More NFL Disrespect For Tampa

April 20th, 2019

Ira is not happy. But he will be Thursday night at Buffalo Wild Wings in South Tampa for the JoeBucsFan NFL Draft party.


The Bucs are victims in this Schedule-Gate fiasco, but the organization isn’t blameless.

The 2019 regular-season slate is out and the NFL did Tampa Bay no favors, even if the Bucs will feature a Week 1 game at home for the first time since 2015.

The issue, and it’s not a trivial one, concerns a 7-week stretch that keeps the Bucs away from Raymond James Stadium.

From the time the Bucs face the Giants in Week 3 until a Nov. 10 matchup against the Cardinals, Tampa Bay fans won’t have a chance to see their team play at home — unless they fly to London to see the Bucs take on the Panthers Oct. 13 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The NFL doesn’t like to admit mistakes, but Michael North, the league’s VP of broadcast planning and scheduling, basically told USA Today that the Bucs were jobbed.

“This is one that the NFL would love to have back,” North said. “It’s certainly not unusual for an NFL team to have one home game over a six-week stretch, but when that one home (game) isn’t actually home, this is likely something that the NFL would seek to avoid in the future.”

That lame mea culpa won’t help the Bucs this fall.

Why did it happen? Hey, it’s Tampa.

Bias Showcased

It wouldn’t have happened to the Cowboys. It wouldn’t have happened to the Giants, not in a New York minute. It wouldn’t happen to the Patriots.

The Bucs are a different story.

From an NFL perspective, the Bucs have basically been an afterthought since the 0-14 inaugural season. Nobody in that Park Avenue office considers how things will play out in Tampa.

Even when the Bucs were loaded with stars, the league gave the organization the shaft by scheduling the defending Super Bowl champs to open on the road.

That’s disrespect.

It was the first time since 1996 that a reigning NFL champion was denied an opportunity to open the following season at home. So a hacked-off Buc squad marched into Philly in the fall of 2003 and opened Lincoln Financial Field with a 17-0 triumph, eight months after closing down the Vet in style.

The 2013 Ravens, fresh off a Super Bowl win, were also asked to open on the road, but that’s only because there was a parking conflict on that date with the Orioles.

So now we have another insult hurled in our direction. Is it too much to ask that league officials give the schedule a final once-over to ensure fairness before making it official?

Apparently so.

“I’d love a redo on that one,” North said about Tampa Bay’s imposing slate. He feels so guilty, North admits he’ll be rooting for the Bucs through October.

New Mascot

That’s a bad look for the NFL shield. The Raiders also have plenty to carp about because they won’t play in Oakland between Week 3 and Nov. 3.

Guess what the Bucs and Raiders have in common?

They’re NFL bottom-feeders. The Bucs have gone 11 years without a playoff appearance while the Raiders have managed only one winning season since the 2002 team was trounced by Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.

Tampa Bay’s team mascot should be Rodney Dangerfield. This franchise gets no respect — and the only way that will change is by emerging as a relevant player on the NFL landscape.

Become a perennial playoff club and you might get the league’s attention. Might. This league won’t ever treat the Bucs like they are a glamour team, but winning has a way of leveling the field.

Michael North feels terrible about Tampa Bay’s schedule. Boo-hoo.

It wouldn’t have happened in Big D. It shouldn’t have happened here.

Ira Kaufman began covering the NFL as a New York Giants beat writer in 1979. He arrived on the Buccaneers beat in 1985, and the corporate leash finally was removed from his neck when he joined in July 2016. The award-winning Ira Kaufman Podcast fires twice per week, and Ira’s columns appear thrice weekly, except when Ira is on special assignment. Tampa Bay’s only Hall of Fame voter also is a popular guest on various national radio and on local TV. 

Join Ira Kaufman and Joe at the annual NFL Draft blowout. Everything will get rolling around 5:30 p.m.

32 Responses to “More NFL Disrespect For Tampa”

  1. Dapostman Says:

    Sure that is a tough stretch but you know what isn’t? The first 3 games of the season. Go 3-0 because all those games are winnable. Then if you win just 2 out of those 5 games you are 5-3 at the halfway point. Those first 3 games are huge. 1-2 or worse and the season is over.

  2. Lunchbox Says:

    The Tampa Bay Dangerfields lol, that’s actually pretty funny. I still remember fondly the Bucs shutting down the Vet, and then watching Stallone with his “Yo Adrian!” Philly collections getup at the new stadium, getting the fans all pumped up, only to see them lose their first game….to us. It was sweet.

  3. Sport Says:

    Gotta say, this schedule whining doesn’t sit well with me. Do your job! We are not talking about minimum wage paid people who perform daily at your local watering hole or drive thru. These are on average 20 to 30 something’s getting paid millions! Once again do your damn job and do what BA says!

    As for the fans, we all know NFL Football is a tv sport. And if you live and breathe by going to the games, you should and will be thankful its back loaded as it will be cooler. In my experience, 10 yrs melting into those plastic seats and 5 yrs previous on the metal bleachers in the Sombrero will teach you that.

    Plus some sympathy could go a long way if the league feels that way and maybe, just maybe we get a few favorable calls from the NFL zebras. That would be nice.

  4. Sport Says:

    Plus, the team will get alot of rest and coaching opportunity early for BA to get his damn point across if there are some slow learners or loafers.

    Lord knows we could use some serious coaching and leadership. Hence the massive coaching staff.

    In a recent podcast Ira questioned the size of the coaching staff and BA delegating too much. I understand the concern, but firmly believe BA handpicked this staff to kick ass, not collect pay checks.

    Until further evidence presents itself – In BA I Trust!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Being a Bucs fan is hard. It’s a hard walk like Dewey Cox says. Ohh well, go Bucs.

  6. Rod Munch Says:

    Closing down that dump of a stadium in Philly, then opening up their new s-hole with a shutout loss, it really sort of makes it OK in my book since I’d rather not have had it any other way. One of friends in a huge Eagles fan and man was it a joy to make his life hell for month after month. I really hate the Philly trash got a SB win since they should be what they’ve always been, 2nd class Jersey garbage.

  7. Dirks Great Granpappy Says:

    Teams typically don’t travel well for Thursday night. I am cautiously optimistic but think 2-1 is most realistic. Who knows, a lot of things, good and bad, can happen between now and then.

  8. Jeffbuc Says:


    Schedule whining is ok when the man that makes the schedule believes the bucs were hosed. The point is we were screwed by the schedule makers something that 30 other teams don’t have to face. Yet again the patriots have the easiest schedule in football. Even though they were a first place team. And yet again the bucs have the hardest schedule in football with a last place team. I’m not crying about it now the schedule is what it is. But a little fairness would be great. Maybe it’s time to ditch the rotation of teams and just put together fair schedules. Every year the patriots ha e the easieast schedule
    Since I can remember and guess what they have won 10 or more games for what 16 seasons. And we seam to get screwed every year. Last year we play at saints home versus super bowl champs eagles then on the road versus Steelers to start the season. Come on that not fair. When the pats play the Steelers the bills the dolphins and jets there first four. 3 of four being at home. There you go pats 4-0 3-1 at worst to start your season. Here you go bucs 4-4 best case scenario to start your season 1-7 worst case. And that’s the super bowl champs with 23 comp 3rd round picks versus the last place bucs who have had more head coaches than the patriots have had tight ends since 2007. So blow your whole play your schedule out of your sphincter. This crap out of your sphincter isn’t right the bucs keep getting screwed. Joe I would lobe to see how many teams in league history have went this long away for home stadium. I bet you can count them on one hand in last 50 years.

  9. #1bucsfan Says:

    Your right it is hard to be a Bucs fan but for real let’s go Bucs

  10. Jean Lafitte Says:

    It already takes a lot of cojones to admit you’re a Buc fan, ..and then to top it off it seems we’re disrespected at every turn by the league, and her officials.

    The Glazer nerds are brushed off like squeaky little mice.

    Rodney Dangerfield = laughing stock

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Ira … Great line: “This franchise gets no respect — and the only way that will change is by emerging as a relevant player on the NFL landscape.” That’s the takeaway for me.

    Sport … You make some excellent points. Well, right up until the zebras showing us sympathy by giving us “a few favorable calls” (we both know THAT ain’t gonna happen). Another possibility though is that BA will use it as a motivator to get the team to EARN RESPECT.

    The LARGE coaching staff and BA delegating so much is a harbinger of the future IMO. I’m convinced that Coach Arians is building a coaching staff that’ll endure … yes, once he’s ‘moved up the ladder’. Many of these assistant coaches are older (and wiser); many are ‘up-and-comers’ in BA’s eyes (like Byron Leftwich). I love what I’m seeing right now: building a TEAM (players AND coaches) for the future. One that’ll endure. We started so low down on the totem pole that it likely won’t be something that’ll just appear overnight IMO … a few key pieces were in-place, but too many simply weren’t there. IMPROVEMENT and GROWTH is what this year SHOULD be about. Build a foundation on rock and when the floods come, the house will stand because it’s well-built.

  12. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Boo friggin’ hoo ya bunch of crybabies.

    You know the difference between Family Dollar and Saks Fifth Avenue? The quality of products on offer. That’s what. And guess which store gets far more respect? And more positive publicity? And makes a much larger profit margin? And has a far superior reputation? And draws a higher class of customer?

    When the Bucs start increasing the quality of the product they offer, and do so consistently, they’ll begin to earn more respect. Until then I have absolutely no sympathy for the organization or for the fans who whine about every perceived slight. This franchise deserves nothing more than what they currently have unless or until they EARN it by seriously increasing the quality of their product.

  13. RODNEY ALLEN Says:

    It is what it is we should be use to it by now SMMFH 🤦‍♂️🤷‍♂️

  14. Jean Lafitte Says:


    I bet you don’t wear Buc gear in Dallas out in public. Calling Buc fans whiners because of the decades of losing is wrong. The Bucs are lucky to have allegiance of fans after all these rotten years. So go back to your retractable stadium roof poser. Leave us alone to waller in our own grief.

    thankyou sir, may I have another

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    It’s ever worse if you think more about it. The NFL is not supposed to schedule home games for Florida teams the first two weeks of a season. It’s an unwritten rule as of a couple years back.


    Because that is the height of hurricane season for us, and there is an increased chance the games will have to be moved or cancelled.

    Week 1 – SAN FRANCISCO, Sunday, Sept. 8, 4:25 p.m

    Might just be moved to San Fran at the last minute. Or delayed until the bye week like a few years ago.

    So yeah…the NFL totally screwed us. We may play the entire first half of the season away from home.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    That might also cost us our bye week.

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    FLBoyInDallas bad example. Family Dollar actually makes more money annually than Saks Fifth.

  18. Kalind Says:

    So use it. Use the disrespect. Get pissed off. Start out 3-0 and let’s go. Keep that fire burning all year, it’s not the other teams fans that don’t like you, the GD league doesn’t like you. Punch them in the mouth.

  19. Hodad Says:

    Look at the bright side, and I mean bright. Less games played in the oppressive Tampa heat, both for players, and fans.

  20. Darin Says:

    Exactly. The people whining dont even go to games. Not sure why we hear this lack of respect every year either. Lets face it, we as Buc fans dont respect them much right now either. Win some damn games. Only thing national respect does is drive up prices. The respect of a champion caused me to lose my seats years back because their were 200,000 bandwagoners on the waiting list. Took them all of 1 losing season to break their ankles jumping off. Team has no local respect and people want national respect. Crazy

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The Den of Depression will miss it’s depressors.

  22. rhenry Says:

    In addition Ira, if memory serves me correctly, the Bucs are the only Super Bowl winner to not get an invite to the White House. It a Bucs Life Baby.

  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    If you think the Bucs got hosed here just wait until the refs get ahold of them. Refs hate the Bucs and the Lightning. It’s a Tampa thing I guess. I know BA has been relatively calm so far but I can’t wait to see him go off on the refs. He hasn’t seen anything yet when it comes to Buc hate. It is so blatant that the Bucs should start wearing yellow gloves and shoes to confuse the refs and make them think someone else already threw a flag.

  24. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    You know how to solve that? JUST WIN BABY!

  25. rrsrq Says:

    That’s lackadaisical ownership, the NFL said, it’s the Bucs, so what. Real ownership would have a press conference, condemn the league just on their fans behalf and take the fine. To heck with the NFL apologies, the league just admitted they are not fair to all teams which is what the league is supposed to be – I guess all teams are not created equally with justice.

  26. stpetebucsfan Says:

    WOW!!! I can’t remember a thread with so many positive comments when it’s truly a tough situation.

    Thanks to Dapostman for starting us off with the proper attitude.

    When former St. Pete Mayor used to argue that the Rays made St. Pete “Major League” I laughed at him. In REALITY “Major League” in professional sports means market SIZE!!!

    We are currently the 18th largest MSA in the US. We’re not even top ten much less top 5. Does that make us bad sports fans? It has NOTHING to do with us personally or the quality of our athletic teams…although it does influence that quality simply because we don’t have the same $$$ to work with.

    I do not disagree with IRA…we get no respect…but it’s not attached to the quality of our teams or the fans. In this case there is no dispute. Size DOES matter.

  27. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    @Jean Lafitte

    I may have lived in Dallas for quite a few years now but I was born and raised in Florida. I’m not a Cowboys fan, nor a fan of any other team besides the Bucs. And I don’t blame the fans for being tired of losing. I just don’t like to hear whining about a schedule. The NFL head office would give the Bucs far more respect as an organization if the Glazers would put in some effort towards providing a quality product for their fans. If the Bucs want to continue providing crap they’ll continue to get treated like crap.

  28. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    We can blame the Glazers for a lot. But… imo I think they did right by us with hiring B.A. I think he’s the key denominator that will bring us out of the depths
    Go BUCS

  29. Buccfan37 Says:

    Tampa is in the deep South, most of the disrespect comes from the North.

  30. BringBucsBack Says:

    I said the same a few days ago, Ira. At least site me next time;). You even used “afterthought” as an adjective in describing our Bucs, as I did.

    BringBucsBack Says:
    April 18th, 2019 at 8:36 am
    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.

  31. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    I smirked when I saw this lackey “apologize”. With all the technology available to schedule makers…they shouldn’t have botched it in the first place. “Oh…just the Bucs…nothing to see here!”

  32. unbelievable Says:

    Just like I’ve said for years, the NFL hates the Bucs.

    They do everything possible to keep us as bottom feeders (as if the organization doesn’t do enough of that on their own)

    The NFL just continues to go to sh!t one dumb move at a time. It’s getting to the point where it’s basically unwatchable unless you’re one of the 6 teams that gets special treatment.