The arrival of Tom Brady
Then the most horrible thing in creation happened last year. I got an inkling that TB-Tommy was in talks with Jason Licht and Bucco-Bruce Arians. And, I heard, too, that Brady liked the idea. And the next thing I know, plunk(ett). The Bucs had their new quarterback. It meant so long Jameis Winston, with whom I had a love-hate relationship for five years. Yes, Jameis would be gone, and the “GOAT” would be coming to Tampa.
Shock and awe!
At work, my buddy, “Microsoft” Bob, a dyed-in-the-wool Giants fan, tried to test me. “What are you going to do now that you got Brady.”
In less time than it takes Devin White to sack a quarterback, I spun back with, “Why we’re going to win two Super Bowls. And especially because the Giants don’t have Eli Manning and his trained rabbit foot anymore.”
Some might say I was talking out of turn. The man had barely been on the team for a second, and here I was stating that we, we the lowly Buccaneers, would somehow turn the freight train around, dump the 30-INT life, and manage to squeeze our way into Super Bowl LV. (On a personal note, let’s ditch the Roman Numerals).
And then, I started to see stories about Tom Brady with his new team. No, not the one about going into the wrong house, but the one about him getting the “O” together at Berkeley Preparatory School’s gridiron. Why on earth would he want that?
Oh, I learned later, no OTAs, no pre-season, and no doubt he needed to get time with his team to start building this 10-month goal to win a Super Bowl. Yeah, I know we have one more game to go, but he did manage to get us into the Super Bowl after all. Just on a lark, do any of you fellow BUCS FANS FOR LIFE actually believe we would be here without him? Even his paltry number of picks irked me, but mostly he played clean.
So, that was step one in my “anti-Brady turnaround.” The rest came along in pinches and grabs, not literal. One day, I hear him scolding the team about penalties. How penalties also cost games, as they did against Chicago, as they had for all of the previous five years, and even some before that. Suddenly, that gets cleaned up.
Keeping Brady “clean” was the next thing he pointed out, or maybe it was pointed out to the team (not sure who to credit, Brady or Bruce Arians). Suddenly, it’s clean sheets for Tom. Next were the turnovers, whoosh, and we start causing more than we gave up.
Then, we have the complete game. No turnovers, no penalties, no sacks—oh my! Oh, was that against the Green Bay Packers?