For The No-Bye Worriers

September 9th, 2017

Three dozen games in 1985.

Wonder what shy, practice-hating, kicker-heckling, tree-grinding Chris “Swaggy” Baker would say about this?

Yes, Joe believes the Bucs are now at a competitive disadvantage because there is no midseason bye week for them (or the Dolphins). Not much one can do about it. The NFL is shameful for not being properly prepared.

(The NFL not knowing what to do with the Bucs-Dolphins game originally scheduled for tomorrow reminds Joe of the senior citizen couple who held up the very long line at Joe’s local pharmacy yesterday for over 20 f’ing minutes arguing about Medicare coverage for shingles shots. Really?! Two days before Hurricane Irma is going to tear up our beautiful state and you are clogging up a line for folks to have their prescriptions refilled because you want to get shingles shots??? Like you can’t wait three friggin’ days??? Hint: if the shingles has already flared up, those shots won’t do a damned thing. Might as well do shots of Jack Daniels. In case you didn’t know, there is a hurricane coming! Geez!!!)

Still, some perspective, unlike Swaggy, who is beyond peeved he must play 16 straight games.

In 1985, St. Louis Cardinals starting left tackle Luis Sharpe, in a contract dispute, bolted to play in the USFL. For those too young to remember, the USFL was a spring-summer, professional league that actually did fairly well until a certain New York real estate mogul began to throw his weight around and ruin the league. Same guy has a pretty important job now.

Anyway, the USFL thrived using an 18-game regular season schedule (ahem). Sharpe started for the Memphis Showboats.

After the 1985 season with Memphis, Sharpe, a three-time NFL Pro Bowler, re-signed with the Cardinals and played in 16 regular season games.

Now for those without a calculator, Sharpe played 18 regular season games and two playoff games for the Showboats for a total of 20 games. Add in the 16 he played with the Cardinals, in one calendar year, Sharpe played in a total of 36 games.

As a starting left tackle.

And neither Memphis nor St. Louis had the luxury of a bye week. And Joe isn’t even factoring in the four preseason games the Showboats and Cardinals each played.

So when you next hear Swaggy whining (again) about 16-straight games, think about what Sharpe pulled off.

That’s 36 games in one year without a bye and only 16 days of rest and relaxation from the final Memphis playoff game until the beginning of Cardinals training camp.

35 Responses to “For The No-Bye Worriers”

  1. Rod Munch Says:

    I’m not sure what the disease shingles is but I do know that post Hurricane Andrew the state of Florida did a damage survey to find out why some houses were destroyed and others right next door to it were not – and the finding was simple, roofs that had their shingles nailed on survived, those that had the shingles stapled on did not (in general terms, always exceptions). So if you want to know if you’ll die or not just head up onto your roof tomorrow and see how the shingles are held in place. If you live in a house that is 2002 or newer (I think it’s 2002 or 2004) then they should be nailed into place.

    Also Joe never discount the role that shingles play in hurricanes – it’s huge.

  2. James Walker Says:

    Duh, Sharpe was a TE…not a DT who get smacked on EVERY play.

    [Luis Sharpe was very much a left tackle. A starting left tackle. A Pro Bowl left tackle. — Joe]

  3. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    this sharpe was an OT

  4. Joe Says:

    I’m not sure what the disease shingles is

    You don’t want to know. Joe’s had them.

    Duh, Sharpe was a TE…not a DT who get smacked on EVERY play.

    Luis Sharpe was a left tackle. Trust Joe, he saw him play. Joe’s first assignment in college as a sports reporter was covering the St. Louis (football) Cardinals’ training camp. Sharpe was on that team.

  5. westernbuc Says:

    The real question is, does Shannon Sharpe have shingles?

  6. tnew Says:

    Baker plays far, far, far less than every play. He came off really immature worrying about “safety” when a Cat 5 was bearing down on his state. Its so bad when I am hoping it drops down to a Cat 3 or so before landfall. As perspective, Charley strengthened to a Cat 3 before landfall. Be safe everyone.

  7. unbelievable Says:

    Stay safe Florida Bucs fans!

    Pretty worried about my folks’ place down in Naples right now…

  8. Madcon Says:

    Guys, will Doug play against the Patriots with the game transition?

  9. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Be safe everyone…be safe florida…Swaggy sounds immature is all BS, will someone tell me why did the NFL even put the “bye” week in place? I’m pretty sure it had something to do with “Player Safety”, there was a number of different things that could have been done to save the “bye” week for the Bucs and the Fish but the league decided to show their true colors again and decided to screw the player, the only thing that would have changed their minds is players, players all over the league standing together in one voice saying,…No matter what you (League Headquarters) decide we as players will not be screwed!! In my opinion (the league) should now remove all “bye” weeks ….and then we will see how many other players will we be able to call immature!!! WAIVE FITZ ..sign COLIN NOW…UPGRADE!!

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    National Hurricane Center just published their 5 AM EDT projection & looks like they show Irma going straight over Tampa Bay sometime early Monday AM. Track has kept shifting more & more west in past couple of days though, so MAYBE it’ll continue to shift westward. Lots of us here in Valrico & elsewhere along this coast will be hunkered down & riding it out. Somehow ‘Bye’ weeks for the Bucs & Dolphins don’t seem all that important in comparison. Luis Sharpe does sound like one tough dude though.

  11. Lou. Says:

    Big Hog is right.


    How it hurts to write that.


    The bye week system was sold as a safety measure. So to promote safety the League could postpone the start of the season for everyone.


    Because it is really about revenue.

    On the QB situation, BigHog is of course right that Kaepernick has talent. Then again, so does Tebow, who has more leadership but less arm. Unapproved political stances and outsized personality will get you run.

    BigHog should notice that only some political stances are poison. The whole Rams team ran onto the field in support of a would-be cop killer and the BLM movement. No dissent allowed. Would hurt team spirit. The League was happy to play along.

    Let’s see how willing the NFL USB to support due process for males in college disciplinary proceedings. It’s a justification matter.


  12. Fire the glazers Says:

    One player… the NFL is asking two 53 man rosters and two coaching staffs to make it work in territory where little to none have ever tread.

  13. richbucsfan Says:

    Mr. Baker’s complaints do not bode well for his longevity in Tampa Bay. I haven’t heard much positive about his work ethic or his play. While I am highly supportive of the work of the Bucs FO, they may have made an unwitting mistake with this guy. I’ll be watching how he plays to see if he dogs it because he’s trying to not get hurt playing 16 straight games. He seems like a cancer. Hope his complaining disease doesn’t metastasize to the rest of the team.

  14. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    @ westernbuc

    I’m not so sure if centaurs can get herpes

  15. stpetebucsfan Says:

    The bye has never been about player safety. It was about a way to get another week of TV games. Does anybody here believe Thursday games are good for player safety. Does anybody believe sending teams to London to play a “real” game and calling it a home game for one of them is even remotely fair?

    Imagine the ‘Fins”? They’ve already lost one home game to London…they’ve now lost their bye week…but again when Andrew hit they went from 8-8 the year before to 11-5 and an AFC championship.

    Concussion protocols…new helmet designs…and rules against targeting and head shots…THOSE were for player safety.

    I’m seeing some real hypocrisy here. Some of the same people who constantly whine about players like John Lynch now having their games legislated against…feeling sorry for Dashon Goldson and other head hunting safeties are now suddenly worried about “player safety”. Cmon man!

    History is the best predictor of the future. This loss of a bye is not season changing!!! We lose a 3% advantage…for ONE game…there is no consistent history of teams turning their seasons around based on a bye…teams have gone on runs…others have gone on to losing streaks.

    The BIGGEST predictor of how teams will do after a bye…both first game and remainder of the season….is wait for it….surprise…surprise…how good the teams were!!! If we’re as good as we hope and believe…we’ll be fine.

    Prior to the season I felt the two toughest wins for the Bucs would be Atlanta in Atlanta…and that Pack game in Green Bay in December. If I had to lose a 3% edge I would have wanted it for one of those two games which were probably L’s anyway….unless we play very well…in which case a bye is not going matter.

  16. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    I see your singular anectdotal case, it means nothing to me.

  17. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Colin has far more talent tha Fitz…with one hand tied behind his back! As for the league…they just chose the easiest way around the problem! Waive Fitz…sign Colon it just makes sense!!!

  18. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    BigHog, Colin is more of a running QB. We have a drop back passing offense. Not a good fit.

  19. Dreambig Says:

    Has Colin even indicated that he wants to play football? Last we heard from him, he went to Africa because America’s Independance day was a celebration of the day his people lost their freedom (his words, not mine). Has he even attempted to visit NFL teams? If he was interested, I am sure someone would at least be talking to him.

  20. Mike malarkey Says:

    This isn’t 1985 Joe. You find one person from 1985 to do this and expect a whole team to do this without complaints? Maybe you had too many shots of jack.

  21. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    The main reason Colin isnt signing with anyone is because the dummy refuses to take a pay cut.

    And his radicalist girlfriend isn’t doing him any favors either.

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    The bye week was not only never about player safety, the players at the time were against it because they said it extended their season and was UNSAFE since it meant another week of practices. That’s why the bye week complains who are talking safety – that’s fake news.

    The NFL also had at least one season with 2 bye weeks, to me I loved that format since it meant the 16 game schedule still meant the same but you got 18 weeks of TV out of it. They should drop one playoff game and just start the season a week early with 2 byes.

  23. Joe Says:

    This isn’t 1985 Joe.

    Yup. Absolutely right. In 1985, the NFL (and the USFL) was a helluva lot more physical. You could go after people’s knees and there would be no problem. You could blast people going over the middle, no problem. Hits to the head? Ha!

    Playing 36 professional football games in 1985 in one calendar year is very, very impressive.

    Oh, yeah. Some 30 years later, Sharpe is still walking and talking.

  24. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    The bye week is a mental and physical relief. Players get a break during the long season and injured players get an extra week to heal. I’d cut preseason to 2 games and bring back 2 bye weeks. I think going to 18 regular season games is too much and the quality of football in the playoffs with fresher teams would be much better.

  25. Joe Says:

    I’d cut preseason to 2 games and bring back 2 bye weeks. I think going to 18 regular season games is too much and the quality of football in the playoffs with fresher teams would be much better.

    Joe loves what Pat Kirwan claims the NFL is discussing among suits: two preseasons games, 18-game regular season but players cannot play more than 16 games in a season. Rosters would be expanded and it would be sort of like fantasy football: who do you sit for two games and when?

  26. Dooshlarue Says:

    Good stuff Joe, but you’ll never convince the Crybabies that it’s doable.
    Men acting like men?

  27. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Radicalist girlfriend…what the hell is that! And how does what she do make you not hire an upgrade to your team! I’ll stop right there the season hasn’t even started for the Bucs yet!!

  28. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Joe, I agree. Going to 18 games and only allowing players to play 16 isn’t a good idea. I don’t want to watch 1 Fitzpatrick game, let alone 2. I hate the idea of 18 games even if everyone can play in all of them. I’d just like to see the extra bye week to keep players fresh.

  29. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Joe, I THINK you were saying you didn’t like that idea. I could be wrong.

  30. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I don’t want to see 18 games, but if they do that, I also don’t want rules to limit how many games a player can play. NO Fitzpatrick games for me, please.

  31. Joe Says:

    Joe, I THINK you were saying you didn’t like that idea. I could be wrong.

    You were wrong. It’s a cool idea. Prefer 18-game schedule and if that’s what it takes to get one, then pull the trigger.

  32. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Joe, I definitely don’t like it. We’ll go to 18, then 15 years later it’ll be 20, then 22. Where does it end? Expanding the schedule just waters down the records of previous generations, not to mention the outrage when Winston gets hurt in the 18th game. I would love more meaningful football games, but that just means getting into the playoffs. I guess my biggest thing is watering down the record books and the greater injury risk. If we’re going to do this, then get rid of the preseason altogether and go 20 games and be done with it.

  33. Joe Says:

    Good stuff Joe,

    Thanks Doosh! 🙂

  34. mike malarkey Says:

    Oh, yeah. Some 30 years later, Sharpe is still walking and talking

    Did he tell you how he’s been since his playing days? Maybe lack of a bye week actually did do something to him huh?

  35. Joe Says:


    Fully aware of Sharpe’s drug issues and inmate past. Seems to be more an addiction than anything football related. His daughter was killed in a drug hassle as well. Sometimes, dependence issues are hereditary, despite folks always blaming everything in their post-football lives on football.

    If anyone had a reason to use football as a crutch, it’s Roger Staubach who had eight concussions and had to retire because of so many hits to the head. Instead, he’s a self-made multi-millionaire worth $600 million. Staubach never had a bye either and unlike Sharpe served in Vietnam (Google “Agent Orange”). Not saying folks don’t suffer issues from playing football, but it is too easy if not sometimes lazy to connect a straight line from football to a guy having trouble staying out of prison.