When ever it's been a slow news week with the Bucs you can always turn to the D-Rays for some comic relief. Two days ago Joey "Blazing Speed" Gathwright crashed into the wall while catching a potential triple. The catch was the top play on ESPN's baseball tonight, but Gathwright also made a bit of fool of himself running full speed into the wall before falling on his ass. He still caught the ball but not before taking a blow to his pride.
Gathwright's team mates, being the sensitive and caring guys that they are, decided to remind Gathwright of this catch by marking the outline in tape. Think the chalk outlines around dead bodies on one of the fourteen Law and Orders. Gathwright did injure his shoulder on the catch and will be out of the lineup for the next couple of days, but Lou Piniella has said he will use Gathwright as a pinch runner in the interim.
One of the guys I didn't mention who performed really well in the game against the Jaguars was rookie Barrett Ruud. Currently, Ruud backs up Shelton Quarles at the middle linebacker position but Quarles is getting older and it only a matter of time before Ruud takes over the middle backer position. One of the ideas I wish I could take credit for is moving Quarles to outside linebacker, which would promote Ruud to starting in the middle. You would have a starting linebacker corp of Derrick Brooks, Ruud and Quarles. The Bucs would have to suffer some rookie mistakes, but this looks like the most talented linebacker starting line they could put on the field.
Finally, the NCAA has reversed its decision to ban the Seminole mascot from the post season. While I applaud the NCAA for raising the issue of racist Native American images in sports, the way the decision was implemented was heavy handed and illogical.
The Seminole Tribes of Florida and Oklahoma both support FSU's use of the Chief Osceola (in fact the Florida tribe helps to design the FSU mascot). It sounds like the NCAA originally decided to institute this ban after a member of the Oklahoma tribe wrote a letter to the NCAA protesting the FSU mascot. But this letter writer (while being a Seminole Indian) did not officially represent the Oklahoma tribe. I personally don't think college sports have that many offensive Native American images (only three or four), instead some of the worst offenders are in the professional leagues, for example the Cleveland Indians or Washington Redskins.