Blame The Rays

April 18th, 2019

A lot of Bucs fans are irked because it seems there is a hole in the Bucs’ 2019 schedule; five games in the middle of the season will be away from the Den of Depression.

There is a method to the NFL schedule madness and one NFL executive feels Bucs fans’ pain.

Last night on SiriusXM NFL Radio, NFL director of broadcasting Mike North (no, not that Mike North) appeared on “Late Hits” with co-hosts Gil Brandt and Friend of Joe host Alex Marvez. There, North discussed the NFL schedule release.

North noted the Bucs, after they host the Giants on Sept. 23, won’t return to the Den of Depression until Nov. 10, and they may have gotten the short end of the stick on the schedule.

“If we had a do-over, if we had a re-do, I would love to take another shot at that Tampa Bay schedule,” North said. “They volunteered, really, to go to London this year. They are on the road the first couple of weeks before they go to London. And it just happens to fall in that they got a couple of road trips after [the bye].

“You know, that is six consecutive weeks without a home game at their stadium and I’m not sure that’s really fair to their fans. I am hopeful that we didn’t do something to the Buccaneers that they feel like we did something unfair. I know we are not supposed to root for anybody but I am kind of rooting for the Buccaneers throughout October.”

Yes, the Bucs essentially volunteered to play in London because they are hosting the Super Bowl in February 2021. Whenever a team hosts a Super Bowl, it must give up one home game and play an international game instead, per the NFL.

There is also something else at play. North explained the NFL tried not to schedule home games in markets where there may be a conflict with baseball playoff games. North said the NFL studied MLB teams to determine what clubs sharing TV markets with an NFL team might advance to October postseason games.

The Rays, who narrowly missed the playoffs last year, are on fire so far this season with the best record in baseball at 14-4.

No, the Bucs and Rays do not share the same crib, but they do share TV eyeballs. The NFL likes to maximize TV eyeballs and rear ends in seats. A team in the same city with a good baseball team in the playoffs would siphon away viewers, customers and, yes, interest.

North noted Philadelphia was a team also affected by this goal, as the Eagles will play three straight road games in October. The Phillies are expected to have a good team and, like the Rays, do not share a stadium with the local NFL team.

33 Responses to “Blame The Rays”

  1. Lamarcus Says:

    Bucs fans don’t go to Bucs home games.

  2. Cody Says:

    Joe, Last time I checked, the Tampa Bay area doesnt host the Super Bowl til February of 2021.

  3. Joe Says:


    Correct. Then that means the host team has to play in London the year prior.

  4. TampaTown Says:

    Sad but true. Remember Joe did a story about that very subject and Vinny Curry. Everyone here wants to sit home on their fat lazy a$$ and call themselves Bucs fans. Don’t need to hear about anyone who can’t afford it, no one is talking to you. I myself am a proud season ticket holder and in my younger days at the Big Sombrero, a season scalper.


    I really wish I could go to more home games but even if I have the money getting the time of and driving from Ocala now really makes it more difficult. With that said I’m am hoping to go to at least one home game this year

  6. JameisAlmighty! Says:

    At least hockey season playoffs didn’t coincide with the Bucs schedule.

  7. Jean Lafitte Says:

    That’s a lot of away games in a row. So for the Bucs to get the raw end of the deal again that means another team got a pretty nice schedule. What teams got 2-3 home games in a row? I don’t even want to look because I bet it’s the league favorites. I wouldn’t doubt the Browns. Another thing, why couldn’t they have scheduled a non conference game for England? We play Carolina twice every year and it’s to their advantage we play them twice away from home.

  8. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I project 6 total wins. I see a multi game losing streak during and after the 6 game away debacle. It will be brutal on our teams health and their mindset. Seems we’re desperate for a break once in a while only to be crapped on at every turn. Do we think the nerdy Glazers will defend us? (No) ..I Guarantee there are certain owners that wouldn’t put up with it and we know the league accommodates them.. But not our weak sauce owners.

  9. Bird Says:

    Season ticket holder from Orlando

    Real Bucs fans go to games.
    Just wish it started in September when it’s 100 degrees plus at the games
    Nfl could give a damn about the Bucs. And they won’t until we start winning again. (And not just 1 season here and there)

  10. Buc believer Says:

    Joe I commented on this yesterday but you didn’t answer so maybe you will today…
    I realize that an international game is required with a Super Bowl (which sucks because it’s OUR sport! Let them root for that wussy who gives a crap sport named soccer) but why on Hods green earth do the Bucs ALWAYS have to be the home team??? The Panthers still have their eight games! Sheesh EVERY time we go we get screwed!

  11. Ndog Says:

    Jean Lafitte shocker you predict negative things! Who would have guessed.

  12. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Baseball season is 3 weeks old. The NFL started making the schedule months ago. This is a reach.

  13. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Ndog must be a puppy

  14. EvolvingBucsFan Says:

    @Lamarcus and you can also point out ….Rays fans don’t go to Rays home Games.

    but SI also agree’s with the hard scheduling for the Bucs.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Not only was Bruce Arians banged with the first true Thursday Night Football game of the season (Week 2 vs. Carolina on the road), he also gets two consecutive road games vs. the Rams and Saints before flying to London for another “home” contest against the Panthers. After the bye following the London trip, the Bucs get contests at Tennessee and at Seattle. Overall, they will not play a game in Tampa Bay from Week 4 (Sept. 29) to Week 9 (Nov. 3). That is an absolutely awful stretch.

  15. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Carolina is the team that received special treatment-

    They play the Rams and Seahawks at home.
    Their 2 west coast games are after a bye (49ers) and after a Thursday night game against the Bucs in Charlotte , 10 days rest (Cardinals )

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Dewey … Good point; the rationale doesn’t track. And North’s saying that “They (the Bucs) volunteered, really, to go to London this year” blew my mind. First year with a new HC, lots of new players, and voila … you send them to London. (Actually, maybe in the Glazers mind it was for a well-deserved free vacation?).

    This schedule makes no sense to a team that’s struggling to improve home game attendance. And North as much as admitted that when he said “I’m not sure that’s (6-games away from RayJay in a row) really fair to their fans.” But what makes ZERO SENSE to me Joe is the NFL rule that “Whenever a team hosts a Super Bowl, it must give up one home game and play an international game instead.” Duh?

  17. Pryda...Sec 147 Says:

    Bring it on We’re going to win bunch of games if we have average defense and average running game. ..

  18. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Again for me it’s not just the “home” versus “road” it’s the brutal travel schedule and time zone skipping that goes into all of it.

    The Bucs will have to check to see where they are and what time is it and they’ll have terminal jet lag.

  19. BringBucsBack Says:

    Oakland also has a 6 week stretch without a game at home.

    The only effort the NFL ever makes is one that’s money-driven which, goes hand-in-hand with feeding the leagues’ darlings. Figuring out who the baseball playoff teams will be?…that’s far more effort than those arrogant millionaires/ billionaires ever intend to make. Teams like our Bucs are the least of their worries, hardly an afterthought.

  20. Joe Says:

    Bucs believer:

    The Bucs haven’t played in London for years. As far as Bucs home games in London, it is pretty simple. The Bucs don’t draw fans so the NFL doesn’t want teams that do draw to give up a home game (meaning gate $$$) as opposed to a team that does not draw.

    It is also one reason (not the only reason) the Jags play home games in London.

  21. Bucsdelight Says:

    On paper, the Bucs have the worst schedule.

  22. SteelStudBuc Says:

    Why everyone complaining? Please shut up. If they can’t beat the slightest little bit of adversity (schedule)… then u can cry again bit stop whining.
    Just let em play ball.

  23. TBTemojin Says:

    To be clear REAL Bucs fans do go to home games!!! Apart from a year in Afghanistan I haven’t missed a home game in 9 years.

  24. 813bucboi Says:

    football is in the air!!!!!!!!


  25. Joe Says:


    Thank you for your service!

  26. EvolvingBucsFan Says:

    Anyone remember when we opened with the 49’s at home? I remember back to 1997 in particular.

    Sapp ran down Rice in the back field and put him out for the year, was the start of a promising season……just saying.

  27. TOM Says:

    Its a Buc’s life.

  28. SOEbuc Says:

    Don’t know what makes me the most sad in Tampa Bay sports at the moment:

    1. Lightning got creamed in the first round

    2. Rays are finally starting to come around but will not likely still be here within the next five years.

    3. Bucs have not made the playoffs (so far) in over a decade.

    Why do English people wanna watch NFL anyway? Every other country hates US and it just comes off as strange seeing a bunch of English people wanting to watch American football.

  29. SOEbuc Says:

    The one thing that could be good about missing tons of home games in the first half of the season…the heat. Don’t know others believes but I watch the news and it tells me new record highs every year.

    First four games of the regular season are at some time after 4:05 pm and I am a believer that our players get more banged up and less fans are likely to show up under sizzling 1:00 pm games.

  30. Rod Munch Says:

    What do the 4,000 people that pay for Rays tickets have to do with the Bucs?

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    SOEbuc – If you think we have new record heat each year, then you should watch less fake news TV.

    Anyways the entire home field advantage things comes from that heat. Playing a game with 72 degree weather in December isn’t a home field advantage.

  32. Ludicrous Speed Says:

    EvolvingBucsFan Says:
    April 18th, 2019 at 10:27 am
    Anyone remember when we opened with the 49’s at home? I remember back to 1997 in particular.

    Sapp ran down Rice in the back field and put him out for the year, was the start of a promising season……just saying.

    Quite well. I still have the Sports Illustrated that came out following that game. The cover photo was of Sapp pulling down Rice on that reverse he was running. The caption read: BREAK UP THE BUCS!

  33. Ludicrous Speed Says:

    SOEbuc Says:
    April 18th, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Why do English people wanna watch NFL anyway? Every other country hates US and it just comes off as strange seeing a bunch of English people wanting to watch American football.

    Oh, I don’t know… When I was a little kid I can remember a lot of people who thought it strange seeing a bunch of American people wanting to watch the Beatles and Rolling Stones.