Bucs Avoid The Big Scare

August 7th, 2020

He’s playing.

Joe understands that NFL deadlines are for the NFL offices in Manhattan, not for sending out a press release.

So when 4 p.m. arrived yesterday afternoon, Joe wasn’t satisfied. The time meant little. Honestly, five hours later as the clock neared 9 p.m. Joe finally started to relax. Bad news would have been announced by 9 p.m.

So what is Joe referring to? The anchor of the Bucs’ offensive line at left tackle, dependable Donovan Smith, decided he will not opt out of the 2020 season. NFL players had until 4 p.m. yesterday to notify their teams and the NFL office that they would sit out due to The Sickness.

Smith stayed.

Why was Joe worried? Well, Smith was the only Bucs player intensely outspoken about how the NFL needed to make sure players were safe if they planned to play football during a pandemic. Smith took to Instagram in July and declared “I am not a lab rat.” He openly confessed he didn’t know whether he would play.

Joe had seen Mike Evans and Carlton Davis retweet items from other NFL players that threatened not to play unless the NFL came up with strict and specific guidelines to ensure players would have a safe environment.

To the best of Joe’s knowledge, neither Evans nor Davis spoke out. If they did on social media, it was certainly not as forceful as Smith.

Another reason Joe was worried Smith would sit out is that the virus tends to affect large people much harsher than smaller folks. And Smith is a large, large man weighing in at some 338 pounds.

Additionally, just a couple of weeks ago, Smith welcomed a baby daughter to the world. Smith, in his declaration in early July on social media, cited the then-expected birth as a big reason he may not play. He did not want to potentially introduce the virus to his home. Understandable.

Now the obvious thing that pops into one’s mind is that the arrival of park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady has galvanized the team, knowing this may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a Super Bowl run.

Brady was asked if he may be indirectly responsible for only one Bucs player opting-out and a guy like Smith choosing to play, or at least partially responsible for only one player choosing to stay home.

Brady seemed a little uncomfortable with that inference and danced around the question saying, among other things, “Guys are working really hard to get to know one another.”

No, this Brady cat isn’t the most riveting of speakers. At times Brady sounded like Norman Dale addressing the Hickory High assembly at the start of basketball season.

Brady may not have said he was a reason only one Bucs player opted-out. He may not have had to say it.

Sometimes, nothing needs to be said to explain the obvious.

17 Responses to “Bucs Avoid The Big Scare”

  1. StRicKn Says:

    Donavan Smith is ready for our Super Bowl run! FIRE THE CANNONS!!

  2. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    @Joe’s — Relax. DS is all in.

  3. Cobraboy Says:

    I suspect some innocent words coming off the birth of a first child were blown waaaaay out of proportion.

  4. Sport Says:

    Let’s not forget he sprinkled the little nugget of “we should get hazard pay”.

    And you were worried about him taking $350k vs S16M?


    In BA I Trust!

  5. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Happy to see him playing this year. This may be the best O line in the teams history. Granted Wirfs as a rookie tackle with no mini camp or preseason could struggle a lot. I don’t envy the man.

  6. unbelievable Says:

    Well, if nothing else– you managed to get a couple dozen articles out of a single instagram comment….


  7. BucAllNight Says:

    Batten down the hatches mate…. this ship is ready for FULL SAIL!!!

    New Captain aboard Jack Sparrow aka TB12

    Go Bucs!!!

    Next stop Superdome…. Let’s get some Booty!!!

  8. Sick of the lies Says:

    Guess he decided he would rather be lazy and uninspired making his millions rather than be lazy and uninspired sitting home not getting paid.

  9. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I never thought D. Smith would opt out. It’s a shame some were suggesting he’s a sissy, coward, etc for even considering it, even raising the issue. And there will be some who will call him “stupid” or “greedy” for staying on if, God forbid, he gets COVID.

    The reaction reminds of what happened on a much larger scale with Pat Tillman, RIP, who left the NFL and jointed the U.S. Army to serve a higher calling (to him) and he was KIA in 2004. He went from being praised by most as selfless to the very worst, when he was killed. Shameful.

    Folks make decisions to guide their lvies–it’s their responsbility and right to do so, and that should be respected. No one can truly know the expected outcome.

    As for me, I’m glad as he11 D. Smith is still here, but would have understood had he opted out.

  10. bucnjim Says:

    What really happened is his wife told him that she worked harder giving birth than he did in 16 games last year. Now get back to work before you have diaper changing duty for 5 months. Wow look he’s back!

  11. WillieG Says:

    Maybe he learned more about the sickness and made an informed decision? According to a recent survey, a lot of people thought that 9% of the US population had died from it. That’s 30 million people! So yeah, if I thought 30 million had died, I might be a bit reluctant to play too. But once I found out that the official number was actually about 150,000 (with all the over counting) and that it had a survivability rate of 99.998% for people my age, I’d take make chances.

  12. Durango 95 Says:

    Congratulations to D Smith for allowing logic to prevail.

    Meanwhile Bumbling Buford continues his imaginary battle against monolithic straw man arguments.

  13. SOEbuc Says:

    It effects larger people more harshly? Another reason to look so forward to the season mixed with this virus. Our entire oline and dline falling dead week one.

  14. All lives matter Says:

    Help your team elevate Donovan. Be that leader. Good luck and good health this season.

  15. james west Says:

    well wirfs is a rookie but he’s a top tier lineman, and we do have a vet in joe heag, who ain’t no slouch

  16. james west Says:

    but getting to the point i am glad smith is playing this season, i think if they have any money left, they should bring in some depth at league minimum, on both offense and defensive lines

  17. Pewter Power Says:

    Only ones worried about it were the media and fans because we didn’t know anything. Very few people escape life without complaining about where or who they work for. Dude was letting off steam but not dumb enough to turn down a Season in the spotlight and possibly a springboard to a bigger payday In the future.