LA Rams beat us 9-0.

    “Shaun King & Doug Williams… Buc Quarterbacks that lost a NFC Championship Game when his defense gave up 9 points.”

  6. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Yeow…please don’t mention Sean King and Doug Williams in the same sentence. Other than the posiition and the team I’m not sure these two have anything in common.

    I think it’s fitting…serendipitous even that #3’s father’s favorite player was Doug Williams and it will be his son who finally returns us to the glory days at that position.

  7. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    By far, my favorite articles on this website are THE OPTIMIST.

  8. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Doug Williams wasn’t that great of a quarterback if you look closely at his stats. Of course, he didn’t have a lot around him either.

    Even in his SB run, he wasn’t all that great. Not by today’s standards.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Williams was shut out in the NFC game…..not even a FG….

    He was a good QB for Washington….

  10. Brent Says:

    Joe you sound funny when you talk jw like you think he’s Johnny Unitas. I think he’s been good but damn, he’s gonna need a defense to win in the nfl. As far as those head first dive, save that for the playoffs. If he’s half as good as you think he is that’s a dumb play for your franchise qb.

  11. Says:

    Brett, Im not Joe, these articles are written by me, the Optimist, who is Nick from read the intro bro!

    Buccaneer Bonzai- no he wasn’t that great compared to todays numbers. He didn’t play in an era where every team has a west coast offense. Only one team had a west coast offense back then! Look at Terry Bradshaws numbers. you can’t compare QBs of that era to todays standards. Don’t compare.

    But Doug Williams WON GAMES for the Bucs. he was the emotional and spiritual leader of the team, and when he left, no one filled that void, until Brooks, L inch, Sapp, Nickerson and Co. did.

    And TB Bucsfan, the post is about the ’80 game, the rematch.