Bucs should win despite their draft position

by Gary Shelton on November 18, 2014 · 5 comments

in Tampa Bay Bucs

The air smells cleaner. The sun shines brighter. The music plays a little louder.

For the moment, the Tampa Bay Bucs have stopped the laughter.

For once, they have won a football game. Yay. Just like that, their plan looks sharper, their coach seems smarter and their future looks better. The winning streak is at one in a row, and everyone is happy.

But was it worth it?

(Insert the sound of grumbling from the Twitter universe.)

This is the plight of a bad team. It cannot even fully enjoy its victories. Despite what those silly things called the NFL standings say, no one says this team is a contender without giggling. The season is decided. Even if the team is better at the end, it will not end happily.

And so there is a large group of fans that would just as soon see this team finish with the worst record possible. That way, the ensuing draft pick will be higher, and we can all listen to Mel Kiper a little more closely.

I know, I know. It’s a defeatist argument, but that’s what the Bucs have done to us. They have not won a playoff game since the Super Bowl, and because of it, the race for the top draft choice is a lot more interesting that watching turtles sprint in this NFC South race. You've won two but you're only two out? Isn't that an argument for Week Four?

It’s a defendable place to stand. A fan takes what a team gives him. Still, I disagree. I think a team needs to win while it can win. I think a coach needs wins to establish his program. I don’t think anyone wants to follow a team that will surrender. What does that say about the future? Otherwise, you are planning on having lunch tomorrow when you are hungry today.

Still, I understand. When a bad team wins, it is easy to picture Peyton Manning transforming into Ryan Leaf, or Andrew Luck becoming Robert Griffin III, or for crying out loud, Derrick Thomas turning into Broderick Thomas. A fan wants his team to have all the possible options as it goes into chase for tomorrow. That's natural. In November, no one dreams of their team drafting, say, Aundray Bruce.

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