A Quarter Century Of Team Glazer

January 22nd, 2020

Another fresh column from The Sage of Tampa Bay Sports. Ira’s good friend, Bill Currie Ford general manager Sean Sullivan, will personally help you get the best value on your next vehicle purchase. Just ask for him.


This silver anniversary comes with the highs and lows of a typical marriage.

Yes, it’s been 25 years since the Glazer family joined hands with the Buc family, pledging to honor and cherish the NFL shield. It’s been a matrimony marked by unforgettable moments of ecstasy and a prolonged stretch of indifference.

Malcolm Glazer outbid George Steinbrenner for the Bucs and soon after had a winner.

Through it all, the Glazers have offered stable ownership since Malcolm signed off on a $192 million price tag that was unprecedented for an NFL franchise in 1995. Given that the Forbes list estimates the club’s current value at $2.2 billion, let’s call it a savvy business transaction.

Buc fans have long been ambivalent about this ownership group, but any comparisons to the Hugh Culverhouse era are ludicrous.

Masterful at generating income, Culverhouse was reluctant to spend money. In 1987, he spearheaded the league’s decision to use replacement players during a labor dispute. That’s still a black mark on the shield.

While I have no doubt the Glazers care about winning, they have stumbled badly in recent years on the scoreboard and at the turnstile.

Let’s embark on a 25-year report card, noting key elements.

In short order upon purchasing the franchise, the Glazers acted boldly and swiftly to change the reputation of an NFL laughingstock.


“Dungy used to be Bruce Arians’ roommate, so that’s something, Joel.”

* The first head coach hired by the Glazers is now wearing a gold jacket. Plenty of teams passed on Tony Dungy before Tampa Bay gave him an opportunity to turn this franchise around. That he did, winning on the field and encouraging his players to be active in the community. When the Glazers felt Dungy had maxed out, they wouldn’t take no for an answer from Al Davis and engineered a trade for Jon Gruden.

The price was steep, but the payoff was both instantaneous and exhilarating. No Buc fan will ever forget shutting down the Vet and then shutting down league MVP Rich Gannon to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

* The Glazers didn’t do it alone, but they generated enough support to get Raymond James Stadium built. More than two decades later, it remains an outstanding facility, helped by several renovations As a result, Tampa Bay was able to lure three additional Super Bowls to the region since the Glazers came aboard.

* The family has steadily increased its presence in the community, reaching out to help children, the military and the disadvantaged.


* For the most part, the Glazer family has rejected the traditional NFL model of hiring a GM and letting that person choose the head coach. Instead, ownership gets heavily involved in the coaching search and that process hasn’t worked out particularly well since Gruden was dismissed 11 years ago. The Glazers have no problem paying top dollar for a head coach or jettisoning one with years to go on his contract, but the coaching carousel has contributed mightily to the NFC’s longest playoff drought.

“Jason, Year 7 is your year.”

* Gruden was never going to lose his showdown against Rich McKay, not after leading the 2002 Bucs to the promised land, but replacing McKay with Bruce Allen set this franchise back. McKay made his share of mistakes as GM, but he also drafted two Hall of Famers and surrounded himself with a stable of savvy talent evaluators. Allen’s record as head of football operations was 38-42. Mark Dominik (28-52) and Jason Licht (34-62) have failed to field a postseason club since Allen was dumped.

* Nobody is asking for the second coming of Jerry Jones, but the Glazers need to raise their public profile. They don’t take questions at the end of the season or make themselves available to their fans on a regular basis. An organization that demands accountability from its players needs to start at the top.

Who knows what the next 25 years will bring? Hopefully, the Glazer era will include a few more championships and a franchise quarterback or two.

Perhaps the Pro Football Hall of Fame will open its doors to several additional Buccaneers, past and present.

Polish up that silver, there’s more to come.

Click on Ira’s forehead to shop online at BillCurrieFord.com. The dealership is just north of the stadium on Dale Mabry Highway. Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape and loves it.

29 Responses to “A Quarter Century Of Team Glazer”

  1. miken Says:

    Started great but has been a decade of disaster. There is no replacing Mr. G. He swung for the fence and saved the franchise. The problems started in 07 when the glazers finances took a hit with a lot of money tied to real estate and the soccer team and of course Mr. G getting sick. The glazer boys take a lot of crap but besides the cost cutting in 2008 thru 2012… they have spent and spent. All of the moves with the exception of the Gruden firing were applauded at the time…. everyone like lict and lovie at the time… same with the dirk move and the BA hiring so its hard to bla,me them too much. They thought the had the next Tomlin in Rah and that was dumb but the took a chance. Hell, even the pursuit of chip and hiring of schiano at 1st was applauded. They tried to get Gruden again to right a wrong. The uniforms are a disaster though so bring back the creamcicles!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. miken Says:

    How about when Dungy was fired and the Owner over ruled Mckay when he hired Marvin Lewis and got Gruden. The Glazers have always gone after a big name! Went after Gruden with Dirk still coaching. Went after Chip when he was the biggest name and went after Parcells twice.

  3. LordCornelius Says:

    The problems all start at the top with a bad organizational structure & philosophy to team building.

  4. Buc believer Says:

    They have also rejected the model of hiring COMPETENT GMs. Except for Rich Mckay who those dumb arses let go to a division rival of all places they have had two of the biggest idiots in memory back to back as GM! They are good at buying and selling trailer parks but horrible at NFL ownership.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yes…….things have been bad…..and a fish does stink from the head…..we’ve had 2 very ineffective GMs in Dominick & Licht….

    But…..let’s give some credit where credit is due. We did win a SB with the Glazers

    12 NFL teams haven’t done that….

    The Bengals, Bills, Browns, Cardinals, Chargers, Falcons, Jaguars, Lions, Panthers, Texans, Titans and Vikings have not won a Super Bowl in their history. The Browns, Jaguars, Lions and Texans have never reached the Super Bowl.

  6. J Says:

    I’m a believer it always starts at the top, with someone.

    Apparently there a few people not pulling their weight, I’m assuming somewhere. Glazers should know this especially being business savvy. From here on out allow professionals in the sport to evaluate the coaches and GM’s. Step aside. Maybe you got it right this time(which would be luck), I hope.

  7. miken Says:

    @bucbeliever…mckay was a bad gm… gave everyone big contract extentions… even the kicker and put us in cap hell. Over ruled Gruden on players like the michigan wr over westbrook. Trade to #1 picks for a possesion wr and gave huge #1 money to emanuel. Left for Atlanta and blew that team up but they were smart enough to demote him quickly.

  8. T REX Says:

    They are garbage owners. Some of the worst on two continents. They are hated in the UK and most of us should hate them too. They are trash owners. Sell the team please, losers.

  9. stpetebucsfan Says:

    The Glazers made two major trade offs that made sense from their perceptive and the first was a trade off the fans also supported.

    First they had to surrender two first round picks…2002 & 2003 and two second rounders 2002 and 2004. That gutted our draft for 2 1/2 years. It took the rest of the decade to recover. I believe posters here believe it was worth it to get Chucky and the SB.

    The second was the purchase of Man U. buying out shareholders from 2003-2005. That along with a financial collapse that left them horribly over leveraged. This is why we had Rah and Schiano and a tight budget. Not good for the fans but certainly understandable from the perspective of the Glazers.

    The rest of the difficulties from mismanagement has already been described.

  10. stpetebucsfan Says:

    uhhh perspective…

  11. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    When daddy was in charge, that’s when results were seen. When daddy died and the kids took over, the kids ran the business into the ground and made the Bucs the red headed stepchild to ManU. The GMs are getting progressively worse and the roster is always full of over the hill, overpaid and underachieving players. Look no further than see what Lynch has done in only 2 yrs or what Jon Robinson has done with the Titans. Either of those two GMs should’ve been the Bucs GM.

  12. Swampbuc Says:

    This is very simple. Malcolm Glazer was an excellent owner. As soon as he had the stroke and subsequently passed, his trust fund kids have shoved two franchises down the tubes at once. Malcolm was great. His sons are…………………..not.

  13. Pewter power Says:

    This is the negativity the hurts this site. So focused on the past regardless of any positives to focus on they cant be discussed without talking about negatives. We aren’t firing coaches after one year like some bad owners. I’m sure BA doesnt give a crap about the last decade because he was somewhere else winning. Let it go already before you get left behind with history. Glazers aren’t the best owners but aren’t the worst either, fans that think so can simply move on, no one makes you root for the bucs.

    If We make the playoffs next year you dudes will still be here talking about raheem Morris and josh freeman and it’s just getting weird

  14. Howard Cosell Says:

    Team glaser…..not as bad as Hugh Culverhouse!

    Lol by todays standards Culverhouse was a Boss Hogg type character who had no business owing an NFL franchise

  15. Buczilla Says:

    Great article Ira. I think that you are too optimistic about these owners though. Karma has been biting them (and us unfortunately) in the butt since they neglected the team to play around with soccer. They are the Eddie Debartolo’s of ownership compared to Culverhouse, but that doesn’t mean they are good. We could do a lot bettter.

  16. WestChap Says:

    Culverhouse was a racist clown… so Glazers are clearly superior.

    I’ve endured the torture since Gruden like all commenters but I give credit to the entire glazer family for not standing pat in the face of several missed tries… Rahim, Schiano and Lovie were reasonable enough swings but I wasn’t a fan and all were clear misses after a few years. Dirk is the only one I thought was going to be good… any way to know he was going to be such a stubborn cuss about DC Smith and the dang play calling? Loyalty is a great thing until it takes the whole ship down. Bruce and staff are off to a very solid start… maybe the coaching carousel will finally stop spinning.

  17. Bucs4821 Says:

    I remember an Ira podcast where he said that with Team Glazer, it always starts with the head coach. It’s a cliche, but insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome… They need to hire a director of football operations or a GM and let that person hire the coach and draft the players, not the other way around.

  18. Big Stinky Says:

    The best thing the Bucs can do is transition tag Winston if they can get 2 first round picks from a team that wants him bad enough. The player I want is Burrow and I would pull a Ditka and trade the entire 2019 Draft and our No.1 next year to get him. Use Winston’s money to sign a veteran CB and RT. Sign Shaq, JPP, and Suh to 3 year deals to keep that core together. The No.1 picks you get for Winston will be top 15 picks, maybe top 10, because of his interceptions. Hey Joe! You like all those yards JW3 puts up don’t you? How about a QB that set the record for TD’s in college with 60 and ONLY threw 6 picks? Did you see what he did to that Clemson defense that was SO good? Cincy is willing to part with that No.1 pick and I would make it happen. Jameis has 7 fourth quarter comebacks and 11 game winning drives in 70 games. Ouch! There are 3 games this year I can think of off the top of my head that Winston had the ball at the end of the game with a chance to tie or win and he blew ALL three. He threw pick 6’s in two of the games and the drive ended with a pick in the other game as well. Running game and defense had nothing to do with those losses, good quarterbacks win you those games and Winston is mediocre most of the time. I would hate to give up an entire Draft for one player when Licht has done such a crappy job of building this team but Burrow looks like the REAL DEAL! I would love to get a WR and RB in this Draft since those positions are SO deep this year. We HAVE to get a QB in this Draft because we have talent at WR but for how long. We wasted 5 years on Jameis and it’s time to move on. Sorry to have to say this to ALL you Winston apologists but we could have gotten the same results with Glennon for the last 5 years. Maybe not the same yards but just as many TD’S and not quite as many INT’s. Most of you idiots will tell me I’m wrong but I know better. After their first 18 1/2 games their numbers were ALMOST identical whether you want to believe it or not. This is what kills me as a Bucs fan, fan favorites. What the hell was SO wrong with Glennon to you stupid asses? Calling him giraffe or Captain Checkdown makes no sense. He learned 2 new offenses his first 2 years in the league as a backup, with NO first team reps by the way, and put up the same numbers as Winston (less picks) after being forced to start with a week’s worth of practice. Not to mention Jameis had a real OC with play calling experience while Glennon had the misfortune of playing for QB coaches that we’re calling plays for the first time in their lives. Just cut the cord already. Go Bucs!

  19. Pete I Says:

    Dad was a very good businessman and made something special, enough to buy two sports franchises on two continents.

    The Glazer babies inherited what they have and have built nothing and have made a mess of two sports franchises on two continents.

    The UP was not because of the current owners but the DOWN(s) are because of his kids…

  20. Bucsfanman Says:

    Well said Lord Corn! You can point at players, coaches, and the GM. Leadership starts at the top. That’s ownership.
    It’s not difficult to pinpoint where it all fell apart.
    They can turn this thing around but it will take putting the right FOOTBALL people in the right place.

  21. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Big Stinky

    I absolutely share your enthusiasm for Burrow. I just do not see your optimism that we can get him.

    He is most valuable to Cincinnati. Hometown kid with great character and as you point out off the charts on field talent.

    Think this through. Why would the Bengals make any trade that made sense for US. He’s far more valuable to them than us. HOMETOWN HERO…the Bengals need a QB FAR worse than us. I’m not a JW supporter I believe we can do better

    OTOH if BA could ever get inside JW’s head we MIGHT have our QB. 50% of our fanbase is still onboard with him and the experts run approximately the same level. IE We MAY not need a QB the Bengals are absolutely going to start their rebuild at QB.

    Again…Burrow is GREAT…but all things considered he’s worth far more to the Bengals than us. Why would they make any trade that would still make sense for us.

    After Chucky I now believe we should never again trade away two #1’s and two #2’s…it destroys the life blood of a franchise the draft.

    Not trying to be critical just trying to be “real”.

  22. T REX Says:

    stpete, the real is that no one player should divide a fan base like crab legs. The fan base is so fractured because of Jameis. That reason alone I jettison him. It’s not like he’s a winner. He basically had one GREAT season his redshirt freshman yr. He’s been living off of that for years. Time to move on and unite the fans. If they want to leave because we ditch that loser then they were never buc fans but Winston-fanboys. Don’t need them.

  23. Hodad Says:

    T Rex, couldn’t agree more.

  24. Big Stinky Says:


    Yeah the price would be high but I would be tempted to do it. We need to fill a lot of holes though with 19 FA’s and I have to admit it would probably bite me in the ass for doing it. We need a QB on a rookie deal at this point though. People need to stop with the Jameis will be better in his second year under Arians because Palmer was. They are NOT the same QB’s so to expect the same results is just INSANE to me. Will Jameis cut down on the INT’s next year? Of course I would hope. But he has NEVER threw less than the 15 picks he threw in his rookie season playing the entire year. He would have thrown more than 20 last year too but he only started 9 games and played in part of 2 other games. To have 14 in less than 11 games is ridiculous and means in his last 2 seasons he has regressed. Stupid ass Arians telling him to just keep firing tells me his crazy old ass will bring him back thinking he can change him. And when Winston throws at least 18 INT’s for the 3rd time in 6 years and costs us a chance to play in the Playoffs Licht, Winston, and Arians should all be chitcanned. Tired of having people that CANNOT evaluate talent. 121 TD’S and 88 INT’S tells me ALL I need to know. Time to move on and it’s a NO BRAINER! Any damn QB could throw for 5000 yards and probably have 33 or more TD’s if you just tell him to keep firing and give him OVER 600 pass attempts. I bet they would complete more than 60.7 percent of their passes and probably wouldn’t throw 30 picks either. This team is done if they sign him to ANY deal IMO. Not enough Draft picks on rookie deals because Licht is such a bad GM but some other time.

  25. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    Good time to sell.

  26. miken Says:

    @bigstinky… since your post was from 3am, i just will assume you were drunk. No one is giving up any picks for jameis… not 2 1’s then have to sign him to a rich deal.

  27. miken Says:

    Cbs sports just posted that gruden would goafter #3 and draft a qb…. its crazy season folks. March and April cant get here fast enough.

  28. Formerly Tampa 2 Says:

    It’s only been 18 years of current ownership Joe. Malcolm Glazer was a savvy business man and built the Bucs into a winner. Then sadly, 18 years ago the boys inherited the Bucs and they have done nothing but ruin our Bucs with their buyout of Man-U and proceeded to ruin 2 sports franchises, 1 in Tampa & 1 in England.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    Mike u had me everywhere except bring back the cremcicles I prefer the red n pewter of the Superbowl winning decade dominant defense unis