“For Me It’s The Same Thing As Playing At Home”

December 26th, 2018

Joe is not playing “gotcha” here with Mike Evans, but Joe thinks this is a telling nugget when it comes to the mentality of the Bucs and the team’s losing culture.

And let Joe be clear, that losing culture is certainly not on the shoulders of Mike Evans.

In Sunday’s postgame locker room, Evans was asked about the Bucs’ struggles playing on the road, where they haven’t won since opening day. Of course, Jameis Winston, America’s Quarterback, is riding a two-year road losing streak, as well.

Evans talks about how for him a game is a game and all he needs is a ball and a field. And Evans goes on to say about playing on the road, “For me, it’s the same as playing at home,” he said.

Can you imagine any Buccaneer saying this 15 or 20 years ago? Joe thinks this really illustrates how miserable the Bucs’ home-field (non) advantage has been at the Den of Depression.

It’s really not about Evans, it’s about the fact that this could even come out of the mouth of a Bucs player who cares deeply.

When the new Bucs head coach arrives, Joe hopes one of the first things this guy does is instill a mindset of how home games are life and death, how that home turf must matter.

Practice there once in a while if you have to. March into the marketing department and demand they get engaged with something more than weak slogans and pretty computer graphics, and tie them into the in-house media to help build a real energy around home games.

It’s not solely about wins. Crafting a home field advantage requires an organizational buy-in — the kind that would make a comment like Evans’ something that would be completely foreign to everyone who wears the uniform.

32 Responses to ““For Me It’s The Same Thing As Playing At Home””

  1. LakeLand Says:

    Ther first step should be:

    Get their fans back, they have lost their fan base

    I’m not hating on Jameis Winston
    But everything start and end with the QB

  2. Waterboy Says:

    I know the Bucs have a losing history so that may be a valid reason as to why they have a tough time filling seats but is this problem isolated to the Bucs or all pro teams in that area? Cleveland Browns don’t seem to have a problem packing their stadium.

  3. LakeLand Says:

    They need a playoff season,that will fire the fans up. Then the players will have a different mentality.

    The Bucs players has accepted losing as the norm

    That has to change, they need to accept winning as the new norm

  4. lambchop Says:

    I think the real reason why Cleveland can fill a stadium in recent times and the Bucs can’t is because Cleveland is a sports town. At least more so than Tampa. They have the Cavs who went through the LeBron affair, the Indians have played well in recent years. We have had too many years of losing across sports (Thank goodness for the Lightning the past decade for at least being competitive). We have a relatively young college sports team (USF Bulls) compared to most cities outside of the Central Florida area. So, that diehard sports mentality isn’t there.

    There are too many casual sports fans in Tampa. Those types of people are only interested in being seen wherever it’s trendy to be seen. Some are also fair weather fans. The Bucs just don’t have that lineage of great history. We’ve had a few HOF players, there’s really only a handful of memorable games etched in memory (and unfortunately they were away games). So, that larger than life aspect to the Bucs is just not there.

  5. lambchop Says:

    Also, the Browns had a good run when Bernie Kosar was their QB. There were some memorable battles between the Browns and Broncos (Elway vs Kosar). They have some history.

    Then there was the move of the Browns to Baltimore and then finally the Browns come back. I mean those fans have felt what it’s like to lose football even if it was bad football. And it’s not like Houston who lost the Oilers and got the Texans. Cleveland could have closed the chapter on the Browns and rebranded the team and started fresh. But, that’s not what they did. That took some balls.

  6. D1QB Says:


    Baker Mayfield made a public plea for Brown’s fans to sell out the last game. There’s no doubt that this year the Browns attendance has gone up. Last year it was so bad that a person put a sign in his car front windshield saying “2 free Brown’s Tickets ” he put the tix under his windshield wipers. Upon returning to his car hours later, He found 2 additional tix under the wipers. That’s how bad it was.

    Baker Mayfield deserves a heap of credit for the massive upswing in attendance.

    The Bucs have just worn the fan base down little by little each year with the constant losing. Add that to the stadium experience , which is really falling behind in many ways. Most of the season its Africa hot with zero consideration for the fans from ownership. Bottom line, the glazers are not getting out in front of a changing market and delivering a good product.

  7. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Are you being serious? They could give away premium seat tickets and that might bring in the “if it’s free it’s for me” crowd but recruiting new younger fans is impossible when you are a perennial loser. Look around town, besides some of local sports dives you’d be hard pressed to find residents wearing Buccaneer paraphernalia. I’m not trying to be negative but everyone who reads my comment, unless they just hate me, would have to agree. Most of the fanbase today are the tough skin hardened fans from the Chucky era and beyond and we are a dying breed. After all these winless years we’ve become known as a temporary stopping point in players careers.

  8. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Case in point, all 3 of my sons were born here and none are Buc fans. I can’t make them, and they love to rub it in when their teams beats my Bucs.

  9. LakeLand Says:

    How often do the Jets win?

    The Jets are ranked 2nd to Dallas in attendance

  10. Jean Lafitte Says:

    The Jets have been in existence since the dawn of football. They are a storied franchise.

  11. LakeLand Says:

    The Bucs are ranked 3rd in road attendance. It seems like the fans of opposing teams. Goes to the game, knowing that their team will beat the Bucs. It’s like in High school, when schools schedule weak teams for homecoming. There’s nothing like going to a NFL game on Sunday, know your team will win.

  12. LakeLand Says:

    **knowing your team will win**

  13. adam from ny Says:

    unless the ultimate goal of the glazers is to slowly wear down and kill off the true fan base, as to move the team out of town to london with relative ease and no backlash…


  14. Jean Lafitte Says:


    scarily true …you know that’s always there

  15. lambchop Says:

    I don’t see any logic in moving the team to London. The Glazers’ businesses are mostly in the States. There is a time difference that greatly screws things up for visiting teams; one or two games a year is no problem but to expect teams to year in and year out fly out to London within the division for 2 games a season will probably get a lot of backlash. I just don’t see the NFL being ready for that right now.

    Also, why does the game have to be global anyway? Each country should have their own league. We don’t see MLB trying to have an overseas team. It just doesn’t seem pragmatic. Why else do we have the MLS and not have European clubs playing games on a global scale? Cuz the logistics doesn’t work.

  16. lambchop Says:

    Global sports matches can’t realistically happen until we greatly reduce the time it takes to travel across the pond. Something along the lines of Hyperloop.

  17. SteelStudBuc Says:

    Why don’t you hold a protest at their front door?

  18. D1QB Says:

    Adam if they wanted to do that they could tomorrow. There’s nothing holding them back. If they’re leaving why would they care two shakes about backlash..
    From who the 30k or so season ticket holders…..They don’t care now..

    Expect other owners who want to be the team that moves across the pond. I doubt you know this but the Glazers aren’t the only owners with a soccer team in the UK.

    If they did move, Tampa would get another franchise in record time. The League needs its TV markets.

  19. richbucsfan Says:

    You’re correct, Joe, this isn’t a knock on Evans…it is simply the mindset of today’s NFL athlete…this is a job that makes them temporarily wealthy. Each player is his own brand and will protect that brand for as long as he can. An injury kills the career, so play not to get injured. A game is a game. It’s no big deal. This is a different era in the NFL. Compare practice schedules in training camp to 10 years ago or for a shock, 20 years ago. It seems to me that the NFL may have a few teams that play with the mentality that the opponent will have to fight for every blade of grass, but by and large that is not the overal mentality. Just ask Mike.

  20. Fire Light Says:

    Fireeeee Licht!

  21. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Winning cures all

    All the new playoff teams and teams that are trending up like the Cleveland browns have all 1 thing in common

    Their GM

    Their GM has loaded the team with talent thru the draft and key fa signings

    Its not a mystery. You get the right GM , you win and go to the playoffs

    Thats it”

    Kobe Faker

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Excellent think-piece Joe & some great perspectives shared by all in the comments back. As a die-hard Bucs fan since 1982 I still love my Bucs, but I’m admittedly disgusted with what this ownership group has let them become. Championship mindsets permeate winning organizations, and that mindset starts at the TOP. The Glazer Boyz are most likely nice guys, but I’m sorry, they’re NOT die-hard sports fans (like the Robert Kraft’s & Jerry Jones’ are). They don’t ‘live & breathe Bucs’ … and they probably never will.

    I’m not saying that they lack a willingness to spend money on this team; that’s not the case. But they have now shown a history of (1) making poor leadership decisions, and (2) not spending money wisely. There’s very little ‘home-grown’ about our Bucs right now, and so there’s very little for fans to identify with IMO … except losing of course.

    ‘Fixing the Bucs’ MUST start at the top. Personally wish the Glazers would sell the team to some real football fanatic(s), but that’s not going to happen. Next best thing IMO is for them to hire the best football mind available. Someone who has their total respect and who can to run the show for them. And no, NOT an all-powerful, triple-hatted President of Football Operations/General Manager/Head Coach (like Bill Belicheck is) … they tried that with Lovie and it set us back many, many years.

    Many will surely disagree, but I’d love it if Tony Dungy would agree to become that over-arching ‘visionary’ who’d run the whole show, but that’s not gonna happen (Tony’s got bigger fish to fry than that in life & I applaud him for it). But there are a number of other great football minds out there who could straighten out this mess within probably 2-3 years. And no, one of those great football minds is NOT the Architect of this mess, Jason Licht.

    Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and also hope that we can all look forward to an awesome new year filled with hope, health & the promise of even better days ahead.

  23. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    You gotta just win first before u can start thinking about home field advantage

    Stop putting the cart before the horse

    Can’t even make the playoffs and we’re worrying about home field advantage???

    Come on joes

  24. Architek Says:

    Fans are out on Winston.

  25. Mort Says:

    This story is a red herring. To paraphrase Dirk Koetter: “All anybody in this league gives a sh!t about are wins”. The mindset, the approach, doesn’t mean anything. Just win.

  26. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    Not as much about winning (or lack
    thereof) as some believe. Good weather + transplant town is more the issue imo. Buffalo is a smaller market and has a bad team, but they have rabid fans. Same for the Browns…there’s nothing better to do in the fall/winter in the snow belt, so we support our football teams. Look at LA…same deal as Tampa. You’ll see plenty of visitor team colors in the stands since (1) there’s so much else outdoors to do for the locals besides catch a football game, (2) it’s a nice warm weather destination for the rabid north team fans, and (3) there’s so many transplants from other football towns that there’s a diverse team fan base. Sound familiar to the Tampa market?

  27. BucDan Says:

    Stadium experience is just not up to par. How are there no giveaways every home game? Asking the Krewe(….) about that is always fun! “Yeah we don’t know….” one game you get a nice bobble head or sports action figure , then two or three games without a thing. Oh here you go! A red towel that says Frontier larger than it says Go Bucs!

    Upgrades to the stadium have catered to the high dollar fan and not the Regular Joes. It’s too easy to see that this is not about keeping a rabid fan base, but to keep the investment making the most money it can. Unfortunately this comes at the expense of the fans.

  28. Buccfan37 Says:

    Even longtime Buc fans have trouble viewing this shipwreck being constantly battered around.

  29. gp Says:

    This is the nature of Tampa.
    Many of the residents of this town came from somewhere else.
    Add to that the tourism economy of Florida and we will NEVER reach even a 75% Buc fan coverage in the stands.
    I say use this to our advantage.
    As Mike says, there’s not much of a difference.
    We need to instill the mindset that every game is a home game and the “turf”, no matter where it is found, belongs to us.
    Sadly, this requires a head coach that can get into the heads of his players, and that is truly a rare breed.

  30. Fire Light Says:

    Fireeee Licht!

  31. Bucko40 Says:

    [This is outrageous. — Joe]

  32. Chris Says:

    I disagree that it’s not solely about wins. It absolutely is. In a transient area like ours the reality is when we are playing poorly the casual fan will fall back on their “hometown team”. When we were playing well (late 90s, early 200s) we had a (supposedly) 100K season ticket waiting list. It was all because we were perennial winners at the time.