Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Most Discriminated-Against Team In The NFL
It is absolutely remarkable how the Tampa Bay Bucs get absolutely no respect from any of the high-paid, high-powered online and broadcast commentators. Yes, it is obvious that the Bucs have been an underperforming team throughout 90% of their history in the NFL and have had their share of competing with the Lions for the title of the most pathetic team in the league. Unlike the Lions, however, the Bucs did have a brief shining moment in their history at the end of the Dungy era and beginning of the Gruden one where they did get a SuperBowl ring, and made respectable showings in at least some of their playoff appearances in the last decade.
Then why are they considered the black sheep of the NFL?
It boggles the imagination of any Tampa Bay Bucs fan as to why their team is a basement dweller in effectively every "Power Rankings" issued by the various major websites like SI, ESPN, etc. In this morning's NBC Sports Power Rankings, the Bucs were #23. That's a considerable lift from its earlier standing, but please note:
Minnesota Vikings are #19
Dallas Cowboys are #22
Why is that so significant? Neither the Vikes or the Boys have won a game this year! Both those teams are 0-2 and Tampa is 2-0!
What the heck is going on here?
Yes, let's not start the litany of:
- The Bucs defeated two really rotten teams
- The Bucs are young and developing
- Josh is unproven and still a bit erratic
- Cadillac has never recovered from his injuries and likely never will
- Ronde is almost as old as Favre
- The coach is barely qualified to run a Pop Warner offense
- They're owned by the Glazers
Any Tampa Bay Bucs fan knows all that. Especially the last two: And those are really serious handicaps... But you still can't argue with a team in the #1 spot in its division and that hasn't lost a game yet! The winless Vikings with "Should-Have-Retired-Two-Retirements-Ago" Brett? The winless Cowboys who looked like they were playing for Wade's pink slip for the past two games? Better than a 2-0 team? Give your head a shake!
The worst offender in the bigoted, skewed, discriminatory, and totally asinine NFL commentator wars of all was SI's Peter King. After Week One, his waaaaaaaaaaay overlong, rambling, and essentially pointless Monday Morning Quarterback column examined and analyzed every single play in every single game, what the fans were consuming in the stands, how many times they went to the bathroom, the precise textile blend of the jock strap of each and every benchwarmer in the NFL... and never even mentioned the Bucs-Browns game. At all! Every single game in Week One was discussed ad nauseum but the Bucs-Browns never happened: That game according to King must have fallen into the dark matter state where Stephen Hawking will finally end up meeting God and He'll say "Gotcha!"... and take away Hawking's wheelchair.
What do the Bucs have to do to gain some respect? Certainly beating the Steelers next week (as difficult as that may seem) should shut up a lot of the detractors who look at the Bucs and still picture them in creamsicle uniforms going 0-52,390,792. However, I can assure you that should the final score be Bucs 28, Steelers 3, there will still be braindead moron football "experts" placing deadbeats like the Jags and the Broncos (let alone the aforementioned Vikes and Boys) ahead of the Tampa Bay team.
That is just plain discrimination and stupidity.