Seeing as how this is a Bucs blog, I am required by the Buccaneer Blogging Code to mention that Mike Alstott has officially retired. Hurrah, Mike Alstott is/was awesome and the Bucs will never be the same without him. He is man, a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn.
With Alstott's retirement there is naturally talk about a) the A-Train's chances of getting into the Hall of Fame and, b) retiring #40. I don't believe there is any chance for the former to happen unless the sports writers/voters really have a hard-on for Alstott. And the latter is unlikely as it would set a precedent that would require the Bucs to retire Derrick Brooks', Warren Sapp's and Ronde Barber's numbers as well. Retiring four numbers from one team is a bit much and I can't think of any other teams which have won only one Super Bowl who have done so. If the Bucs are going to retire any numbers from that Super Bowl team they should limit the retired numbers to two: 99 and 55.
Alstott's retirement brings up a much more relevant question, why don't the Bucs have some way to honor their players of the past? This is the Ring of Honor idea which has been bandied about for the past few years. Conventional wisdom is that the Glazers have shied away from a "Ring of Honor" because they are ashamed of the past. A much more likely explanation is that with the exception of a few players there are not a lot of Buccaneers worth honoring, the players which come to mind would be James Wilder, Lee Roy Selmon, Ricky Bell, Hardy Nickerson, Doug Williams. But now with the retirements of Alstott and Warren Sapp, and with Derrick Brooks and John Lynch getting closer to that point the Bucs may finally have enough players to begin honoring them somehow.
In Defense of Jeff Garcia
Garcia's nomination to the Pro Bowl has come under fire in some quarters but ignoring total numbers Garcia put up some impressive stats. Garcia finished with the 3rd best QB rating in the NFC, and also had an impressive yards per completion average. Garcia had 11.6 yards per completion compared to 11.7 for Favre, 11.3 for Hasselbeck and 10.0 for Brees. Total yards and touchdowns can be somewhat misleading as teams which are behind more often (i.e. the Saints) will throw more often and have more passing yards. And as Warrick Dunn can attest to during his time in Tampa Bay touchdowns are not the best measurement of a player's value to a team.