Has Tampa Bay gotten giddy over success?

by Gary Shelton on October 30, 2020

in general

Fans expect the best from David./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

Are our expectations too high?

In the wake of a championship (the Lightning) and a near one (the Rays), have we gotten spoiled so quickly? Has the hunger to be relevant consumed us?

Do we expect perfection these days? Do we expect Tom Brady to complete every pass, and Ronald Jones II to rush for six yards every carry? Do we want relentless pressure from Jason Pierre-Paul? Do we want Donovan Smith, at least, to stay out of the way?


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There is no quality that fans share more than greed. You want more. You want it all, and you want it now. You never want Lavonte David to miss a tackle, and you don't want Carlton Davis to blow a coverage, and you expect Ndamukong Suh to clog the middle every play. Just that. You don't want wasted time outs or holding calls or pass interference. You want to win every game by 20.

Quick. What grade would you give Tom Brady for this season? He's had a couple of A games, but if you're fair, you'd admit that he's had a couple of Cs, too.

Yet, this morning, I saw an article touting him for league MVP.

And my first thought was "Really?"

Look, I have nothing against Brady, and it's okay with me if, every now and then, he forgets how to count to four. (And the longer he refuses to discuss it, the more certain I am he lost count. It happens.) Sometimes, he has thrown a perfectly awful pass. That happens to everyone, too.

But part of that is on us, too. We didn't expect Kevin Cash to make such a monumental error in Game Six, because we haven't seen it much. We didn't anticipate all the receiver injuries this year.

Why? Let's face it. Aa a sporting community, we have seen a lot of ugly up close. There was a time you could suggest the Bucs were the worst team in the world (except for Cleveland). You could say the same about the Lighting. And the Rays. We've put in our time as a fan base. We've seen bad owners and bad coaches and bad players, and still, we keep coming out.

And now, all of the sudden, we live in Wonderland. Every team has its eyes on a trophy. There are more sporting celebrities than this town as ever seen. You could spend a fortune on replica jerseys if you wanted.

And it has changed us. I remember former general manger Rich McKay, in those days when Tony Dungy couldn't get to the mountain top, saying "Remember when people said they just wanted this team to be competitive? That's all?"

Yeah, I remembered. It lasted about five minutes. But being okay isn't okay, and being pretty good doesn't satisfy anyone.

Hey, I think it's grand that fans expect more. Heck, the tickets cost more, don't they? The emotional investment is more.

So we want better. We want more.

We want it now.

What's the problem?

This week's prediction (if the game is played): Tampa Bay 30, New York Giants 21.

Other NFL games:

Baltimore 21, Pittsburgh 14.

Buffalo 24, New England 20.

Seattle 30, San Francisco 20.

In the colleges:

Florida 24, Missouri 23.

LSU 35, Auburn 17.

Memphis 66, USF 17.

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