That was ugly

The defense did a better job today but Gradkowski is getting steadily worse. At this rate the Bucs don't look like they will be able to win an away game with the possible exception of Cleveland. Been busy lately but hope to get a full recap out later this week.


Much respect

...to the Eagles Fanhouse blogger who carried out his end of the bet. Enrico even throws in a Scott Kazmir and O.J. reference (the juice not the Juice).

Still waiting for the Bengals blogger to carry out his end of the deal.


Go Matt, Go!

You know I am a misplaced Bucs fan. I now live in Redskins territory, so it was just luck that I had five native Tampans (this doesn't even include my husband or myself, we were both born in the midwest) in my living room on Sunday when Matt Bryant kicked that 62 year field goal in the last seconds of the game.

We were screaming so loud that my two year old son started crying. He didn't know what was going on.

Way to man up Matt. I know you haven't had the best season but if you are going to hit a big one, that was the time.

Yes, I realize that it should have never gotten that close. I don't know what happened to the defense in that last quarter. I also realize that the game should have never been that close in the first place (thanks Ronde) but it was still nice to see them pull out another big win.


Still reveling in yesterday's victory

...and Donovan McNabb's choke-job.

This is the definition of tooting my own horn, but much like Thomas Edison I am open to attacks of shameless self promotion. Before the Eagles game I wrote such a prophetic statement it's accuracy is matched only by an atomic clock and/or Nostradamus.

Donovan McNabb may be the hottest thing since flash pants but Bruce Gradkowski is the coldest quarterback since the Cryogenian Era. Gradkowski doesn't have ice water running through his veins, he has sub-zero glacial H2O. If I needed a quarterback to rack up stats in garbage time I would turn to McNabb, if I needed to win a game Gradkowski is the man.
Kneel before Zod.

But in the interest of fair and balanced reporting, I feel obliged to mention the St Pete Times Bucshotz (which I originally clicked on in a case of mistaken identity/trademark infringement[?]), which provides us with the worst reason to own HD TV. (Hint: the reason is not Eva Longoria.)

Hey, it's Eva Longoria....in a bikini!

Pukey McNabb

Back in college, there was this freshman who was rushing my fraternity who we had nicknamed Pukey Mike. Pukey Mike seemed like a decent guy when he wasn't drinking but you give a beer to him and he just couldn't handle it. Pukey Mike never got into my fraternity and ended up heading off to some other fraternity where he made sure their hallways reaked of vomited beer and cheap pizza.

Donovan McNabb reminds me a lot of Pukey Mike. Decent guy most of the time but he melts under the spotlight. You've probably seen this clip else where, but kudos to the Eagles Fanhouse blogger for bringing it to light.


Best Bucs Gameday Post

Sticks preview here, and Fanhouse preview here. Live draft will begin shortly after kickoff.

Live Bloggin:

1st Quarter

-And I tune into the game just as McNabb throws an intercepion to Juran Bolden, which is incredibly surprising. Not that I don't expect McNabb to throw an interception, I just don't expect Bolden to make the pick. With Kelly out Bolden is the weak link in the secondary.

-Ouch. The Bucs have negative -2 passing yards in the first quarter. This might be the first rough outing for the rookie out of Toledo.

2nd Quarter

-The Eagles Fanhouse blogger has a live blog going on here if you are so interested.


-I think Ronde was gettin' jealous of all the attention his twin brother was gettin' this week and decided to do something about it. Also I will be moving the live blog into the comments to section to try and conserve space.

Final Score: Bucs 23, Eagles 21

Gruden continues to make the Eagles his bitch, and McNabb has another choke job to add to his resume. You can find my Fanhouse quick recap here.

Random side note: The NFL needs to do a better job of calling the roughing the passer penalty more consistently in situations where the defender falls into the legs of the quarterback. Two identical plays in this afternoon's games where called two different ways.

The first was a penalty against a Skins defender who fell into Peyton Manning's legs after he released the ball. The second was a non-call against a Vikings defender who fell into Matt Hasselbeck's legs a la Carson Palmer.


And I thought Philly fans were bad

As some of you know, I have a running bet at the Fanhouse were each week I place a wager with the opposing team's blogger. I was on the losing end of every bet but still held up my end of the bargain. And when the Bucs finally broke into the win column this week I thought I could finally savor my opponent's come-uppance.

Except it looks like the Bengals blogger is going to welch on his bet, and when he was called out.....well, let's just call the Bengals fans for what they are, sore losers.

UPDATE: I've been fairly vacant around these parts lately but I plan on live blogging Sunday's game against the Eagles. Here's hoping the Eagles Fanhouse blogger doesn't pull a JD when the Bucs win.

Booger trade marks turning point

Mark this date: October 17, 2006. I hesitate to place too much emphasis on the Booger dumping but I think the trade will mark a turning point in the Bucs franchise. Not the same way hiring Gruden did but important nonetheless.

As good of a guy as he was (he did agree to restructure his salary last season) Booger never lived up to the expectations raised by Warren Sapp’s play (although that may have been impossible for anyone even Sapp to duplicate). When not injured Booger was underperforming on the field and being called out for his poor play by Gruden.

Dumping Booger signals that the Bucs have given up on the season, and plan on rebuilding an aging defense. Of the ten remaining starters on the defense, six of them are 30 years or older. And only one starter is under 25, Will Allen. The Bucs are badly in need of a talent infusion on the defensive side of the ball.

I have already publicly campaigned for Quenten Moses, the speedy defensive end out of Georgia. With Booger’s departure I will add Marcus Thomas, the next Warren Sapp right down to the marijuana suspension, to the list.

For now the Bucs have no depth at defensive tackle. Kiffin had been using a three man rotation at the position with Wyms spelling Hovan and Booger. Which means with Booger out seventh round rookie Julius Jenkins will see more playing time.


Bucs trade Booger

Receiving a second round pick from the man who drafted McFarland.

I'll have more on this later but for right now I think it's a good move even if it does leave the Bucs with painfully little depth before their matchup against the hated Eagles.


I'll Take It

It was ugly. It was questionable. I'm not all that sure it was legitimate. But it was win, and I'll take it.



Not a good time to be a Bucs fan. The team has had it's fair share of WTF? moments brought to light in the past week.

First, Simms turned down a 5 year, $10 M extension last offseason.

Then, Scott brings up the fact that the Bucs would be better with SUPER BOWL MVP DEXTER JACKSON. (Although in the Bucs defense Jermaine Phillips not Will Allen has been the problem in the secondary.)

And now Deadspin is poking fun at the Buccaneer.com intro, which has always been fairly atrocious, and which this site has ignored much like your family ignores that one uncle who drinks a bit too much and makes off-color jokes.

There's just something mean-spirited about kicking a fanbase when they're down.


I Hate the NCAA

This is what college football has come to, picking on Division 1-AA teams better known for their academics than their athletics. (Note: this has nothing to do with the Bucs but since this involves my alma mater and this is my soapbox I'm writing on it anyway.)

The results of the NCAA's ban on "offensive" Native American mascots are as pathetic as they were predictable. Rich schools such as FSU were able to bribe the local tribe to okay their use of the Seminole mascot, while more impoverished schools are forced to drop such "offensive" mascots such as this...

2 feathers. The NCAA's supposedly hard line stance against "offensive images" has taken it's victim. Shame on you William and Mary for daring to insult Native Americans with your two feathers. Never mind that W&M was originally an Indian school. Job well done NCAA.


The Pollyanna Post

You may make fun of me and call me dreamer, but I thought the Bucs looked pretty good yesterday.

At least in the first three quarters.

But really, I thought Gradkowski played pretty well. ESPECIALLY for his first NFL game. I mean, did you see that crazy pass to Galloway? Nice.

I think I have actually regained some hope.

These aren't the Bucs of old. Our defense is not quite the same, but the offense looks pretty good. I know! I am as surprised as you are. But isn't it a pleasant surprise?

Think about it. The teams the Bucs have played so far have a combined 12 - 4 record. That isn't bad, especially when you consider that three of those losses were to each other.

I guess the bad news is that the schedule doesn't get any easier.

But I digress. I am going to be positive this week. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought Bruce Gradkowski was going to Rob Johnson us, but he didn't. He looked good, Galloway looked fantastic and Cadillac ran well. I'm sticking with that all week.

Come on. We need to hang on to something.


Best Bucs Gameday Thread

Sticks preview here, and Fanhouse preview here.

Halftime thoughts:
Grads and the offense looks good, but the defense is playing like crap. Missing tackles is their number one problem, which is atypical for a Kiffin defense.

My quick recap is up. My quick recap on the quick recap, defense sticks but there's hope for the offense.

Final score: Saints 24, Bucs 21

A quick rant, what the hell happened to the defense? They either got really old really fast or Kiffin is doing something wrong. It's hard to believe that replacing two defensive coaches (Marinelli and Tomlin) would have this big of an impact. The Bucs missed tackles and looked unprepared against the Saints defense. But I guess it could be worse, nobody ruptured a spleen.

Random observation while watching the Sunday night game:
Good thing the Bucs didn't draft left tackle Marcus McNeill in the first round instead of Davin Joseph. 'Cause as Michael Lewis pointed out right guards are MUCH MORE VALUABLE than left tackles.


And Tampa Bay finally gets a win

Hey-O, Tampa Bay's other sport is back and in one night they have managed to do what the Bucs haven't been able to achieve through four weeks, win a game. Of course, that is a lot easier when you are beating up on a team nicknamed for a songbird.

Of course, for all your puck-pushing goodness head over to BoltsMag, even if John still hasn't found any pictures of the ice girls.

In the words of Judge Smails, well John we're waiting.



With a brief respite from work obligations I figured I would run down my rankings of the top six teams in each conference. Why the top six you ask? Because as good as the AFC is (or as bad as the NFC is) only the top six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs. My thoughts are at the bottom.

1. Indianapolis
2. New England
3. Cincinnati
4. San Diego
5. Baltimore
6. Jacksonville

7. (Odd man/men out) Pittsburgh/Denver

1. Chicago
2. Carolina
3. Philly
3A. Washington
5. Seattle
6. Atlanta

- Indy, New England and Cincy are all inter-changable in the top three at this point, i.e. I could just as easily put Cincy at #1 as #3. Three best quarterbacks in football. Indy and Cincy are remarkably similar, almost identical teams. Great offenses, great receivers, average backs. And you can run the ball down both teams throats. New England has less talent than either team but better coaching than both.

- I like San Diego above Baltimore come the playoffs for a couple reasons. Rivers should get better as the season goes on, while everyone is waiting for McNair to suffer that inevitable injury. Plus, Baltimore barely beat San Diego in Baltimore. Neutral field, the Chargers win that one. Although I trust Billick a lot more come playoff time than Schottenheimmer.

- If you watched any of the NFC playoff games you could pretty much predict how the conference would play out. Carolina didn't have enough offensive weapons to beat Seattle, so they added Keyshawn and DeAngelo Williams. The Bears offense carried the team in the playoffs (and Sexy Rexy looked good), while the defense choked. And the Giants and Bucs looked horrible. You throw in the inevitable post-Super Bowl collapse by Seattle and the NFC has played out before the season even started.

- Speaking of Carolina, don't people realize by now they do this every season? They start out slow and then win down the home stretch. They are always a dangerous second half team. In fact, considering the huge Achilles Heel (100 Best Bucs points if any Falcon fan can point out the weakness) of the Falcons I will go ahead and GUARANTEE THE PANTHERS WIN THE NFC SOUTH.

- The NFC East is a mess but it will come down to Washington and Philly with Dallas playing the spoiler. I give the edge to Philly since McNabb is just nasty right now, while the Skins defense has looked sub-par. Although if Westbrook is more injured than Portis I might be inclined to give the edge to the 'Skins.


A Collective Sigh of Relief

I don't mean to be a Negative Nancy, but is anyone else thrilled to death that The Bucs have a bye this week?

I feel like I can just relax and watch football.

This is going to be long season isn't it?