“They’re Coming To Smash Somebody’s Ass”

October 31st, 2020

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BY IRA KAUFMAN

As Vince Lombardi famously remarked, if you strive for perfection, you can catch excellence along the way.

The 2020 Bucs aren’t perfect by any measure, but they’re sure playing some inspired football. Ol’ Vince would be proud of the way Tampa Bay has rebounded from that dispiriting evening in Chicago, dismantling the Packers and pulling away from the Raiders in crunch time.

Along the way, this franchise has caught excellence. But look a little closer and you’ll discover another enviable quality suddenly in Tampa Bay’s possession Swagger.

Yes, this is a confident football team. And let’s be honest — confidence has been in short supply around these parts during a 12-year playoff drought. Swagger was last seen packing its bags and heading out of town in the late stages of 2008, when a 9-3 Buc team folded.

That season died with an awful sound. The subsequent smoke on the water engulfed Jon Gruden.

One day during his 7-year regime in Tampa, Gruden was asked to define swagger.

“Swagger,” said Gruden. “I’ll tell you about swagger. Swagger is smashing somebody’s ass … that’s what swagger is.”

However you want to define it, swagger is alive and well at One Buc Place.

Leonard Fournette

Swagger is Jason Pierre-Paul saying he’s coming for the necks of the New York Giants Monday night, adding, “I’m going to destroy the Giants.”

Swagger is Leonard Fournette saying, “The sky’s the limit for this team.”

Swagger is adding a malcontent like Antonio Brown because you believe you have enough leadership to get his mind right.

Victories build confidence, but swagger is a different animal. Swagger involves imposing your will, sometimes before the game even begins.

NFC Defensive Player of the Week Devin White

Warren Sapp used to purposefully stroll through the opposition’s warm-up drills, just to let them know they’re in for a long day. That 2002 Buc team had swag coming out of its ear holes, with Sapp, Simeon Rice and Derrick Brooks talking up an X-rated storm on the football field.

If the Bucs beat the Giants, as expected, they will hit the midpoint of the regular season at 6-2. That hasn’t happened since the 2002 championship year. The only other time this franchise opened at 6-2 was in 1979, when Tampa Bay reached the conference championship game.

The 2016 Bucs won nine games, but Dirk Koetter’s crew never possessed swagger. In control of their own destiny at 8-5, that Tampa Bay club played timidly on the road against Dallas and New Orleans, turning the ball over six times while being outgained 308-141 on the ground.

This Buc team exudes physicality. Look at the hit Devin White just leveled on Derek Carr. Look at how Ryan Jensen is knocking defensive tackles off the ball.

And we haven’t even mentioned Captain Swagger.

The Goat

Tom Brady’s presence has raised the strut level of everyone in Tampa Bay’s locker room. Now, the Bucs believe they can win, and will win.

What a change from the doubt and trepidation that has dogged this franchise for lo these many years.

Brady is playing great football … that’s obvious. But he’s also playing great in the locker room, fulfilling Tampa Bay’s dreams of a new approach. While swagger could be buried in the swamps of Jersey on Monday evening, that’s an unlikely scenario.

Brady simply won’t allow a letdown. The Bucs will be ready to play because Brady’s team always are. If the Bucs lose, it won’t be because they weren’t prepared or focused.

In previous years, with previous quarterbacks, this matchup could loom as a trap game for the visitors. The Giants are a bad team and a prime-time rematch against the Saints is on the horizon for Tampa Bay.

Will they look past the Giants? No, they won’t, because the Swag Squad is coming to the Meadowlands on a seek and destroy mission.

They’re coming to play. They’re coming to smash somebody’s ass.

Ira’s friend Sean Sullivan, the Bill Currie Ford, will give you a special Ira Kaufman/JoeBucsFan discount, in addition to truly exemplary service.

Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape from Bill Currie Ford. It really is a sweet, luxurious ride.

40 Responses to ““They’re Coming To Smash Somebody’s Ass””

  1. Rayjay1122 Says:

    It would be a great photo to take of the Stanley Cup and Lombardi trophy side by side here in Tampa.

  2. BuucccNASTY Says:

    Too bad the Rays didn’t finish, if the Lombardi lands in TB woulda been an unmatchable historic year for Tampa, the unforgettable year that the rest of the world is already ready to forget #2020

  3. DoooshLaRue Says:

    My wife likes it when I swagger her.

  4. Old school Buc Says:

    I love it Ira. Seems like the Bucs recent success has put some “swag” into your columns. Love your confidence

  5. #1bucfan Says:

    Doosh haha that was funny. Man let’s go Bucs I really hope they come out and smash the giants and prove me and ptsd wrong haha I do still have a little doubt in me from the lost decade but maybe just maybe this is a changed culture and we won’t lose to ourselves or shoot ourselves in the foot anymore

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    @Sage … “If the Bucs beat the Giants, as expected …”. Words like ‘as expected’ admittedly scare me Ira. I understand exactly what you’re saying, but over the years I’ve seen too many times when the underdog (Giants in this case) found a way to pull off an upset. Sometimes it’s a lucky call, sometimes an injury to a key player, but usually IMO it’s because they just fight harder & want it more. History is replete with teams simply ‘expecting to win just for showing up’ and getting their asses kicked.

    Personally I don’t think the Bucs’ veterans … on BOTH sides of the ball … will allow that. They’ll take NOTHING for granted, because for some of these guys today is all that matters. Guys like Brady & Suh have fewer & fewer tomorrows on the playing field, and they’re not about to let this opportunity slip away easily. To true champions, every game is a dogfight.

  7. SB Says:

    GREAT Article IRA!

  8. SB Says:

    I don’t know if sodomy is legal in Fla. Doosh. 🙂

  9. Gofortheface30 Says:

    I was torn on Rays. Obviously I’d be proud of home team winning but they perpetuate the worst thing to ever happen to the sport of baseball: analytics. It should be used as a tool, but they take it to a degree that is a complete eyesore and then winning it all will cause more teams to adopt more silly shi, making decisions off of a chart instead of instincts and your own two eyes. Bring back real baseball men and hitters that know how to work the count, advance runners, bunt, hit to opposite field, no over managing, no using 27 pitchers in a game. You think it’s cute being little nerd ass card counters until you realize that the house always wins in the end, talent wins in the end

  10. [email protected] Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Great Article IRA !
    IMHO, Bill Curry Ford picked a great girl for their ad!

  11. knucknbuc Says:

    lol the title funny as crap…what you got on your mind ira???

  12. '79 Defense Says:

    Sounds great and tough and all that, but after reading this it’s going to be a massive letdown if they somehow lose.

  13. WillieG Says:

    Has The Sage been listening to Deep Purple?

  14. Mike Johnson Says:

    Of all people, ira you should know not to make hasty generalizations about the Bucs. Some of your comments here lately have had a little too much swag. haven’t you been disappointed over the yrs by these bucs enough? There are about 3 or 4 teams better than us right now. And we will have to get by 2 of them. So tread cautiously sir.

  15. JayBucsBoi Says:

    This article, and its writer, has swagger! This has to be one of your best ones, Ira! Love this article, loving this season!

  16. Darin Says:

    Sapp used to stroll thru the warm up drills and then jog down and kick the pylon as far as he could. Got me pumped up. One reason I got my butt in my seat early. Beat someone’s Ass!!

  17. Boston Boy Says:

    Mike Johnson Says:
    October 31st, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    “Of all people, ira you should know not to make hasty generalizations about the Bucs. ”
    Hey Mikey… ITs a NEW DAY.. Hold your head up. Stick your chest out. Gaze confidentlyinto oblivion with a smile on your face. . Can you say PLAYOFFS?… cmon… sure you can

  18. adam from ny Says:

    The Tampa Bay Swagganeers

  19. Koalanui Says:

    “Brady simply won’t allow a letdown. The Bucs will be ready to play because Brady’s team always are”
    .
    Yep, just like he didn’t let a letdown against Chicago happen. I expect us to curbstomp NYG but lets keep it real.

  20. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Mike Johnson, 3 or 4 teams better than the Bucs right now? Do you care to list them?

  21. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Bucs record against Chicago 20-40

    Bucs record against Giants 7-15… so about the same on average. There’s something about these two teams that always give us trouble. Will be extremely happy if we come through with a win.. as we should.

  22. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    Ira and his takes are a beacon of light in an abysmally negative and dark bucs sight!!! Can’t wait to see this game…. If they come in and dominate I will finally be convinced and put my faith back in this team!!! Been a long time coming,.. But I think they’re there!!!

  23. Howard Cosell Says:

    Good times!!!

    II think “Captain Swagger” might go viral……as a matter of fact:

    HEAR YE! HEAR YE! A PROCLAMATION HOWARD DOTH INVOKE:
    Henceforth and here-to-fore the quarterback Tom Brady shall no
    longer be known by his wicked-awesome Boston nicknames.
    The Great Sage of The South hath spoken for the people of the
    South, and given a name befitting a man on a mission, and a man
    of unprecedented accolades. We hereby proclaim Tom Brady,
    quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers …. … .. . Captain Swagger!!

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Alvin Scissors Harper … Championship teams improve as the season rolls along, as I’m sure we’ve both seen. Bucs are improving steadily, but ‘stuff happens’ during the course of a season. Championship teams respond well to adversity like that, as I’m sure we’ve both also seen.

    We’ve still got NINE games in front of us, including several against championship teams like the 4-2 Saints (Nov 8th), the 5-2 Rams (Nov 23rd), and the 6-1 Chiefs (Nov 29th). And ASSUMING that we make the playoffs, we’ll probably eventually have to play another FOUR games against some pretty good teams, like Seattle (5-1), or the Steelers (6-0), or the Ravens (5-1), or the Titans (5-1), or … the list is getting too long. Point being: There are some quality teams out there that won’t go quietly in the night. One game at a time.

  25. Brandon Says:

    Sapp strolled through the Steelers pregame warm-ups, the Steelers then laid the smack down on us and said his stunt was motivation. I didn’t mind but in that particular instance, no so great.

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    “The 2016 Bucs won nine games, but Dirk Koetter’s crew never possessed swagger. In control of their own destiny at 8-5, that Tampa Bay club played timidly on the road against Dallas and New Orleans”

    That was another year where the WRs and TEs were getting injured and there was zero game.

    Come to think of it, the WRs and TEs have been injured a ton, and also near the end of the season. If you want to, yet again, know why Brown has been added, just look at the teams history of losing receiving targets at the end of the year and how that has again and again tanked the team.

  27. Buc1987 Says:

    Darin…..Sapp is always going to be my favorite Buc of all time.

    For so many reasons and especially the stuff you mentioned.

    I know he was an a-hole in public…I really could care less.

    Swagger. Sapp brought the swagger and the rest of the D followed. Ira you’re right dripping with swagger.

    Go Bucs and brrrrrring it to the Giants… it’s my day off on Mondays!

  28. Anonymous Says:

    Defense Rules, if this team stays relatively healthy, they will 100% make the playoffs and they will be a very tough “out.” I don’t see an NFC team that beats us. I’ve got 2 nephews who live in Washington that are rabid Seahawks fans. They are always talking smack. Right now, they acknowledge the Hawks have essentially no defense at all. The Legion of Boom is gone and their current secondary is abyssmal. That will be a problem when facing these Bucs.

  29. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Defense Rules, if this team stays relatively healthy, they will 100% make the playoffs and they will be a very tough “out.” I don’t see an NFC team that beats us. I’ve got 2 nephews who live in Washington that are rabid Seahawks fans. They are always talking smack. Right now, they acknowledge the Hawks have essentially no defense at all. The Legion of Boom is gone and their current secondary is abyssmal. That will be a problem when facing these Bucs.

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    Alvin … I hear ya loud & clear. The Seahawks’ defense will be their undoing IMO. The Bucs, Saints, Rams & yes, the 49ers are the 4 teams to beat in the NFC I think; the Steelers, Ravens, Titans & Chiefs are the 4 to beat in the AFC. Combined record of those 8 teams (thru 6-7 games played) is 40-12. That’s some pretty good football almost halfway thru the season.

    I admit that I’m not a big one on ‘swagger’; much more fun to sneak up on your opponents & then pummel them. Spent a number of years as an instructor pilot in fighters, and always told ‘the newbies’ that ‘Cocky pilots THINK they’re good; confident pilots KNOW they’re good’. Building that confidence was a process based on multiple learning experiences as you can imagine, many not so pretty. But as CS Lewis was quoted as saying … “Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn; my God do you learn.” One day at a time.

  31. Alanbucsfan Says:

    False Swagger is going with analytics and disregarding that your Cy Young pitcher is having an historic World Series performance.

    Bucs have played 2 great games in a row- that’s it- good for them and Bucs fans- hardly “swagger” worthy.

    Saints, Rams, Chiefs and Vikings are still on schedule and don’t look now, but Raheem has the dirty birds executing.

    Win a playoff game or 2 , then let’s talk swagger…

  32. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Defense Rules, one of my college roommates flew helicopters in the Navy and is now a Senior Pilot for SWA. I respect your career. I am an Attorney, so I spend my time looking at the world through the word “risk,” which continually drives my wife nuts as I always envision a worst case scenario and prepare for that.
    I haven’t been supremely confident in our Bucs since the year after the Super Bowl where they pooped the bed.
    This team has all the ingredients of a world championship team. The offense is going to continue to improve and the defense is pretty damn good. We are a very balanced team. Finally, we have a kicker as well.
    Caveat: injuries change everything. If we can avoid serious injury, this team could be a juggernaut by the time we hit the playoffs. Usually, you can see what team is gonna win it all by playoff time. I was at the 49er playoff win. The team was on fire. I will admit concern going into Philly, but it just seemed different that year, and it was.
    I’m not at all concerned with NOLA, because Drew Brees truly has a “noodle arm.” Jimmy G can’t hang with Brady and I’m not that concerned about the Rams either.
    Yes, lots of AFC teams could be a problem, but we only have to beat one of them.

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    Recall in 2001, the O didn’t really start to click until mid-season. The D carried to O that year until then.

    When they got “swag”, the Stillers came to RayJay and humiliated them, beat them into the ground and pi$$ed on the pile. They came, called the Bucs “Paper Champions, and proceeded to sack the Bucs 6 times and force 3 turnovers. The 17-7 score did not reflect the total ass-whuppin’ the “swaggering” Bucs received.

    Keep in mind that to teams like the Jints, this game is like their Super Bowl.

    I like quiet confidence followed by physical, punishing ball and stated wins.

    I do NOT like “swagger.”

    CB’s Law of Rhetorical Economics: “The reason ‘Talk is Cheap’ is because the Supply exceeds the Demand.

    Score 35+ and 450 yds, hold the ball for 40 minutes, zero O turnovers, 3+ D turnovers and 5+ sacks, hold the Giants to 7 pts. or less and under 200 yds….THEN talk smack.

  34. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    All I know is I hope the GeeGirls wobbly m win the toss and defer like everybody does, and then we unleash the dawgs of war in them and never let up. This game will be a big measure of our swagger because desperate teams will do anything and everything to win so we have to take their best shots not flinch then squash them like bugs. Anything less than a blowout by the Bucs will be a disappointment for me because I’m starting to expect a lot from them !

  35. Buczilla Says:

    “Smash somebody’s ass”. Lol, I love it, but I know better than to take anything for granted outside of having hot cheerleaders when it comes to the Bucs. I’m confident that we’ll seal club the Giants and send their asinine fans screaming in all directions in an act of faux rage, but I need to see more before I just automatically chalk up wins for us. I’ve been on that blind date before and I’m almost always disappointed by the end of it.

  36. Defense Rules Says:

    @Cobraboy … “CB’s Law of Rhetorical Economics: “The reason ‘Talk is Cheap’ is because the Supply exceeds the Demand.”

    LMAO Cobraboy; that’s A-W-E-S-O-M-E. I feel exactly the same way about swagger. ‘Quiet confidence’ as you said, then kick somebody’s ass. And as my college hockey coach used to say … “Act like you’ve been there before”.

  37. Defense Rules Says:

    @Alvin Scissors Harper … “so I spend my time looking at the world through the word “risk,” which continually drives my wife nuts as I always envision a worst case scenario and prepare for that.”

    I do EXACTLY the same thing, then prepare as best I can to mitigate the ‘risk’ and press on. Words like ‘Hold my beer’ and ‘Watch this’ too often followed, and oftentimes it didn’t turn out very well. CS Lewis was right.

    I can see the Bucs steadily gaining confidence, and that’s a VERY good thing. But like Cobraboy says, it’s easy to get humiliated if you start believing that victory is yours before you earn it. I think the veterans on this team will keep that in check though & not buy into the hype. One game at a time.

  38. orlbucfan Says:

    I will take quiet, intelligent, confidence over dimwit, arrogant, swagger anytime and anyplace. Bucs have a unselfish locker room according to all reports. That works for me! 🙂

  39. bucnole Says:

    Don’t want to be a downer. . . but this has TRAP GAME written all over it.
    Hope I’m wrong

  40. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Cobra and D.R.

    Agree with both of you and your opinions on swagger and trash talking.

    Of course I’m old school and so my absolute idol when it comes to showing a great amount of “quiet swagger” was Jimmy Brown. Run past your butt…run over your butt…like tackling the proverbial sewer lid and when asked why he NEVER ran back to the huddle he claimed he wanted to go back slowly every play so the opposition couldn’t tell if they got in a good lick or not.

    Brown had too much smarts to let the D key on any weakness and far too much swag to let a defender take any joy out of landing a shot on him.