The Buccaneers currently stand at 0-6, with enough turmoil to last a generation.
Starting with the mishandling and subsequent release of a truculent Josh Freeman, the Buccaneers have had a bad go of it in the press.
There was the leak of personal medical information of Freeman’s.
There were rumors of the vote for team captain being rigged.
There was/is the MRSA outbreak, which caused the Atlanta Falcons to have the visiting locker room at the Georgia Dome to be disinfected by a hazmat team so that no one else would catch what the Buccaneers have.
Ironically, MRSA seems to be the only thing the Buccaneers players are catching, which has led to whispers about the longevity of head coach Greg Schiano, who has the Bucs on track to miss the playoffs for the sixth year in a row.
The way I see it, Buccaneers fans should take these times and relish them.
With expectations of a playoff berth gone and mass changes from top to bottom looming, watching the Bucs is a stress-free experience. All Bucs fans need to do this season is hope the skill-position players stay healthy and be happy when the team loses, which should translate into the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.
As a die-hard fan of my sports teams, I live and die with each win. It’s an emotional roller coaster that I will never fully admit to anyone, but it is very real and very insane.
That is why I don’t get as crazy when one of my teams is having a terrible season, as it makes for a much less stressful time when there are no expectations.
Take my New York Mets for example. When they won the National League East title in 2006 and ended up losing in Game 7 to the hated St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, falling just short of getting back to the World Series, I died a little inside. To be teased like that is just terrible.
For the next few seasons, I had high expectations, but the Phillies proceeded to win division titles while the Mets choked away playoff chances.
It was agony.
Now, after a handful of losing seasons, I am resigned to the fact that the Mets stink out loud. I can actually enjoy them, without the stress and anger of playing badly.
If tragedy + time = comedy, then I offer that sucky teams + time = relaxation.
I used to spend countless hours watching every Mets game and fretting over every little coaching decision.
Now, I’m happy if the team plane has a decent landing.
What happened, is I have put the time in and earned my bliss.
This, of course, does not apply to teams that never win.
I’m looking at you, Cubs fans.
But this is not the case with the Bucs.
They had a nice run of playoff appearances and even won the Super Bowl in 2003. There was an expectation of excellence built by former coaches Tony Dungy and John Gruden and their staffs.
Now, those days are gone and it’s time to take a deep breath, because it won’t always be this bad.
Look at the Kansas City Chiefs.
They were the NFL’s doormat last season with a 2-14 record. This season, the Chiefs are the only undefeated team in the NFL with a 7-0 record. All they did was change their coach and get a new quarterback. That’s the beauty of the NFL; teams can turn around quickly.
So cheer up, Bucs fans. There will be days when every game has life-altering consequences, but not this season.
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