This sounds like a title from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Curse of the Black Hole.
Your Tampa Bay Buccaneers sail for unfriendly waters on Sunday—extremely unfriendly waters. Cursed? Let's face it; the Bucs all-time 0-5 record when visiting Oakland is not something you want to wrap your arms around, especially when the team has a chance to get to 4-4 at the halfway point of the season.
Curse of the Black Hole?
After the joy of last Thursday, perhaps you might scratch your head and wonder if this season is cursed for the Bucs. After upsetting the Vikings, there was great joy and optimism in Tampa. The Bucs were the hottest offense around for their past three games.
Then the air started coming out of the balloon on Sunday. That's when Jay Glazer of Fox reported that corner Eric Wright could be facing a possible suspension for use of the banned substance, Adderall. His co-corner, Aqib Talib, is already in the Adderall doghouse, wherever that may be.
Then the disaster of disasters struck on Tuesday when we got news out of One Buc Place that the Rock of Ages—at least the giant rock of the offensive line, Carl Nicks—was done, done in by his big toe, a toe that will have to be surgically repaired.
"The Bucs are one more injury from not winning another game," warned former Buc Ian Beckles Wednesday during WDAE's Ron and Ian Show on 620 AM The Sports Animal.
How do you feel about Sunday's game?
"Take out Donald Penn and they're done," Beckles declared, reminding us that Penn was the guy hurt before training camp. Bad calf. Beck could be right on this one. Are the Bucs a bad calf away from no more wins?
That's hard to imagine and would be even harder to swallow.
But the fact remains that the Bucs are headed to their West Coast Burial Ground and that would be Alameda County Coliseum, also known as "the Black Hole."
How will the Buccaneer offensive line hold up if Ted Larsen is the new left guard? That's Ted "Holding, No. 62" Larsen, a drive-killer if there ever was one.
This offensive line was finding its mojo and doing it with replacement parts on the right side in the form of Davin Joseph's replacement Jaymon Meredith and Demar Dotson, who unseated Jeremy Trueblood.
No Donald Penn? An awful thought by Beckles.
Trueblood at left tackle? Now that's scary.
What will have to happen now is that this team will have to pull closer together and the offense will have to be more efficient than it has been all season. Josh Freeman will have less time to throw, and Doug Martin will have smaller holes to fit into.
It doesn't sound promising.
But then, it didn't sound promising when Joseph and Adrian Clayborn went down.
Still, the Bucs have managed.
Now Greg Schiano's got his work cut out for him.
There's that curse.
Curse of the Black Hole.
Where's Captain Jack Sparrow when you need him?