Thursday, August 30, 2012

ROW 80 DAY 49 – TIME FOR FOOTBALL AND MEATBALL STEW





This title is taken from an actual headline I ran across way back in the late ‘70s in one of those best of-worst of books. Imagine if you will, flouring and seasoning or braising a batch of full-sized pigskins, the kind that are used in the NFL and then dumping them into a huge pot of stew sauce with potatoes, carrots and onions. Let’s try replacing the stew sauce with lame sauce, as my Twitter buddy Gabe Zaldivar @gabezal (on Twitter) over at Bleacher Report says. I am just unreasoningly filled with glee at the term “lame sauce.”

Anyway, speaking of, the Buccaneers played the Redskins last night at the ‘Skins stadium last night. So, we were spared any more suckage in the immediate vicinity, for now, thank god. The fact that we’ve had to listen to the Mighty Wind that is Chris Christie with his “I,” “I,” “Me,” “Me,” bullshit and Ann Romney’s delusional drivel was enough batshit insanity. Sweaty and loud commentaries delivered by heretofore seemingly sane announcers just came off as deranged. What is it about huge political events that make everyone act like a houseful of chimpanzees on acid? The one I really chortled over was the dude who said something like “I have met the American Dream and I have shaken his/its hand,” or some shit. By the time he was done, he’d shaken the hand of just about everyone and everything known and unknown. What the hell are these people drinking backstage? Whatever it is, they need to deliver about 40 barrels of it over here on Nebraska Avenue now.

The limos are still out, oozing up and down Nebraska Avenue, sampling the wares. Or maybe they really are conducting straw polls. Mmm, yeah. But I think Tampa missed a bet for true mayhem by not insisting that last night’s last pre-season football game be held at One Buc Plaza, (why do we have a pre-season? Does anyone truly give a shit? All we ever get is a stinky albatross of a shitty record and hurt players. We all know who will produce and who won’t. There are damn few surprises anymore. The players are well-vetted before regular season starts; it’s stupid.) or whatever pretentious bullshit name they’re calling that damned jumbotron holder now. I really liked the “Sombrero.” That was a nice, quaint name. “One Buc Plaza” sounds like a combination office building/shopping mall. What are they? Designer high-fashion executive football players. Gah.

Well, if Tampa had made them play here, we could have doubled our suck quotient. The Sucs, er, Bucs lost 30 to 3. Yup. Up to our old tricks. Last year, we fired Raheem Morris. He was the sacrificial goat, er coach who took over from Jon Gruden, after Gruden got fired. Morris had never held a head coaching position and had just been made defensive coordinator before Gruden was fired, I think. I'm too lazy to look. Morris was brought in to replace Monte Kiffin, and Morris announced he would handle both jobs. Right there is a huge problem in my book. To me this is analogous to having a symphony conductor who is also going to play Principal Second violin. It’s not going to work. There’s an invisible barrier you cannot cross and a hierarchy that cannot be breached. Whether or not Morris is any good as a Coach remains open, even after what happened.

He got fired last season. The players stopped respecting him if they ever did, in the first place. You see, he thought he could be their friend and still coach them. They would all go out and have drinkies together. That's a no-no. When (or even if) he tried to discipline them, they turned a deaf ear to him, or so I understand from what I’ve read. Admittedly, I haven’t devoured every scrap written about this situation. I love football and organized sports, but I don’t follow it all that intensely and I am no sportswriter; I leave that to pros, like my buddy Gabe (SHAMELESS PLUG FOR GABE ZALDIVAR AND B/R).

All I can tell you is there has to be that barrier. I never went out and had drinks with a conductor as a professional. I partied plenty with my musician buddies, and I know those players do the same. But the conductor, like a coach is there to correct; to make sure the play is made. So, the Buccaneers are once again, in a “rebuilding” mode.

God, that poor team. I have been witness to some shitty playing. I lived through the Lions in the 70-80s era. We got to .500 and the playoffs one year with Wayne Fontes. You’d think we’d won the Super Bowl. Of course, I remember nothing else about that, so we probably lost in the first round. The Lions are so very bad. Almost as bad as the sandlot-Dilfer years. Now, we're talking swillage-bad.

In 2003, when the Bucs won the Super Bowl, I had to leave for a concert tour the next morning. I was on the plane to Atlanta with my cellist friend Spenser; we both had horrible hangovers. We looked at each other in a stupor. We grinned. “Damn! The Bucs won the Super Bowl!”




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