Taking A Dump On Hope

July 26th, 2016
Joe is embittered by a column in the Tampa Bay Times.

Joe was embittered by a column in the Tampa Bay Times.

Man, Tampa Bay Times columnist Martin Fennelly really punched Joe in the gut this morning.

Filled with excitement for football season, smiling at thank-you notes from those booked on this weekend’s Training Camp Express, Joe read Fennelly’s latest offering and got real sour because Fennelly was so sour. With the season of hope and change upon us, Fennelly soiled it with heroic negativity about a Bucs team lacking buzz.

It will take winning.

I’m not even sure one winning season will turn it around. The relationship between the team and town is fractured.

Later, Fennelly penned what got Joe to type this post.

These Bucs have some potentially electric talents, including Winston. It means nothing unless they win.

Throw in the fact that we hardly know these guys. You see, we felt like we knew the old Bucs. Maybe we didn’t, but we felt like it, and that was everything.

So America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, is a “potentially” electric talent? Joe will counter by saying Jameis is, in fact, one of the top-20 most “electric” talents in the entire NFL. Who could forget 3rd-and-19 on the home turf? No quarterback took more hits last year. Hell, Jameis was sacrificing his body through the air and electrifying crowds in preseason. Even Jameis’ news conferences have juice. His mini tirade after the season finale was legendary.

Yeah, the Bucs are lacking buzz among casual fans. Those fans don’t know Dirk Koetter and they’re badly beaten down by losing. But Joe doesn’t know a serious or moderate Bucs fan who isn’t pumped out of his or her mind for this season.

There’s more buzz around the Bucs than there’s been in a long time.

And is the relationship between the Buccaneers and the town really “fractured” as Fennelly proclaims? Maybe. But if it is, Joe will counter that there’s been an awful lot of healing and the cast is about ready to come off.

55 Responses to “Taking A Dump On Hope”

  1. The Other Side of the Coin Says:

    Way to go Joe. Set the record strait.

  2. Bradinator Says:

    Fennelly is always a sour egg. This is the time for hope, not to throw a cow frisbee on the pile. Real fans know who these guys are, even if Fennelly doesn’t. I don’t even live in Tampa anymore and I’m pissed about the newspaper “merger”. Sad state of affairs for the local media industry.

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    “we felt like we knew the old Bucs”

    He new coach my scheme!!!! How did that work out!!!!!

    quotes from fennelly on Jan 7 2014
    “Lovie Smith is here.”
    “The big Bucs flag at team headquarters flapped in the wind Monday, as if with pride, for you symbolism fans out there.”

    Boy he sure tries to paint a different picture there didn’t he!!!!!! Way to go Tampa2 mafia!!!!! nice try!!!!!!

  4. Cobraboy Says:

    Tampa has always been the Home of the Bandwagon Fans.

    They don’t know what it’s like to wear an Steve Deberg jersey while getting an aluminum brand on your butt in the broiling sun in a near-empty outdated stadium.

    They don’t know what “five-dash-two” means.

    I can understand Fennelly’s assertion and agree with it somewhat: Tampa has some bad fans.

    OI also agree with Joe: there is something very special about this team, from the top down. It’s been quite a long time since I felt this quiet confidence that this group just might “get it.”

  5. Bucsfanman Says:

    There’s a part of me that agrees with Fennelly. Yeah, we have some really exciting players and there is a lot of optimism. BUT, when was the last time we won a home game? We’ve won ONE in 2 years. That does not endear itself to fans, especially if dropping serious coin to do so. The product has been horrendous for so long. Who would want to see that?
    I’m optimistic about this season. I think, so far, we have a better team. They’ll have to prove it. The best place to start would be at home.
    I’m a die-hard fan and the Bucs will always have my support. To get the casual fans back, they’re going to have to win ballgames.

    Bucs won three home games last year. –Joe

  6. tmaxcon Says:

    Listening to no class lovie’s press conferences for 2 years would destroy even the most loyal fanbase. Lovie was not only arrogant and condescending he was downright disrespectful to fans who paid thier hard earned money to watch the garbage product he put on display week in and week out.

  7. BucFan20 Says:

    Clowns in clown uniforms is what we are use to . This team has been that bad the last couple years . Jameis or not it WILL take winning to change it. Sorry. Just the way it is!!

  8. "That guy" Says:

    Once monte kiffin announced his retirement in 2009 I knew tb was in for some bad times, this is the most hope I’ve had for this team since before that anouncment, their is only a few more holes to be patched on the roster and once they’ve Ben addressed this team will take off.

  9. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Without clicking the link (because I can’t stand Martin Fennelly; who never has anything positive to say), I can understand his point just from the quotes above.

    If he is referring to the connection fans had to the old defense, then he is right. We don’t have that connection anymore. We don’t even have a connection to the coaches anymore.

    Sure, a couple players maybe. GMC, Jackson and maybe Doug Martin, but not David. Not anyone else.

    Not yet.

    It’s a young team. It took us years to get that connection with Sapp, Brooks, Barber, Lynch, etc. It will take years in this instance as well.

    I don’t personally view that as a bad thing, so long as we know that connection is finally on its way.

    Again, I did not click the link. So I might be missing something.

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    BucFan20 Says
    “Clowns in clown uniforms is what we are use to…”

    Well, let’s be honest. We can get all the best players in the NFL onto the Bucs, but the clown uniforms would still remain.

    Which is why I have not bought a jersey since the new Uniforms came out.

  11. BucFan20 Says:

    Nor have I. And I never will.

  12. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    @”That guy”

    It is great to have hope. Soon it will have substance and hope will become faith.

    One thing I envy about teams like the Pats is that their fans know that if the team has a bad year, it will still turn things around and they could still win a title the next year. But they always know there will be good football in store.

    I miss that.

    Tampa Buccaneers fans need to rediscover the joy of being Bucs fans. Badly.

  13. Bob in Valrico Says:

    we are overhauling a bad coaching staff and team. job won’t be done until all the bad parts are replaced and tested. It took more than 10 years to reach this
    point. We need to have patience to see this through. Plenty of reason for hope and optimism.

  14. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans' Says:

    All of these people who are being negative are honestly just scared.

    Scared that their optimism would be proven foolish once again (like all the years past).

    Well, this team is different, folks.

    We will win this season and we will have great success, trust me on that.

    Be optimistic or get proven wrong. It’s your choice.

    Cinderella BUCS 2016 SUPERBOWL CHAMPS.

  15. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans' Says:

    scared *or stupid, that is…

  16. mike Says:

    “There’s more buzz around the Bucs than there’s been in a long time.”
    True… but there has been zero buzz for almost a decade plus, it seems like when we do play a good game its been on the road. We need to light up the score board and get some wins. You know its been a tough ride when people would be very happy with 8-8.

  17. Buccfan37 Says:

    Super Bowl is a bit out of my realm of thought just yet, not saying it couldn’t happen to shock the NFL world. Everyone has a touch of ESP, mine tells me that the Bucs will be better than outsiders expect. To prove the doubters wrong will be icing on the cake. Go Bucs, make some shattering noise that can’t be denied.

  18. Buccfan37 Says:

    Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right here I am, stuck in the middle of optimistic Bucs fans.

  19. BucTrooper Says:

    I’ve had season tickets since 2005. I’ve can’t recall a season I was LESS excited for. I was seriously pumped up for the last two season openers and this team came out and crapped the bed against a rookie in his first start and Derek Anderson.

    I don’t know about the rest of the JBF posse, but I’m pretty worn down. My hopes for a season has shifted from the maturation of the squad to following the injuries on the other three teams in the NFC South. Maybe if Newton and Brees break their legs AND the Falcons have no defense the Bucs go to the playoffs as one of those asterisk 8-8 teams! It’s gotten that bad in Tampa.

    But let’s be honest: there was no big FREE AGENT this year. The big news was resigning Doug Martin, which was a move I agreed with, but Winston’s weapons are largely unchanged and still have the EXACT question marks as a year ago (Jackson’s old, Evans has the dropsies and is immature, ASJ is Mr. Glass, Martin is hit-or-miss) with the added bonus that everyone is a year older. The coach, while successful as a coordinator here last year, is familiar and unproven.

    I know Fennelly has a habit of being negative Nancy, but I’m right there with him on this one. There’s a “let’s get this over with” feeling around the Bucs this season. Any hint of positivity or optimism is tempered with phrases like “If the Bucs can just…” or “If so-and-so does this AND so-and-so does THAT….” There’s talk about SURVIVING stretches in the schedule which usually means going 1-3, the bar is so low. Our team has been relegated to just mere survival. Keep it close. Make it interesting.

    I’m just… tired. I’m tired of being teased. I’m tired of being sold hope. I’m tired of being told to HANG IN THERE for a DECADE. It wears on you. You stop ENJOYING Sundays. And I was raised to support the home team so the Bucs are all I have. I don’t have any kind of passion for the Jets or Giants (even thoughI was born in NY) so I feel like all my passion is wasted on this girlfriend who CONSTANTLY cheats on me, but I can’t help it because I love her. So I’m depressed ALL the time. And there’s no pride anymore outside of Tampa… heck, there’s barely any IN Tampa. The players barely seem to care. Look at that Washington game last year. The RAMS game last year on National Television. And I’m supposed to feel BAD I’m not all jacked up to watch them half-ass it through 60 minutes of football for MILLIONS?

    My wife said it best. Bucs games are our “thing” so we go. It gets us out of the house. I get to use my pretty neat portable grill and I have a tent with WALLS to keep the sun out. Otherwise I’d just play PS4 on a Sunday in the fall. I’m not surprised the buzz is gone… I AM surprised it took this long to fade.

  20. ben Says:

    the bucs have a new coach that has NEVER been a head coach in the nfl You have a man crush on Winston b4 he ever played a game in Tampa. Season tkts are not cheap especially when our team is a bottom feeder..I hope this is the year but we all have thought that b4.

  21. chipbuc Says:

    My god some of these posts are down right depressing. Lets play a few games before we lose all hope. Unbelievable!!!!

  22. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Martin Fennelly is usually as Negative as a post on a freaking Battery. IMHO, even though we have a tough ass schedule, there is plenty of Hope for Tampa.

  23. Buc50 Says:

    Fennelly is easily my least favorite writer. I can’t stand his writing style and there was a time that I read anything that Bucs related. I always skipped his columns because they stunk so bad. Not even worth my time to click the link because I can’t get past his stupid puns.

  24. The Buc Realist Says:

    So comical!!!! You guys feel so burned!!!!! Coach my scheme walks thru the door, and announces McClown as the starting QB and that you guys believe in!!!

    But now you guys are bitter, now you demand results then you will believe!!!! LOL The sheep have been herded once again!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!

  25. LargoBuc Says:

    Look at thepast two years. Too many blowouts, coming into the game unprepared. Casual fans are going to be like screw this! On top of that, casual fans, as people as a whole tend to be, are cynical, so they aren’t going to spend their dollar until they know the team is most likely going to win. And it really irks me, being a diehard. Just watching, waiting for this team to compete while band wagoners are out doing whatever on Sundays, or worse, rooting for the Packers or Patriots or Steelers or whoever they root for when times are rough.
    And that’s just the market down here.

  26. BucFan20 Says:

    Realist if you were not so dumb you could understand it. The “SHEEP” is everyone that has been lead by the owners to think changing coaches every couple years will solve the problem. Changing to one of the worst looking uniforms is going to make this team better. We have demanded results every year and still now we are to be happy if we can even be a 500 ball club? We have changed changed coaches again!!! New DC again!!!! New staff again!!!!!
    It had nothing to do with Lovie. You just like to think that way!!!!!!!!

  27. Justin Says:

    “Joe will counter by saying Jameis is, in fact, one of the top-20 most “electric” talents in the entire NFL.”

    Huge Bucs fan here, but no he’s not. No way is he a top 20 player yet after 1 season. Sorry but this is totally biased.

  28. Fsuking Says:

    Have you been under a rock since last year? Do you even know who are players are? We have top flight QB, DT, RBs, CBs, OL, LB, K, P and some talent at WR to top it off. This is the best Bucs team since we won a Super Bowl. Where have you been?

  29. Buc1987 Says:

    SPBF..to reply to your post from yesterday and my 8 win prediction.

    I can see 9 wins on the schedule if the ball bounces the right way.

    No less than 8 though and yes I know you’re insane, you’re a Bucs fan.

    So we’re not that far apart buddy. 🙂

  30. Buc1987 Says:

    Realist the only ones feeling the burn(Bern) right now are Bernie Sanders supporters!

    Go Bucs!!!

  31. LakeLandBuc Says:

    When did the word ” reality” become a negative word? Some of us actually has no problem facing reality and don’t live in a fantasy world. In a fantasy world the Bucs are 3 times defending champs, but in reality they are 5 time running ” bottom feeders”. Let’s not get it twisted, let’s be true to self.

  32. D-Rome Says:

    Joe, I love this site and appreciate the work that you do. That being said I’d like to point out that in the echo-chamber of JoeBucsFan where few people openly disagree with your opinions in the comments it’s easy to think that there’s a ton of buzz and excitement about this team. I thought Fennelly’s article was fair.

    **YOU** might be excited about what Dirk Koetter will do and most of the other posters here will be in lock-step with what you say (except on GMC it seems) but for the rest of the fans who don’t go on the blogs they see:

    1. Constant instability in the coaching position
    2. An unproven head coach in the NFL
    3. A defensive coordinator that failed in Atlanta
    4. A team that has been a perpetual loser over the past ten years
    5. A front office that has been as inconsistent and inept as the Cleveland Browns

    In the echo-chamber of JoeBucsFan there’s a lot of buzz. Yet, how is that translating to season-ticket sales? Heck, how will this play out during the regular season with ticket sales? Will this be another year where Bucs home games are blacked out? Buc fans that don’t frequent the blogs and articles are taking a wait and see approach. Every new coaching hire brings promises of being committed to winning but for those who don’t frequent the blogs it’s the same old same old.

  33. The Buc Realist Says:


    Maybe they think he “tanked” to get a #1 draft pick next year!!!!!!


    I have been preaching the good word of “reality” for years!!!! The sheep did not want to hear back then!!!! Now I am saying it is time to start believing!!!! For the first time in a long time, The Realist is excited about this team!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Bucsfanman Says:

    Bucs won three home games last year. –Joe

    Well it felt like one!

    I’m “that guy”, you know the one! Every year the Bucs are Super Bowl bound guy! I’m the eternal optimist. Every year I go to as many games as I can afford, usually one or two. I can’t remember going to a “good game” in recent history. Either I’m a bad luck charm, or we have been that bad (you know where I’m leaning!). I took up fishing thinking that it would be cheaper than going to a Bucs game, um, that’s a whole other story! But think about it. Cheap seats=$40 per (X2), Parking=$25, Adult refreshments and concessions=$60ish, you’re looking at ~$200. Now, I’ve never been called a wise man, but I sure as heck know that that money can be spent elsewhere (like lures and terminal tackle) and had more fun with. But, I’m THAT guy! I go. I lament.
    Help me stop lamenting! Make me foam at the mouth again! Lets win some freakin’ games and start making people fear coming to Tampa again!!!

  35. Pick6 Says:

    every time i think i’m certain the bucs are on the upswing, i just remember how set for the long term i thought we were in 2005 (simms, ROY cadillac williams, and what we assumed was an ascending michael clayton taking the NFC championship and sporting a top run defense if i’m not mistaken) and 2010 (10 wins as the league’s youngest team featuring imminent superstar josh freeman, beastly legarrette blount, exciting mike williams, and a youngry defense) and tell myself to just wait and see. until there’s more evidence i don’t blame anyone for thinking 2015 was another misleading signal

  36. Pick6 Says:

    *typo. NFC SOUTH championship

  37. Pick6 Says:

    d-rome: “but for the rest of the fans who don’t go on the blogs they see”

    1. Constant instability in the coaching position
    *are you asserting that this team would be meeting expectations if we were heading into year 8 of the Raheem Morris regime or year 5 of the Greg Schiano regime? If you’ve got the wrong coach you’ve got the wrong coach. I believe in Koetter, and although i’m not ready to crown him, i am more than ready to say none of his 3 predecessors had what it took to sustain a winner in Tampa

    2. An unproven head coach in the NFL
    *i haven’t run the numbers, but anecdotally it seems like 1st time head coaches have been as successful if not more successful than retreads in the nearly 10 years since we’ve fired Gruden. off the top of my head just since we hired Greg Schiano some of the coaches winning divisions or playoff berths in their first ever NFL head coaching gig include: Ron Rivera, Jay Gruden, Bill O Brien, Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh, Bruce Arians, and Chip Kelly

    3. A defensive coordinator that failed in Atlanta
    *If I’m not mistaken, Mike Smith’s tenure in Atlanta was more successful than Tony Dungy’s in Tampa. The defense was not great, but he had totally delegated it to his coordinator in the later years. Almost every analyst I’ve heard has said if you want to know what Mike Smith’s defense will look like, check out his Jacksonville tape not his ATL tape

    4. A team that has been a perpetual loser over the past ten years
    *no debating that

    5. A front office that has been as inconsistent and inept as the Cleveland Browns
    *i think this is the heart of the matter. over a decade of poor drafts between Bruce Allen and Mark Dominick that have collectively sabotaged our attempts to get out of the cellar, add in 3 bad head coaching hires (2 of which can only be put on the owners since there was no GM in place to run the interview process) and you’ve got what we’ve been watching for the last several years.

  38. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Waiting on my wife to pick up some things to finish off our grocery shopping, so I stopped by the magazine rack and picked up pre season NFL mags.

    One of them…Athlon? can’t remember sorry…but they went through the common exercise of listing the best players at each position.

    Among QB’s they already had #3 in the top 20 ahead by two spots of Matty Ice.

    I think this thread is a bit confusing. I was angry at first when I thought stupid Fennelly didn’t see this team has genuine potential…but that wasn’t his point.

    I think he was simply trying to point out you don’t fix a problem that has lasted decades with one brief SB interruption, in one single season.

    In terms of fan support I agree. In terms of the quality of this team and the organization now in place I totally disagree.

    We’re going to be good this year…10 wins…but Fennelly’s correct…that will just begin to get the fans attention. Many will return but others will want to see at least a second season to back that up. I understand their frustration.

    Luckily for me I am able to put the past behind me. I’m hopeful for the future but again all we have is this moment. Right now…in this particular moment…I’m very pleased with the state of the Bucs..both team and organization.

    For too long we’ve had just a collection of players not a team. I’m beginning to sense enough chemistry to hope this collection has the character, chemistry, and coaching to actually morph into a real TEAM!

  39. Buccfan37 Says:

    I’ve already grown to accept the newer uniforms, ugly and all. Besides it’s who is in those uniforms that matters. Winning and establishing home toughness is vital. Being long term patient is big for Bucs fans. He who laughs last laughs best, that means laughing at the opponents as the Bucs move up the ladder of success, that’s going to happen. We have stuck around this long waiting to make some positive noise, the doubters make me sick. Buzz kill.

  40. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    BTW Think of all the NFL franchises. Now take one of them and strip them of their top two draft choices for next year…would that hurt? Oh and then strip them of the freaking TOP TWO choices again next year!!!

    I was never a Bruce Allen or Chucky fan when it comes to personnel selection…Dominik another meh…

    But think of this…the franchise gave up four top picks in two years which had to set us back. Then add in the poor picks..and then add in Man U.

    How soon we forget. The Glazers (and I don’t blame them) leveraged the Bucs bigtime to get ManU.

    ALL of those issues are behind us!!! Tee up the freaking football and GO BUCS!

  41. Sammy spires Says:


  42. The Buc Realist Says:

    Stpetebucsfan is right!!!!!

    Bruce Allen not drafting a core, The Glazers during the same time turned off the money and ran the Bucs on a shoe-string budget!!! The pop-star running the franchise into the ground!!!! Then the incompetent one running into the ground even more than destroying and setting the whole garbage pile on fire!!!

    Now Head Coach Koetter is here to end all of that!!! Full support from the owners!!! Real NFL coaching staffs!!!! Lets play some ball!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!

  43. Tom Edrington Says:

    Martin Fennelly is a really, really good, entertaining writer and I am qualified to tell you all that having spent 10 years at Mother Trib a long time ago in a galaxy far away…..Tampa Bay Times agreed with that and he was basically the only survivor from the sinking of The Tribune…..Martin is astute and a great observer who basically tells it like it is…..has what it takes, despite what most on this site believe, you know the old saying about opinions…..always enjoy reading Martin’s takes on whatever he’s watching……if there was REAL BUZZ, there would be no season tickets available……

    Simple as that (Thank you Lovie)

  44. stanglassman Says:

    Pick6-great points.

    I would add MSmith not only was a successful HC his def was pretty foot until he got his D coordinator poached and hired Jim Swartz. Who joe wanted more than M.Smith if I remember correctly.

    We are all out of touch and DRome thinks there are still local game black outs?
    Not since 2014 and most likely ever again.

  45. D-Rome Says:

    We are all out of touch and DRome thinks there are still local game black outs?


    You must not have read what I wrote. Oh well, it’s to be expected. I was simply asking the question. It’s no surprise you want to nitpick at a minor point and ignore the reality outside of this online echo chamber. As I stated before there is a lot of genuine excitement among JBF readers. However, that is not playing out to the rest of the Buc fans that don’t frequent sites like this. If it did then season tickets for the team would be sold out. Honestly, I wonder if most of you were adults when the Buccaneers had that sign on Dale Mabry advertising the waiting list for Bucs season tickets.

  46. Fsuking Says:

    Call it reserved buzz. You know they can be great… But will they?

  47. SCBucsFan Says:

    Sounds like Mike Johnson got a job at the TBT.

  48. Dirk Disco Says:

    Martin Fennelly is a hack. I can’t believe the Times picked him up.

  49. 813bucboi Says:

    @realist…lovie laid the foundation…GO BUCS!!!!

  50. The Buc Realist Says:


    He laid something alright!!! It smelt as bad as it looked too!!!!! I guess in your terms cows lay foundations for crops as well!!!!!!! But maybe we do need to recognize the incompetent one’s historic buffoonery!!!! without coach my scheme gross incompetence we would not have all those extremely high draft picks!!!!

  51. Mike Johnson Says:

    Fennelly is..SPOT ON! Like the song use to say, Don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing! Nothing matter excepts Winning. Win and the Bay area embraces you. Lose and its, Whadda you expect?,,its the Bucs! Who cares if jameis throws halfway round the world or Martin does 1550 if..you don’t win.
    Winning solves a lot of things. Now that’s when the REAL BUZZ starts.

  52. Buccaneers Says:

    Realist-In one comment you say that Lovie ran the team into the ground then later you comment how you are excited for the team for the first time in a long time.

    Do you realize how that doesn’t add up?

  53. The Buc Realist Says:


    I have been pretty clear on my expectations!!! What I am excited about is no coach my scheme with his outdated, passive, fiasco of a defensive scheme that was the team’s largest problem!!! We will now get to see what we actually have in personal!!!!

    It was about the same thing when the pop-star was here!!! I could not tell you if Coach Schiano did a good job or a bad job because that is how bad the pop-star was for this team!!!!

  54. Buccaneers Says:

    I’m just saying……If Lovie did indeed run the franchise into the ground as you stated then there wont be too much to be excited about.

    If the team had been run into the ground then get ready for another rebuild project…….hey if more rebuilding gets you excited then good for you. Personally, I’m only gonna get excited if this team has some ability.

  55. DB55 Says:

    You can’t lose a football town? I think Joes Nielsen rating disproves that point. Bucs practices have more eyes on them, right.

    Second, even winning may not help? Wth! If even winning can’t help then wth! That makes no sense.

    Finally, idk about ***you*** but this offseason I’ve been paintballing and bowling with the team. I’ve eaten tacos with DSmith and Ali Marpet. I’ve worked out with Kwon and watched the NBA playoffs with LVD. ASJ spazzed out, were you there for that? I’ve seen jaboo’s new crib and the beauty of breezy boo on a sun soaked beach in Turks and Cacos. If you don’t know the team then you just ain’t following along.

    I even seen Vjax and Jaboo have a dance-off in the lockeroom but they got nothing on Pablo.