Monday, December 08, 2008

RESTECP



Respect is one of the most ubiquitous themes in modern day sports. No matter where you go, you here athletes and media members talking about respect in one way or another. Everybody wants respect, even those that already have it. For an example of this, look no further than last Saturday's SEC Championship game. Even though Florida was favored by 10 entering the game, the postgame articles were littered with quotes from Gator players talking about how nobody thought they were tough enough or how they had been motivated by people questioning their toughness in comparison to Alabama. You see, thats the thing about respect, you can use it as a means of motivation no matter who you are. You just have to be creative. Michael Jordan was legendary for this, finding slights in innocuous comments that other athletes would brush off and then using those comments to motivate him to destroy his opponents. Nobody used respect better for his own personal agenda than Jordan and nobody displayed how great a fuel the need to be respected could be than he did.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, however, need not be creative in their search for a lack of respect. It's everywhere they turn. The Bucs are easily the least respected good team in the NFL (just look at the difference in the way the Panthers, also 9-3, are regarded about by the media). In fact, I'd make the case that you can't find another 9-3 team in the last 5 years of the NFL that is/was as lightly regarded as the Buccaneers are. And you know what, I don't think this lack of respect is an egregious oversight on anyone's part. I watch the Bucs play every week and even I'm surprised they are 9-3. So, it shouldn't be very surprising that the Panthers are favored by 3.5 points going into tonight's game in Charlotte.

The Panthers are at home, in front of what promises to be a raucous crowd, and the team, as a whole, has been rolling lately. Their rushing attack has been rejuvenated and they've returned to the style of play that took them to a Super Bowl a few years back. The Bucs on the other hand have gone down 18 and 17 points in the first quarter on the road to Kansas City and Detroit, respectively, this season. Of course, they rallied to win both of those games but the Panthers are not the Chiefs or Lions and a deficit like that would surely doom any chances that the Bucs have of winning this game and taking control of the NFC South. Thats why this game is about more than just the division lead. I'm sure the Bucs want respect on a national level. I'm sure they think they've earned the right to that respect. But I'm also sure they won't truly get the kind of respect that they crave if they can't go into their biggest rival's stadium on Monday night and walk out with a victory. It doesn't have to be pretty (and most likely, it won't be) but they have to find a way to win if they're going to get respect. That's another thing about respect, sometimes you just have to take it.

And, as much as I'd like to take Tampa here. Panthers (-3.5)

23 comments:

zoltan said...

A lot of that lack of respect stems from the comparatively geriatric age of their offensive skill position players.

TJ said...

Zoltan, how pumped are you for Dick Jauron Firing Day?

Mark said...

Not just the age but the lack of production as well. Like I said, I get the lack of respect and understand the reasons why but they are still a 9-3 football team.

With regards to the skill players, I was the one who brought up how the Bucs were one of the few teams in the league without enough explosive players on offense to adequately run the Wildcat. And I was right, because when they finally decided to run it, it was Warrick Dunn taking snaps. Uggh.

TJ said...

Georgetown is beating Savannah St right now 75-29.

There are still 11 min left in 2nd half.

TJ said...

Brad Hoover, hands like frying pans.

zoltan said...

I am still at work so I'm not pumped about anything. I doubt they'll fire Big Swinging Dick Jauron as they just gave him an extension a few weeks ago. Ralph Wilson has no idea where he is any more.

TJ said...

Are you fucking serious? They gave that guy an extension?

Georgetown won the above referenced game 100 to 38.

Mark said...

Good God the Bucs are fucking terrible in the red zone.

Greg said...

Oh Antonio!

Mark said...

It'd be great if the Bucs could ever put two solid WRs on the field at the same time.

TJ said...

Steve Smith...all that hate...but reallly fucking good.

zoltan said...

Ike Hilliard is solid like a statue.

Greg said...

Dexter Jackson....what a waste of a pick THAT was...

Mark said...

I'm hopeful Dexter developed once he puts on weight.

Good to see the Antonio is still a clueless asshole. A talented clueless asshole, but an asshole nonetheless.

Fantastic run by Caddy to finish that drive. He runs with purpose. Too much for his frame it seems.

Greg said...

What's wrong with the tackling? All night, the D is whiffing on tackles.

TJ said...

I caught Steve Young in the pregame, and he said Steve Smith would catch 140 balls in the West Coast offense. I laughed it off, but you know what, he might be right.

Mark said...

I agree, a lot missed tackles by the LBs.

I bet this game gets a horrible number because most people dont care about these teams but its a damn good game with two really solid teams.

TJ said...

I am very impressed by the Panthers tonight, especially their running game.

Mark said...

Wow. Carolina's just running it down Tampa's throat right now.

Mark said...

Obviously, the rest of their games won't be at home and on MNF but, I agree with TJ, they are a very dangerous and balanced football team.

Mark said...

By, "they", I mean Carolina, of course.

TJ said...

The Bucs aren't very good at catching passes out of the backfield. Jesus.

TJ said...

Holy shit that was a nice catch.