Eye of the Beholder

I'm an absolut gasbag and a dumbass for suggesting that yesterday's game might be close and/or exciting. What was I smoking for thinking the Bucs might have a shot in this game? I should have the Mayor of Las Vegas cut off all my fingers for the inaccurate predictions which I made during a haze of fatigue from hours spent mountain biking.

As I mentioned before this was the first game I have attended all season (since I moved to Northern Virginia about a year ago). Additionally, it was the first time I had been in a luxury box.

And not just any luxury box, but the Raymond James Financial suite.

You know those luxury cruise commercials where the guy in the business suit drones on about how he was treated like royalty? That's how I feel after watching a game from the luxury box. There's just no way I can return to the regular seating. I have seen how the better half lives, and I am now worse off for the experience.

Forget the free food, free beer and private bathroom, the best feature of the Raymond James suite is that it's right on the 50 yard line. From the suite you have an unmatched view of the field. And I'll give this to Tom James, the President of Raymond James, he watched the game up until the ugly end when Simms threw that last interception.

About half of the dozen people in the suite could have cared less if the Bucs won or lost. The two people sitting in fornt of me spent more time dancing to the music than they did watching the game. Most of suite was gone by the fourth quarter (but then again so was most of the stadium). But with two minutes left in the fourth quarter Tom and I were the only ones still watching the game with interest. And for those of you who think I'm saying this to kiss up to Tom James, I'm willing to bet he'll never read this blog in a thousand years. Dude's got more important things to do, like planning for the New World Order.

Anyway, on to my notes from the game:

  • Kenyatta Walker is Julius Peppers' bitch. Three false start penalties on Kenyatta in one series, including two back-to-back penalties. Peppers, who notched two sacks in this game, gets my vote for best defensive end in the game. He's a much more complete player than the Colt's end Dwight Freeney, who is vulnerable to the run.

  • I don't think Cadillac Williams is 90%, or even 80% yet. While the Panthers do have one of the top rushing defenses, Williams didn't seem to have the pop to his runs that we saw in the first three games. At the beginning of the season, Williams would run over defenders. I only saw Williams do that once or twice yesterday.

  • Joey Galloway deserves a good deal of the success he has had this season. Last week, he turned a short throw by Simms into a long touchdown. This week he made a nice play on a deep ball by Simms to score another touchdown. It wasn't a great throw by Simms but he threw the ball to where the defender could not reach it. Then Galloway, who had already beaten his man, had to accelerate to get to where the ball was thrown.

  • Simms has to quit throwing to his check down man on third down and long. He got away with it early in the game on a short pass to Alstott on third and ten when Alstott broke several tackles to fight his way for a first down. But later in the game Simms kept throwing to his checkdown man on third and long. On third down you have to throw the ball to a receiver at the line of scrimmage.

  • I'm surprised by the amount of success Stephen Davis had. He has essentially entered the Jerome Bettis/Mike Alstott phase of his career where he is only useful around the goal line. Davis didn't gain many yards in this game, but he did have some key runs to keep Panther's drives alive.

  • Torrie Cox is a decent return man, but my grandmother got tackle better than he could. At least twice on punt coverage Cox ran right past the punt return man. Each time the punt returner gained another five to ten yards after Cox missed the tackle.

  • Finally, I have to admit I enjoyed Steve Smith's sword fighter dance in the fourth quarter. The celebration was original but a little on the sloppy side. I'll give him a hundred Best Bucs Points for creativity but subtract 20 for execution.

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