“They Need To Join The Party”

April 15th, 2019

BY IRA KAUFMAN

Time waits for no one, unless you’re a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Little did we know that this franchise would bow out of NFL relevance with a home playoff loss to the 2007 New York Giants, who would go on to shock undefeated New England in the Super Bowl.

Bruce Arians is Tampa Bay’s sixth head coach since the start of the 2008 season, which turned out to be Jon Gruden’s farewell year stalking the Buc sidelines.

Raheem Morris, Greg Schiano, Lovie Smith and Dirk Koetter all took turns at ending a playoff drought that has now reached 11 years, the longest in the NFC.

Only the Browns stand in Tampa Bay’s way at the top of this misery index — and Cleveland will enter the 2019 season as a dynamic favorite to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

Buc fans remember 2002 rather fondly.

This 11-year streak of joyless Januarys is serious stuff. We are approaching the 14-year playoff gap that generated national punch lines between 1983 and 1996.

Working in the Buc ticket office during that ungodly stretch was quite a challenging sell job amid the Doug Williams curse. At least the franchise’s 0-26 start could be pinned on a lack of talent available in the expansion draft.

There’s no easy excuse this time around.

The Good Ol’ 2007 Days

How long has it been? Here’s a look back at what happened since 2007, the last year the Bucs mattered.

The celebrity death toll in 2008 was crammed with big names like Paul Newman, Heath Ledger, Charlton Heston, Bernie Mac, George Carlin, Isaac Hayes and Jim McKay. We also lost chess champion Bobby Fischer, Bo Diddley, Gene Upshaw, Sammy Baugh and Watergate’s “Deep Throat,” Mark Felt. E Street Band organist Danny Federici passed away, along with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian guru who had the Beatles under his spell for awhile before they suspected he was hitting on actress Mia Farrow.

George W. Bush was still in the White House before giving way to Barack Obama and “The Dark Knight,”  dominated at the box office. Greg Maddux closed out his Hall of Fame career pitching for the Padres while Chipper Jones and Ken Griffey Jr. were still hitting dingers.

Evan Longoria was a rookie and the Rays were still training in St. Petersburg.

The NHL All-Star Game was hosted by the Atlanta Thrashers and the Lightning, coached by John Tortorella, tied the Kings for the fewest points in the league. Jon Cooper was coaching the Green Bay Gamblers of the U.S. Hockey League. Kevin Durant won NBA Rookie of the Year honors for the Seattle SuperSonics, who would soon relocate to Oklahoma City.

Sarah Palin burst on the scene at the Republican Convention in August. A month later, she would be portrayed for the first time on Saturday Night Live by Tina Fey, who famously parodied Palin as saying, “I can see Russia from my house.”

Chris Brown was named Artist of the Year by Billboard magazine. On the pitch, Cristiano Ronaldo led Manchester United to titles in both the Premier League and the Champions League as the Glazers celebrated winning the European Double.

You get the picture … it’s been a long, long time.

Mirage Recovery

The arrival of Arians has restored a sense of hope among Buc fans beaten down over the years. He is a 2-time Coach of the Year with a proven track record of success and he has surrounded himself with enough assistants to warrant an expansion of office space at One Buc Place.

Mirage

But make no mistake, this extended tailspin has earned this organization a heaping helping of skepticism. A dormant fan base, still smarting after last year’s opening 2-0 mirage, is waiting to be energized.

It’s well past time for the Bucs to jump aboard a playoff carousel that has featured at least four new entrants every season for the past 29 years.

In 2018, seven new clubs advanced to the postseason. In 2017, 8 of the 12 playoff teams were new.

Through all this annual upheaval, the Bucs continue to be outliers.

That has to end. They need to join the party.

Right now.

BE THERE WITH IRA!

25 Responses to ““They Need To Join The Party””

  1. DB55 Says:

    Anytime you can fit in Sarah Palin, Deep Throat and Chris Brown into an article it’s a party.

  2. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Amen and please god.

    Not sure there has been a worse franchise in this stretch of time. We deserve better

    GO BUCS!

  3. Jean Lafitte Says:

    We say all this every year ..what’s the use? The Glazers take us for granted.

  4. Don_RyJo Says:

    Yo’ Sage, did you recently buy stock in liquor or antidepressant manufacturers?! Why do you insist on torturing us with an accurate recounting of the past 12 years?! Not cool.

    -_-

  5. Not there yet Says:

    All this losing and the one constant through it all is not players or general managers it is the loser coaches.

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    damn right we deserve better!!!!!!

    #REALISTKNOWSNOTHING!!!!…GO BUCS!!!!!

  7. Phil Says:

    Any word on how Vinny Testaverde son’s try out went?

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    Nice piece Irv – you are the Shakespeare of Tampa Bay sportswriters.

    BA and Co have their work cut out for them. We all know that.

    Something tells me Arians and Bowles are up to the task though. They are going to win with Koetter and Smitty’s team – and demonstrate in grand fashion that – YES, Coaching DOES matter!

  9. Carrollwood Buc Fan Says:

    Talking about Buccaneer playoff futility…Lightning: “Hold my beer”

  10. Mort Says:

    The constant is that this team has been terrible almost every year since JBF has existed. Hey, facts are facts!

  11. Bruceletdadogsloose Says:

    No , the one definite constant thing during this time is not just coaches who have been in it way over thier heads ! The main problem is the bunghole glazer brothers have absolutely no idea how to have success in football as far as running an organization ! How to go with a certain man that has a plan and that knows how to build a winner with his decisions ! That knows how to put people in place to carry out his plan on building a winner and to continue to adapt and reloading to tweaking his plan as time moves on…someone who has an eye for talent with that talent having a desire to be focused on the team and winning and also fitting in with the role that they ask of said talent…instead we have a GM that picks talent that’s not compatible with coaches and coaches that don’t k ow what to do with the talent that the gm picks and always seems like there is no direction and no cohesiveness to the group..this crap has got to stop if we are to turn this thing around

  12. DBS Says:

    All you can do is sit back and laugh at this team. From stupid personnel moves to uniforms. It is the only way to keep your sanity and still watch them.

  13. bucnole Says:

    I will have one of what IRA is drinking. . . thanks for the trip down memory lane
    I guess this is all you have to write about
    Sad journalism at its best
    Not worth the time to read

  14. bucsince79 aka bumaneer Says:

    bucnole how dare you insult the Sage!!! Your Noles suck Jumbo left them bums hanging & you know it…

  15. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Things are always as bad as they seem.

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    2007 was a great year… I was in the best shape of my life, spent at least 2 hours a day at the gym, 7 days a week, had just broke up with my long time gf of a decade, was making well into the 6-figures, just bought a new big new house with a bar and theater room, and wow I was crushing the poon, every week, at least one new girl, really raking up numbers. I really made up for being a nerd in college and working 60 hours while being a full time student and missing out on all those parties. What a time to be alive!

  17. BringBucsBack Says:

    Taxes.
    Death.
    Glazers.

  18. Dapostman Says:

    Rod Munch,

    No one cares how much poon you were banging.You sound like the Hank Moody of Showtimes Californication.

  19. Mike Johnson Says:

    Well Ira..We shall see. Arians has one if not..the biggest staff of personnel in the NFL. He’s talked quite a bit of smack over the past few weeks. Many of us old heads won’t bite just yet. But its been past time for these Bucs. Even if our offense just stays the same and our Defense can improve immensely, we will win more games. I don’t think fans really understand how much this Defense needs to improve. Its the biggest key. Here we go………….

  20. #1bucsfan Says:

    Every year I’ve bin saying we going to the ship since we won the ship an this one is no diff. I might have bin disappointed the last 12 years or so but this one feels diff can’t wait let’s go bucs

  21. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Rod, don’t forget what was right around the corner though in 2007. As a commercial banker things were about to get very very bad, especially in Florida. Those were some very dark years for many and unfortunately the Bucs didn’t provide 3 hours of joy during those years either.

  22. ancientasbuc Says:

    How can you leave out the great Clarence Clemons from your list of celebrities that passed since Gruden lost 5 in a row in 2008? It has been as powerful as the Doug Williams curse. Who knew giving up 300 yards rushing to the Panthers would have turned into all of this. They lost their identity that Monday night and have never been the same.

  23. Buc believer Says:

    And to make it worse the Pats have won 3 COUNT THEM 3 Super Bowls since then and we havnt even made the playoff!! It’s the Glazers fault followed by Dominek and bringing up the rear Licht!

  24. BlogTalkFootball.com Says:

    Atlanta Flames… not the Thrashers.

  25. BlogTalkFootball.com Says:

    My bad… the Thrashers did exist for a fleeting moment…lol.

 

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