As I emerged from the week long seclusion while finishing (or attempting to, at least) my speculative fiction short story collection to watch the Buccaneers face the New York Jets, something struck me; I'm really sick of this season.
I'm sick of seeing high priced offensive players look like they could care less what is going on.
I'm sick of seeing these coaches look beyond clueless.
I'm sick of seeing guys that shouldn't be starting for any defensive line in the NFL not get to the quarterback.
I'm sick of seeing this team get beaten by backup quarterbacks (By the way, has that ever been done? A team losing to backup quarterbacks in three consecutive weeks? Elias Sports Bureau, get on that!).
I'm sick of seeing the defense give up 150-plus yards rushing.
I'm sick of seeing Raheem Morris' press conferences.
I'm sick of seeing Derrick Ward.
I'm sick of the running game not supporting the rookie quarterback by averaging a paltry 1.4 yards per carry.
I'm sick of not seeing Earnest Graham run the ball.
I'm sick of seeing opposing fans celebrating at Raymond James Stadium.
I'm sick of seeing a horrible game plan that doesn't play to the strengths of the team's rookie QB.
I'm sick of seeing said rookie QB forcing balls to Antonio Bryant and getting picked off.
I'm also sick of seeing him fumble; where's the stickum when you need it?
I'm sick of seeing the Rams lose too, meaning that the Bucs may not even get a chance to pick the one player who could make a dramatic difference for their football team next year.
I'm sick of seeing receivers run the wrong route 13 games into the season.
I'm sick of the Glazers funneling money from the Buccaneers to Manchester United.
I'm sick of seeing the offense not get first downs until the third quarter.
I'm sick of seeing the guys that Jon Gruden drafted and Mark Dominik, overpaid not make a lick of difference in this team.
I'm sick of Sabby Piscitelli.
Mostly, I'm sick of seeing this team lose.
I don't have the answers (apparently neither do the Glazers), but what I do know is that this is probably the worst Buccaneer team I've ever seen. Believe me, that's not hyperbole.
I'm too young to remember the '76 Bucs. I've seen some putrid Bucs teams in the '80s under the tutelage of Leeman Bennett, Richard Williamson, and Ray Perkins.
I don't ever remembering it being this bad.
Maybe it's too far removed from my consciousness. After a little over a decade of pretty good football (with a couple bad years sprinkled in), I haven't felt this bad about the Bucs in a while.
There is no hope. Even the one thing Buc fans had to hang their hat on for this year, the play of young Josh Freeman, has gone down the tubes.
So where do we go from here? When you're at the lowest of lows, what can you do to rise back up?
Do you give Raheem another year? Another year for what? Are the Glazers going to suddenly become the free spending Glazers of the late '90s, who would spend whatever it took to put this team in position to win the Super Bowl? Not bloody likely with that gigantic Man U payment coming due soon.
So what can this inexperienced coach do with a roster lacking talent? Nothing.
If you blow up everything, will the Glazers spend the money to bring in a Cowher, Shannahan, or Holmgren?
Again, probably not.
Still, the Glazers have to realize that their true cash cow, the Buccaneers, is about to run dry. There was 40-something thousand fans at the ballgame yesterday, and a good percentage of them were Jets fans.
You'd have to imagine there will be a large deficit of renewals as most of those fair-weather Buc fans look to find something else to spend their money on.
Maybe instead of devoting a gazillion dollars to the next soccer player, the Glazers can funnel some of that money into a president like Homlgren, who, in a Parcells role, would revamp the entire organization top to bottom.
Or bring in a guy like Cowher—who could immediately change the culture in the organization and give it the direction it sorely needs.
How about a few veterans that can provide some leadership to the younger players on the team? I know they wanted to move away from the Jon Gruden band-aid formula, but you do need SOME vets.
One thing is certain, Joel and Bryan. Status quo means you'll be buying up about 40,000 tickets to avoid the blackouts next season.
You're killing the golden goose.
Rededicate yourselves to the team and your fanbase while you still have one left.
In the end, all I want for Christmas is for this horrid season to be over with NOW! I want to be able to forget this one the way I forgot the terrible Richard Williamson experiment and the Leeman Bennett years.
I just want it to go away so I don't feel sick to my stomach any more. I have to say it's probably the first time in my life I've felt this way. I have always hated the end of the NFL season, especially when the Bucs fail to qualify for the playoffs. It makes for a long offseason.
This year, I welcome it and I can't wait for it. Just three more weeks of hell, fans.