Buccaneers fans shouldn’t be showing disrespect towards former player

Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Gerald McCoy slander by Buccaneers fans has gone on long enough. With Ndamukong Suh unlikely to return, maybe we can call this what it is.

Buccaneers fans are a tough crowd to please. Years of bad teams that didn’t compete and poor play have created a strange dynamic within the fanbase that has some folks supporting every decision by the players and the franchise as golden while others can never be satisfied.

Both groups of fans are wrong in this situation. There is a healthy level of disagreement that can exist within a fan towards their team, even if they love that team more than most other things.

One has to be able to look at these things rationally, and unfortunately, the conversation on Gerald McCoy has been anything but rational in Tampa since his departure.

Go ahead, type in McCoy’s name on Twitter. Heck, look at the comments on this post or prior ones on this site on the topic. McCoy brings out a level of hate from fans that is not just hilariously-misplaced, but also based in no fact or reason.

The Buccaneers were terrible when McCoy was on the team. They were not terrible because McCoy was on the team. The same exact thing can be said for Lavonte David for most of his career, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, etc. We obviously don’t need to go on.

Yet, McCoy is held to a standard that Evans, David, and Godwin weren’t because the Bucs moved on from him.

Fans don’t like that McCoy smiled after losing. I’d smile too if I was selected to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams like he was. Playing well and not being enough to overcome a stagnant offense, terrible quarterback play, and a porous secondary shouldn’t bring anyone down.

McCoy made millions to be one of the best in the world at his craft. Even if the Bucs lost every game forever, he is more than entitled to smile and have a good time on the field when he is playing like that.

Fans don’t like that he never got double-digit sacks in a season. Hint, that has never been a genuine metric for an interior defensive lineman. Find something else that ins’t using sacks as a stat to justify someone playing well (or should we look at Suh in Tampa, Vita Vea, or the other defensive linemen? Not everyone is Sapp).

Fans don’t like that McCoy went to the Panthers. Well, don’t cut someone if you don’t want to lose them.

McCoy gave his heart and soul to a bad team and made the most of it. There is nothing to hate about that nor is there enough to type out an angry, profanity-laden tirade due to you not liking his personality or character.

Perhaps if you had half of the character he did you wouldn’t be so mad still about a guy that hasn’t been on the team for years.

Fans also completely forget the simple truth that switching McCoy and Suh made no change to the team as a whole. If you flipped those guys last season or the year before, the results would’ve never changed.

Todd Bowles’ scheme changed the defense. Tom Brady made the franchise relevant. Switching one defensive lineman wearing #93 for another is not the reason why the team has gone through its success.

McCoy was a great player on a bad team. Suh was a great player on a great team. McCoy was on the team longer, won more individual awards, and compiled more stats, and he smiled while doing it. There is nothing there to hate.

Suh and McCoy are both valuable pieces of this team’s history. There is no need to hate one or the other.

The disrespect has to stop. It is getting embarrassing from the no-smiling brigade. Lighten up.

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