“Sex Appeal”

December 30th, 2020

Bucs fans and Bucco Bruce Arians may not want to hear it, but this easily could come true.

Earlier this week, Joe brought an item from Peter King of NBC Sports who predicted the Bucs will get either a 4:25 p.m. Sunday kickoff timeslot for their first playoff game or a primetime time slot on Sunday evening.

This year with seven playoff teams from each conference and only the top-seed getting a bye, that means each conference will play three games in the opening round. So there will be six games total next weekend; three on Saturday and three on Sunday.

Because of the ability to draw eyeballs and his international superstar image, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady will likely be set up for the most viewers — and that ain’t the 1 p.m. kickoff window.

Yesterday on the channel that bears his name, “Mad Dog Radio” heard exclusively on SiriusXM Radio, the one and only Chris “Mad Dog” Russo predicted it is a no-brainer that if the Bucs travel to play the Cowboys (who are still alive in the NFC East division title race) to open the playoffs, that the game will be on NBC on Sunday night.

Russo said of the possible matchup of Brady facing America’s Team in Dallas before 35,000 fans, “It has sex appeal.”

Joe thinks Russo is absolutely onto something. The Bucs have star power. The Cowboys are the Cowboys and they draw eyeballs. And given that NBC wets its pants from slobbering over NFC East teams — that game is sure to be a ratings blockbuster.

(TV networks don’t give a damn about matchups. They care only about ratings. The Cowboys hosting Brady and the Bucs’ fantasy football team would bring eyeballs.)

“That game would have juice,” Russo said.

Russo is the strangest sports fan Joe knows of. Joe absolutely is addicted to one of the greatest sports radio hosts who ever lived, but the dude is beyond odd. Russo carries on about TV ratings the way Joe does about sacks. And you could have one of the greatest games scheduled to be played, but if there are few fans in the seats or the teams are from small markets with no crossover stars (players recognizable to non-sports fans), he doesn’t care.

Russo may be the only sports fan that gives a damn about ratings or attendance. It’s almost as if that’s more important to Russo than who is playing.

For example, in 2019 No. 6 Oklahoma (with Kyler Murray at quarterback and the Sooners would later play in the college football playoffs) faced No. 11 Texas in their annual rivalry game in Dallas. It was a one-score game but Russo the following Monday said he “couldn’t get into it,” basically because the two teams were not undefeated. LOL

(Column Intermission: Joe has about had it with the coward college football coaches hiding behind The Sickness and not doing their jobs. Joe agrees with Russo that college football has been a mess because the schedules didn’t mean a damn thing. Some games were called just a couple of hours before kickoff. You couldn’t even wake up on a Saturday looking forward to any game. Talk about buzzkills! Joe remembers Washington canceled a game claiming all of their offensive linemen had The Sickness. Now hold up! You have 80+ kids on scholarship and who knows how many walk-ons. You couldn’t find enough backup tight ends or fullbacks or linebackers or defensive linemen to convert to offensive line? You only needed 10 guys max. You didn’t prepare players that they may have to play different positions to fill holes because of The Sickness? Shoot, every high school has players that can play multiple positions. Bill Belicheat even had receiver Troy Brown play cornerback in a Super Bowl because of injuries. That’s just lazy, gutless coaching by guys who are looking to duck a game rather than risk maybe taking a loss. Throw all of your players under the bus so you avoid maybe getting hit with a loss. Coaches always ask their players to sacrifice and adapt and adjust and overcome and be flexible. Yet the coaches get a slight bit of adversity thrown at them and they hide like scared rabbits. Cowards!)

We all know how much the Bucs have struggled in primetime games. So if the Bucs face the Cowboys to start the playoffs, and are scheduled for Sunday night primetime, that would be so cool in just about every way possible.

Except knowing that the Bucs play some of their worst ball under the lights.

20 Responses to ““Sex Appeal””

  1. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Hope it is late Sunday because I’ll be driving back from the Keys that day and probably away from TV the preceding slots…

  2. Cole T Says:

    Sunday night prime time, Saturday day time, it’s the playoffs. Every game is a prime time game. Win or go home. The Bucs have to be up and ready for whoever they end up facing, no matter the time or place.

    I could see them getting that late Sunday game, especially if they matched up with Dallas or NYG (Brady’s playoff history against NYG would bring some added intrigue)

    I just don’t want to have to wait all the way until Sunday night to watch their first playoff game in 13 years…that wait may feel almost as long as the 13 years in between! Go Bucs!

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The Cowboys are my most hated team……There is nothing I’d like more than to ruin Jerry Jones’ Sunday night cocktails…..
    But better yet would be for his cocktails to be ruined this weekend and them not make the playoffs….

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    i’ve been hoping we play the cowboys 1st round….lol….redskins have a nasty front4….and alex smith aint turning the ball over…

    cowboys are awful….str8 trash…lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  5. chris L Says:

    i said this the other day. cowboys bucs is guaranteed primetime. i would prefer saturday because waiting so long will suck. also they have to travel and a late game gives them less rest for the following week. i would be ok with a saturday night matchup. make seattle play sunday night they play on the west coast. dont make us do it.

  6. Listnfrmafar Says:

    The primetime jinx is a joke. The team just wasn’t in sync. To play their first PO primetime against the Cowboys after so many years would be sick. Brady primetime in the playoffs, just another yawn. I would feel bad for Dalton leaving that game with a tattoo of the #45 permanently embedded in his forehead. Absolute BEST scenario.

  7. Rob Tanner Says:

    Except knowing that the Bucs play some of their worst ball under the lights.

    That’s so #2020, it will be last years old trend. #2021 the Bucs dominate in prime time!

  8. adam from ny Says:

    gimme the cowgirls…

    and give ’em to me at 4:30 on funday…

    the league knows the bucs are playing sheet ball under the lights…

    if the league is still in the bucs corner, we will get 4:30 sunday…

    if goodell and gang flipped on us, he will give us a night game…just like we got one pro-bowler

  9. Chesapeake Bay Bucco Says:

    Al that speculation is nice, but the Bucs are much more likely to be in Landover, MD playing the WFT and Riverboat Ron Rivera’s anti-cowboys.

  10. Mike Says:

    How many of those 35k fans will be bucs fans with tickets under $100 round trip

  11. John Sinclear Says:

    Based on their history, a prime time game will mean they have the rest of the season off, until OTA’s in April or May, 2021. Simple as that !

  12. SB : Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Joe…….what you are saying in your column intermission mirrors EXACTLY why Ohio State doesn’t belong in the College Playoffs.
    6 games total?????

  13. Joe Says:


    Joe doesn’t believe in the Catholic school nonsense that everyone should be punished for the sins of one or two people. Not tOSU’s fault the B1G is mostly run by inept leadership and other schools had lazy/scared coaches to afraid to play them.

    tOSU (and Nebraska) wanted to play non-conference games and the B1G wouldn’t let them.

    Herbstreit caught all sorts of hell predicting Michigan would dodge tOSU in an effort to Pearl Harbor tOSU’s playoff hopes. But look what happened. He was absolutely right.

  14. Jersey buc Says:

    I think they beat any east team. Dallas is stacked at the wide out position. If they play Dallas they better get to dalton often. Other than that Dallas isn’t that big of a threat

  15. BucEmUp Says:

    If you cant win in prime time then your not prime time….simple as that!

  16. View from 132 Says:

    Odd. The rest of the wet cheerleader photo didn’t load.

  17. Buc Wild Says:

    Joe, I’m a frequent visitor, but seriously — you’ve gotten carried away with “the sickness” talk. Last time I checked, you’re a journalist and you follow AP Style? I don’t see “the sickness” in their style guide. Please stop downplaying the severity of COVID-19.
    A) Joe doesn’t write in AP style.
    B) Joe has not and is not downplaying anything. –Joe

    Our country is losing thousands every day. You want life back to normal, less restrictions, less masks/social distancing — fine. But don’t trivialize something that is killing Americans and making life so much harder for families and our healthcare workers. End of rant. Go Bucs!

  18. SB : Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Fair point Joe.
    I just don’t think they belong in the Conversation IMO.
    True that it isn’t the players’ fault tho.

  19. catcard202 Says:

    I’m not sure anyone should put their faith in PHI beating WAS…Or in the Cowboys not finding a way to lose to the NYG…But really, I do not think it will matter who the Bucs play from the NFC East. They all trash.

    Frankly, I’d prefer no one play in front of fans in the playoffs…Fans are a Covid risk for both teams & a risk future playoff games. Why risk any teams chances at making a SB run for $3-4M in gate receipts in the Wildcard game???

  20. Buczilla Says:

    I would love to see us kick the dog snot out of the cowboys.