The Sting And The Solution

September 24th, 2019

“The Sage” delivers in his thrice-weekly column.

BY IRA KAUFMAN columnist

Presented By

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Now comes the hard part — dealing with the aftermath.

I once had a hockey coach tell me it’s not about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about getting up off the canvas. The Bucs just took one to the solar plexus. If they’re still writhing in pain from a devastating body blow, who could blame them?

The looming question is how will they respond when they venture into the L.A. Coliseum to face last year’s NFC representative in the Super Bowl?

“Yes, it hurts, especially because we gave it away,” says Vernon Hargreaves, “but we’re on to the Rams. We’ve got one of the best teams in the league coming up. It hurts now, but we’ve got another chance next Sunday. Everything changes week to week in this league.”

Buc fans know all too well that any list detailing brutal losses in franchise history requires reams of paper. Sunday’s setback might crack the Top 5, and that’s saying a mouthful.

Lavonte David weighs in

A winless team just came into Tampa and fell behind by 18 points at halftime with a quarterback making his first NFL start. New York’s best player was standing on the sidelines in crutches, Shaq Barrett turned in one of the most dominating defensive performances in Tampa Bay annals and Mike Evans repeatedly torched the Giants.

And the Bucs lost.

“We’ve got no choice but to forget about this game,” says Lavonte David. “This one is on us. Up 28-10 at halftime, no way. First play of the second half gave them too much life. Daniel Jones is going to be a great quarterback. He took a lot of hits and stayed strong. They’ve got somebody special there. But it was only the third game of the season and we’ve got to put it behind us We’ve got a tough schedule ahead. Still, it’s going to be a hard pill to swallow.”

If the Bucs head to the airport Friday still dwelling on what might have been, they’ll have a devil of a time winning in the City of Angels.

The Rams are solid and Aaron Donald is special, but Tampa Bay has a chance to catch Los Angeles coming off a Sunday night game, looking ahead to divisional matchups against the Seahawks and 49ers.

Jameis Winston said last week that you can deal with a loss when you are outplayed. It hurts, but it doesn’t sting.

Sunday’s result stung like a mother ——, and it’s not all on Matt Gay.

“We’re not playing those games, we’re not playing those cards,” Hargreaves says. “We had plenty, plenty, plenty of chances to win and we gave it away. That’s on nobody but us, as a team. Football is the most humbling sport, I’ll say that.”

Roger that.

The Bucs have no choice but to turn the page on this sob story. It has to be done, but it won’t be easy.

“Games like this you’ve got to have, especially at home,” David says. “You want to be dominant at home and we lost our first two home games. This one we’ve got to learn from and chalk it up for what it is.

“It’s all on us. We came out of the halftime flat and gave up 15 points in like 5 or 7 minutes — that’s terrible. Obviously we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re not who we thought we were.”

But they can still become what they need to be.

47 Responses to “The Sting And The Solution”

  1. Crack3rK Says:

    I love this mixed metaphor! Was your Hockey Coach Yogi Berra? IMO, you should have ended the column with a quote about a Fat Lady Singing, or maybe sticking a fork in this season?

    “I once had a hockey coach tell me it’s not about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about getting up off the canvas.” CLASSIC!

  2. Rayjay1122 Says:

    I read that it’s not Gays fault but I must disagree. I guess I was watching a different game. Yes, there were many mistakes that contributed to the loss that were not Gays fault but he all NY himself left 5 points on the field. We lost by 2, am I missing something here?

  3. TampaTown Says:

    But they’re not going to get back up. They’re going to lay there in a fetal position while getting pummeled until the season is over by Halloween. Like last year. And the year before that. And the year before that. Get out while you still can people. It’s not safe.

  4. bucfanforever Says:

    Still can be 14-2.

  5. Steven007 Says:

    Rayjay, kickers can win games but they rarely lose them. This was a team loss, from the coaches down to the kicker.

  6. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Ok, well I got all of my venting of frustrations out. Now it’s time to casually observe moving forward with no emotions either way. Sucks to have to self preserve with apathy so early every freaking season with this train wreck franchise.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Rayjay…..we lost by 1…..

    And, Matt Gay simply had to make that kick and didn’t…….the way I look at it….we lost the game as a team and he failed to bail us out….if he had made the kick it would have made a bunch of bad plays and calls go away.

    We fans can’t forget about it but the players must…’s like missing an easy putt….you have to forget it and play the next hole.

  8. Buc1987 Says:

    No coach in NFL history down by 1 is going for a TD with 13 seconds left on the 9 yard line.

    Why peeps on this site seem to think differently is another form of Winston Derangement Syndrome and it’s alive and well.

    There’s still hope for 7-9 Ira.

  9. ChanEpic Says:

    Just reiterating the strange hypocrisy I see here a lot: When Jameis throws a pick in a loss it’s all his fault. When a kicker misses a chip shot 34 yard FG to win the game it’s the whole team’s fault. I see this all the time here and it is so hypocritical it’s hilarious. Dude gets paid to kick FGs he missed one and we lost by 1 point. That’s all that needs to be said.

  10. 74 Bucs fan Says:

    It sucks to already be at the point of being a casual observer, as Rayjay pointed out. I’m not a fair-weathered fan, but losses that that year after year are just too painful to tolerate. Being pissed on Sundays sucks. I’d prefer to watch casually hoping the teams wins but fully expecting them to lose – so that I am not upset on a beautiful Sunday in beautiful Tampa with my beautiful family. My wife and kids don’t deserve to be around someone pissed over a football game. The thrill of victory is great, but damn the agony of defeat is brutal! I’m sure I’ll feel better soon and will be rooting for our Bucs, but I do not wish to feel like or act that again.

  11. tmaxcon Says:

    i love watching the optimists meltdown… what did you expect people this is a IRRELEVANT small market minor league franchise with a trash roster anyone thinking the results would be different because the glazers hired another washed up has been is just simply stupid…

  12. ChanEpic Says:

    74 Bucs fan – we all feel your pain. I am holding out hope that what we’re witnessing NOW, and what is different, are GROWING PAINS. We’re much more competitive, we’re not being blown out of games in the 1st quarter. Our QB isn’t fumbling or throwing picks every other play. We have a pass rush. There are still holes to fill but I see improvement.

  13. TampaBay AllDay Says:

    “We’ve got no choice but to forget about this game”???? Whaaat??? See that the problem. Forgive never forget. This mentality has to change. They better come out pissed off on Sunday and beat the Rams. They always lose the games everyone marked as win.

  14. eoschwartz Says:

    Interesting after watching this franchise for almost 40 years we’ve seen it all. But these last couple of seasons have sucked any feelings I used to have for the team. There are enough good players for this to be an average team. They just don’t have any kind of consistency or ability to have all phases of the team just do their job. When they get in the red zone they are below average. The coverage is predictably horrible. Tackling on the Engram touchdown, inexcusable. One half of exceptional quarterbacking and one half of mediocrity. Daniel Jones took a beating, Barrett is sensational, run defense outstanding yet things like missing extra points, poor end of game coaching just bring down this whole team.

    You have some brilliant plays being ruined because certain players can’t make routine plays. As Joe says “give me average”.

    Jameis Winston is what he is, a downfield thrower who is more indecisive than in command. When things go well he rises his game but when pressured he doesn’t have a quick release or a sense of when to run.

    More short throws like the Evans second touchdown and the 40 yard screento Jones is what this offense has to do to get Winston in a flow. He doesn’t have fast receivers like other teams so he must change his style to get rid of the ball and find open guys. He is not the kind of quarterback that has what it takes to be a winner so offense needs to change until a new athletic quarterback is drafted

  15. Steven007 Says:

    74, I’ve been a season-ticket holder since 92 when I was barely an adult. Back then losses lingered with me for the good part of a week. Then I grew up. Good job, family, etc. Still love football just as much I just don’t live it anymore. Losses linger with me for 5 to 15 minutes now. Then like you said I remember that I live in a great place and that life is not all about football. we lose the fact that this is entertainment at the end of the day.

  16. TampaBay AllDay Says:


  17. ChanEpic Says:

    “He is not the kind of quarterback that has what it takes to be a winner so offense needs to change until a new athletic quarterback is drafted” – Jameis Winston 2013 Heisman Trophy and one National Championship.

    He’s proven he CAN BE a winner. But winners like that, usually go to terrible teams and He is on a historically terrible one. But, yeah let’s just focus on the guy who put us in position to win and had a record setting day with our receiver. I mean the contortions people attempt are crazy

  18. Cgmaster27 Says:

    @chanepic you find out that no natter how we lose, its always jameis fault. No better example than this weeks game. The trolls are never satisfied.

  19. Buc1987 Says:

    Chan…that’s my main stance when it comes to Winston.

    This team sucked long before Jameis and it’ll probably suck long after Jameis.

    Yet some think he’s the main problem.

  20. Brandon Says:

    I once had a hockey coach tell me it’s not about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about getting up off the canvas. The Bucs just took one to the solar plexus. If they’re still writhing in pain from a devastating body blow, who could blame them?

    So in a football article, you quote your hockey coach who was clearly talking about boxing? Makes sense…

  21. ChanEpic Says:

    Buc1987 – They are like the badly parented child in willy Wonka, they don’t know what they want they just want it NOW!!!!!

  22. tmaxcon Says:

    man i want to see LVD, 55 and Vince Young compete in jeopardy…. have pauly shore host… damn there would not be a single question answered correctly

  23. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    We can still make the playoffs let’s get it men !!!

  24. DB55 Says:

    Is it safe to say that this team is ignorant bc they don’t learn a damn thing from week to week or season to season.

    Might as well just rewind the tape recorder and play the same sound bites each week.

  25. DB55 Says:

    I was excited about beating the rams and then the thought of Talib and Donald popped in my head.


  26. DB55 Says:

    How many hits will he take this week 20? 25? Which will lead to how many turnovers 3? 5?

    Did you see what the Bears did to Keemun last night?

  27. pelbuc Says:

    The first part of the solution was to fire the GM. They draft DBs to acknowledge their previously drafted DBs suck. Then they give the GM an extension, despite inexplicably being strapped for cash under the cap. They ignore the right tackle position, overpay for the LT and fail to realize JW is NOT the answer at QB. All the missed draft picks and FA blunders have left this team with a below average roster and no depth. And for all his incompetence Licht is rewarded with a 5 year extension.

  28. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    I am still very ticked off about the loss Sunday. The defense reverted to it’s normal self, but Winston and Evans bailed them out only to have yet another bad kicker lose the game at the end. Stop saying it’s the team. The team had us within one point and a very short field goal was all that was needed to secure the win. The team had done just enough to secure the win and it was the kicker, and only the kicker, that lost this game. My personal opinion is that the Bucs are looking down the barrel of another 4-5 win season. Having a kicker let you down like that saps every fan and has to do the same to the players that aren’t just collecting a paycheck but want to win. I believe that at the end of this season everyone will point to the Giants game as the turning point. I know I still can’t believe this happened. On top of all the NY fans chanting while leaving RayJay, this week all we are hearing about is how great Daniel Jones is. It is like pouring salt on the wound.

  29. BucsminsterFuller Says:

    I once had a hockey coach tell me it’s not about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about getting up off the canvas.
    I don’t know where Joe played hockey but i don’t think they are doing right.

  30. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I can deal with this loss knowing that at least I won ‘t be the miserable LOSER you are!!!!

    You are one sorry sick dude who needs to come here and pee on our parade. GET HELP DUDE. I’M serious. You have ISSUES!!!

  31. El Buco Realisto Says:

    @ IRA the sage

    At what point does that said coach “realize” that the player is just a tomato can, and never going anywhere?????????????

    2019 will reveal answers to the sheep, that the “real” fans already know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?!

  32. 813bucboi Says:


    i agree….

    we failed as a team and gay had a chance to bail us out….just like the coaches had failed us in the CAR game and VHG bailed them out….

    imo, gay screwed the pooch…..make any 2 of those 3 miss kicks and we win…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  33. tmaxcon Says:


    you having hope in the first place was your mistake. i am not peeing on anyone just stating the facts. And to be very clear wealth redistribution cowboy i am far from miserable and never wrong. have a wonderful day and I hope you are in good health

  34. unbelievable Says:

    So once again, Lavonte David admits that he’s so mentally weak that one play from the opponent neutered him for the rest of the game (and perhaps the season)?


    Sad excuse for a grown professional man

    And you guys think GMC was the reason this defense has been so mentally weak all these years. Lol, LVD is the captain of folding. At least GMC made a couple plays to end games (Miami, Atlanta, KC) every once in a while.

  35. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    I really , really thought things would be different this year.

    Boy, do I feel duped.

  36. Mike Johnson Says:

    As always, great article here Ira. I read’em all. And I know its you job to encourage Buc Fans. Actually, Ira’s only job is to write about whatever he feels like writing about. –Joe I get it. However, if you actually think..we are marching into LA’s stadium and winning? Well, my shrink is available…. The RAMS ball..period. Remember what won us our championship? You see we are gonna witness..see..what a strong defensive 4 man front without blitzes can do come Sunday. We will have to put 2 men on the beast..Donald. Yes, he’s Warren Sapp plus. That’s gonna free up there other 3 non-slouches. Put Davis on auto-pilot, he says the same *am thing every year. That’s a long plane ride out to Cali. Hope out Bucs enjoy the food service. Because that’s all they coming away with on this trip. Sorry, I calls’em likes I see’s-em. That lost Sunday was Stinging. No excuse for it and done in typical snakebite Buc fashion. I don’t think this team recovers from it. Can’t fill no stadium seats like that ever.

  37. Pewter power Says:

    If this team has proven one thing is they get paid well enough to forget about how much they lose. It is week to week and a lot of assumptions about their overall record but they know that’s all up to them. Hopefully they rebound and turn things around. No choice but to believe because I watch them every week

  38. unbelievable Says:

    “Jameis Winston is what he is, a downfield thrower who is more indecisive than in command. When things go well he rises his game but when pressured he doesn’t have a quick release or a sense of when to run.

    Well, he’s never had a quick release.

    But you’re completely wrong about him under pressure. Winston actually ranks in the top-10 against pressure / against the blitz each year.

  39. Mike Johnson Says:

    Disagree with your little interjection there Brother Joe. If the local media does not keep the local fans believing then who does? I mean its their job to at least..try to keep hope alive. And we need..a lot of hope. Tons of it.

  40. Bojim Says:

    Got a friend die hard Giants fan. Goes to our stadium with a Giants jersey. I slapped him for all of us. I’ll probably remember this game for a while. It’s on the whole team. Only 1-2 but they need to win next week very badly.

  41. JimmyJack Says:

    Actually Mike Johnson I did not hear one person in the local media say that we could beat the Panthers. Not one at all.

    Nobody in the media is trying to make anybody believe in this team in the slightest.

    I can also remember almost all of them calling the Rays a 100 loos team last season……So take their opinions for what they are worth. Which is nothing substational.

  42. Jim Says:

    TouchDown, when you say “the team had us within one point”, you’re including the Kicker who scored four field goals, right?

  43. SKBucsFan Says:

    You are 100% right!
    It amazes me that Licht can not only keep his job as long as he has, but he was even given an extension. It makes me wonder what he has on the Glazers. If anyone of us was that incompetent, we wouldn’t last as long on a job.

  44. BushidoEvans Says:

    @Tampabaybucfan Bailing us out would’ve been hitting a 55 yarder as time expires. The team rallied and did what they needed to for the win. He simply has to make a 30 yard field goal. Matt Gay did not miss a game winner. He choked a chip shot.

  45. Anonymous Says:

    No coach in NFL history has taken a five yard delay of game penalty to “give the kicker an easier kick!” That was absolutely pathetic! Without a doubt, the difference in making that kick and missing it!

  46. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    Ira, if your hockey coach had you practicing on canvas then he was not a very smart coach.

  47. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Never wrong? LMAO Where have I heard that before. Why from a man who has been documented telling close to 10,000 lies in less than three years.