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Monday, Mar 19, 2018
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Even frustrated Bucs fans hold out hope

Many fans wrote back when I threw out an all-points the other day, asking if Bucs fans are perpetually in a state of expecting the worst.

Check out some of these responses, and where they’re from. There are Bucs fans across the county, even the world. Serious.

Subbu Pitchcapping from Philadelphia wrote:

“I've been a long time Bucs fan since I went to my first game in 1996 at old Tampa Stadium as a 5-year old. Until I was 18, I lived in the Tampa Bay area with my parents and attended games each and every season. 

“It was quite a roller coaster ride during that period (1996 to 2008). Bert Emanuel's non-catch in 1999, Tony Dungy's firing in 2001, the miracle 2002 season, the underachieving 2003 and 2004 squads, the resurgence in 2005 with Chris Simms and Cadillac, and the debacle of 2008 leading to Gruden's firing.

“But even after I left Tampa, and I traveled all over the world (I've lived in San Francisco, New York, London, Dubai, and Singapore), I still never missed a single game. I followed diligently the tenures of Raheem Morris (over his head), Greg Schiano (not a good leader), Lovie Smith (game has passed him by), and now the Dirk Koetter years.

“After all of this, today I have to say I feel exasperated. I like the guys on our team (Gerald, Lavonte, Kwon, Jameis, etc.). They are good people. But I get the feeling they don't know how to win. I get the feeling that they would like to win, but they are content taking home a paycheck.

"Who are our leaders on this team? I think Jameis has that fire, but he is too inconsistent. Maybe he'll get better with age - but it didn't take Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning very long to emerge as Top-5 quarterbacks. 

"All I can say it is very frustrating, but the Bucs are my team and I will continue to follow and support them no matter what part of the country I'm in.”

Dan Bean from Richmond, Va., wrote:

“This season has deja vu written all over it. High expectations for the draft, training camp and then the season. Full of potential but then they fizzle. To answer your question, "Do you have your preparedness kits ready? The beach umbrellas? A good book to read? Something else for Sundays in case the season goes off the rails?

“No, quitting is just not an option. This team is like family, they disappoint sometimes, but what are you going to do? Jumping ship is just out of the question. I'm getting my orange Steve Spurrier jersey ready for the Bills...and here we go again! Go Bucs!”

Scott Felker from Oviedo wrote:

“I am 34 years old and have been a Bucs fan since I was a child. My uncle lived in the Tampa Bay area for a number of years, so that, plus the proximity of Orlando to Tampa made the Bucs a natural selection as my team of choice growing up and I have stood by and been a fan ever since.

“Last year was certainly promising and lead to expectations and optimism that this team hasn't seen in over a decade. I would be lying if I said at this point in the season I wasn't disappointed. Gerald McCoy said it best on Sunday about how we have given games away and allowed teams to beat us. There is no shame in losing to the New England Patriots, many teams do. But that game was playing right into our hands. We can talk about kicks (rightfully so) but there were missed plays all around that could have flipped the outcome. What happened this past Sunday in Arizona was shocking. To have almost a repeat of what happened last year left me speechless. Allowing Case Keenum to go to 4-0 against defies logic.

“The common theme that I have seen, a silver lining if you will, in all three loses is - this team does play hard and they are willing to play until the final whistle. I do believe this team is talented, has a collection of guys who want to win and are willing to put the prep time in. I think Dirk still has a strong voice and has good control of the team.

“This team is talented. You listen to them post game, listen during the week and know they want to win just as bad as the fans. The mindset seems right from a player and coach perspective. Every team goes through a rough patch and the Bucs have cashed in a little earlier than many expected. I think this team has the right leaders who will help allow them to respond when their back is against the wall. It starts Sunday ... " 

Jan Hermann from Hamburg, Germany, wrote:

“We are from Germany and are flying to TB for a minimum one game a year since 1992. As we already saw a victory against the Giants, I am still so satisfied with the season, as my Bucs game record since 2010 was zero victories and six losses (highlighted with ugly losses against Ravens, Eagles and Broncos). That (Giants win) was so important for me.

"I do think it will be a decent season as Doug Martin will be a big lift. But taking about playoffs? Do not think so at moment, but I wait for the retour of Kwon Alexander. The team was too much hyped before the season started. I think they will go 8-8, but I am a pessimist. I do think that with a good kicker we would be 3-2 for sure now and would not have that topic."

Raul Garcia from Los Angeles wrote:

“I’ve been a Bucs fan since the days of the Super Bowl win. I was about 9 years old! At the time, I didn’t really know football but my brother (Raiders fan) had a bunch of friends over for the Super Bowl. Of course, EVERYONE there was rooting for the Raiders. I didn’t really understand the game, but just to get my brother mad I would scream out “Go Bucs!

“Maybe like 2-3 years later, I started getting into football and the one team that came to mind was the Bucs. From then on, the rest is history. I’ve stuck with my Bucs since and through all the tough times and good. I watched the 2007 playoff heartbreak to the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants. The 2008 season where we couldn’t win any of the final 4 games to clinch a playoff spot. There was that devastating 2009 season that wasn’t any better. In fact, worse!

“Then came hope when we went 10-6 but a REAL BAD call against the Lions in Week 15 shattered any hope of making the playoffs. Instead of being 11-5 winning the Lions game, we went 10-6 and lost out on the playoffs due to a tie breaker with the eventual Super Bowl winner the Green Bay Packers.

“Insert the years that follow, losing season after another. With some of the seasons giving us hope, but just ends up being a tease. You just have to not let a few games sum up the season or the team. Keep believing and hope for the best. I really believe Dirk Koetter is gonna take this team far!” 

Penn Frisby from Dunedin wrote:

“As an avid Bucs fan for 34 years, I find that I am losing patience with the team (owners, front office, coaching staff and players) for what may be a permanent basis.  What this team needs assuming the same owners remain, is Jon Gruden.  Win or lose there is something about Jon Gruden that keeps you wanting to come back.  He makes you believe.  I don't think that Jameis is the answer.  With all his good to great qualities, his decisions cost us too many games and now in his third year, nothing has changed from his bad habits. That is bad coaching.

“The current coaching staff must take all the blame for the Arizona game and they must take the blame for pedestrian play such as Vernon Hargraves III's play.  This is a first-round draft pick that seems to be able to do whatever he wants regardless of the outcome.  That is just bad coaching.

“There are formulas that some teams have for consistently good years.  Our owners have no idea how to capture that success and are not willing to find great consultants to help them.  One such potential consultant would be Jimmy Johnson.

“I think that the Tennessee Titans with Jon Robinson as the GM is better prepared for the future than the Bucs and Jason Licht. When a change in coaching or general manager seems to be in order, there is a mad dash at the end of the year to find an answer in just a few weeks and that is such a recipe for failure.”



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The Martin Chronicles

Even frustrated Bucs fans hold out hope