“A Real Mother Around These Parts”

December 9th, 2016


The only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter representing Tampa Bay works right here at JoeBucsFan.com, grinding away two podcasts a week and three or four columns. eye-RAH! also eats all the potato chips at JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters. Enjoy his latest on the 2016 playoff karma.


In hockey, it’s called puck luck.

You can prepare well and play well, but if that rubber disc doesn’t bounce your way, you often wind up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

In football, it’s called bad karma — and the Bucs have been oozing with it since the team began play in 1976.

Through the years, Buc fans have witnessed bad ownership, bad coaching and too many bad draft picks to list without taking up this entire column. Those are the primary culprits and that’s why, entering this season, the Bucs were saddled with the worst winning percentage (.385) of any NFL team since the 1970 merger.

But this forlorn franchise has also come up repeatedly short in the karma department. Game fortune has been a real mother around these parts.

Tipped balls, poor officiating and key injuries have contributed mightily to the malaise, but I sense a change blowing in the wind as the Saints come to town.

The Other Guy’s Turn

Take last week’s Falcons-Chiefs game for example.

Atlanta moved up and down the field all afternoon, but ended up one point short after Matt Ryan threw a pick-6 and a pick-2. How’s that for an exacta?

Those are the kind of losses the Bucs have held a patent on during their inglorious history. Now, it’s the other guy’s turn to suffer as the Bucs caught the Falcons atop the division.

And while Tampa Bay is returning to health for the stretch run, NFC counterparts are taking numbers just to get into a crowded trainer’s room.

* New Orleans could be missing top running back Mark Ingram (toe) and elite center Max Unger (foot) in Sunday’s matchup.

“Mark’s having his best year, in my opinion, in the NFL,” said Bucs coach Dirk Koetter. “He’s really playing like the guy they expected when they got him, breaking tackles and running with speed and power. A good running game is a quarterback’s best friend because it makes the defense respect it.”

* After losing their top cornerback, Desmond Trufant, for the season with a torn pectoral, the Falcons are now concerned about a turf toe that may impact the effectiveness of Julio Jones in the final month.

* On Tampa Bay’s heels in the Wild Card chase, the Redskins don’t know whether standout tight end Jordan Reed can overcome his shoulder issues.

* Jason Pierre-Paul, who was enjoying a dynamic comeback season up front for the Giants, is done for the year with a hernia that could trigger a tailspin in the Meadowlands.

.“It’s a devastating loss,” says NBC analyst Rodney Harrison. “You can’t just look at his sack numbers and truly appreciate his impact on this team. His teammates say he’s the best defensive player they have. He’s the most important player on that team.”

* The Vikings are coming to grips with the likelihood that they can’t count on Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith, recuperating from a high ankle sprain.

The hits just keep on coming for Buc opponents.

Ask Buffalo Springfield

A positive vibe has surrounded Tampa Bay since back-to-back home losses against Oakland and Atlanta dropped Tampa Bay to 3-5. A club that once specialized in finding ways to lose in crunch time has outscored the past four opponents 25-7 in the fourth quarter.

Strange things are going on.

Lavonte David forces a fumble by Seattle’s Jimmy Graham, dislodging the ball with his knee. Rookie Vernon Hargreaves deflects a Philip Rivers pass into David’s hands for a pick-6 in San Diego.

In other seasons, that football flutters harmlessly to the turf instead of landing in David’s greedy mitts.

Give this organization credit. The Bucs are doing a lot of things well right now and Dirk Koetter’s staff is coaching its butt off. Jason Licht keeps finding bodies off the street to contribute.

But let’s also acknowledge that good karma has done an about-face, returning to One Buc Place after a long absence.

Welcome back.

The Buffalo Springfield put it best in the opening lines of “For What It’s Worth,” a hit single recorded by that underrated band 50 years ago this week.

“There’s something happening here

What it is ain’t exactly clear.”

15 Responses to ““A Real Mother Around These Parts””

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There’s something happening here
    What it is ain’t exactly clear
    There’s a man with a gun over there
    Telling me I got to beware
    I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
    Everybody look what’s going down
    There’s battle lines being drawn
    Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
    Young people speaking their minds
    Getting so much resistance from behind
    It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
    Everybody look what’s going down
    What a field-day for the heat
    A thousand people in the street
    Singing songs and carrying signs
    Mostly say, hooray for our side
    It’s s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
    Everybody look what’s going down

  2. rayjay1122 Says:

    What it is, is clear to me. Winners of 4 in a row are we.

  3. Mike Johnson Says:

    As an ole school Bucs fan, I’m just gonna watch the 4 remaining games we have to play… without ketchup or special sauce. We shall soon see if these Bucs are the real deal. NO hiding in his NFL. You get what you deserve. Thatst he greatest hing aboutt he NFl. no poiticking..No vote recount, no lies. You have got to produce. IF we are worthy then we get a ticket to compete at the final dance. IF not? Then its on to next season. I’m not hyped like a lot of you”s. Been there done that, many times with these Bucs. Let them chips fall where they may.

  4. Miko Says:

    No doubt this team has turned the corner, but how far?…next challenge this week > Win the games their SUPPOSED to win…AT HOME!!!!

  5. Yar Says:

    What the Bucs have now that they haven’t had forever (except Chucky’s tenure) is an offense that wants to score points and does. The Bucs have always been about defense with offense as a sideline. you have to score points to win games.

  6. 1Gr8Buc Says:

    Mike you must be a real joy to be around. Is it because your boy Lovie and fam isn’t around anymore? Clear improvement over the last two years with multiple players missing numerous games and you’re still pissy. GTFO of here with you negativity. LET’S GO BUCS!!!!

  7. Shadow man Says:

    Mike Johnson it’s pretty clear that when it comes to you, no one wants special sauce…at all

    Meanwhile, I’m driving to town for the game and I can promise you that there will be lots of sauce. All of the sauces..for every buc supporter..and maybe some cute saints fans but that’s neither here not there..

    Anyone in section 331?

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    “Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you’re always afraid. Step out of line – the man come, and take you away. We better, STOP hey, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s goin down….”

    Karma is not a random thing that comes and goes of its own volition.

    Karma is simply natural consequences that result from our own thoughts, decisions and actions. “Good” or “Bad”

    – Racist attitudes and ungrateful actions towards the only good QB your franchise ever had (Doug Williams) = Bad Karma
    – Greed and not caring a bit about the quality of product put on the field – being only concerned with how much profit is being made (Culverhouse) = Bad Karma.
    – New Ownership hiring a minority head coach before it was fashionable and ensuring your minority HC has the highest of character = Good Karma
    – Drafting great players with (mostly) high character (Lynch, Brooks, Alstott, Dunn, Barber etc) = Good Karma
    – Making a bold move to upgrade the HC position to assist offensive productivity when your former HC failed to do so = Good Karma (+SB win!!)
    – Intentionally being the cheapest franchise in the league for 8 straight years (2004-2011) = Bad Karma
    – 10 years of Bruce Allen and Mark Dominik running the team = Bad Karma
    – Firing the best coach your franchise ever had over a December meltdown that was largely caused by someone else (Monte) = Bad Karma
    – 3 consecutive bad HC hires (Morris, Schiano, Lovie) = Bad Karma
    – Hiring a “meathead” GM with an eye for young talent (Licht) and giving him total control of personnel when it becomes obvious he knows what he is doing = Good Karma
    – Ignoring the hate and fear mongers and drafting the best young QB to come down the pike in many years (Winston) = Good Karma

    So the result as we sit now is that – “good karma has done an about-face, returning to One Buc Place after a long absence” – and this is based on the fact that the Glazers have recently made good decisions and taken positive action. (spending $ again on talent, hiring Licht, drafting Winston, firing Lovie, hiring Koetter)

  9. orlbucfan Says:

    Buc Luck = not just bad karma, but WEIRD bad karma. Old-timers like me are all too familiar with it. “Den of Depression” Joe? How about Tampa Stadium during the mid 1980s? RayJay better be sold out Sunday. Weather is predicted to be football perfect. 12th Man better show up. Great antiwar tune, Ira. 🙂 Go Tampa Bay!!

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Fascinating article Ira … sounds like you’re a believer that the Bucs lost a lot of games because ‘the football gods’ didn’t smile on them in the past but now are. Not sure Dirk Koetter & Mike Smith would share that belief. Both sound very much like proponents of the ‘You get what you deserve’ school of coaching. Practice hard and it’ll pay off in games (Example: I think that Lavonte credited his most recent INT of a tipped ball to Mike Smith’s hammering his defense to ‘run to the ball’ on every play). Other teams are being impacted by injuries now, but so are the Bucs (more than most actually). Officials make mistakes in every game I’m sure … I certainly hope they don’t single out the Bucs for their bad calls. I do agree with you that ‘strange things happen’ in every game, and that they can (and have) impact the outcome of the game. Karma hasn’t done an about-face, but the Bucs have thus far this season … thanks to hard work, excellent coaching, and a team of players who believe in each other and who refuse to lose without putting up one heck of a fight.

  11. m&m Says:

    It is not about good or bad karma it’s about us playing Buc football. Play efficient and consisten football. That will get us over the top and to be a winning team. Go Bucs.

  12. Mikadeemas Says:

    I sure thought VH III’s knee knocked that ball out of Graham’s hand and LVD was there for the recovery.

  13. Buccfan37 Says:

    Buffalo Springfield cut “For What it’s Worth” in 1966 as the buildup to opposition of the Vietnam war was growing. That antiwar movement was the last major one of it’s kind as the repression of citizen protest has rendered push back nearly obsolete. Can you say police state. Imagine that level of protest today against this war on terror BS. The peoples voice has been muted. Steven Stills and Neil Young were part of Buffalo Springfield. A great antiwar song. One better that I rock the rafters with is Edwin Starr’s “War”, the ultimate blast against the warmongering establishment.

  14. Caradoc Says:

    “Gee, let me write an article about Karma, and gloat about how Karma is finally on our side”
    You do understand how Karma works, right?


  15. Mike Johnson Says:

    Let them chips..fall where they may….I’m cautiously optimistic until these Bucs prove otherwise.