It's a video: Taggart wants you on the USF football bus
Way back in December, it was a spontaneous metaphor in the middle of Willie Taggart's announcement as USF's new football coach: "What we have to do is put everyone on the bus, put them in the right seat, and let Coach T drive this bus."
It registered pretty well with USF fans, even before everybody was hashtagging #dosomething -- if you're not convinced, here's the strange-yet-wonderful video produced by USF's marketing department, with Taggart getting on an actual bus, and then setting his press-conference snippets ... to music. We'll deconstruct in a minute, but enjoy it without any footnotes:
0:13: With a simple smiling nod, the Taggart video makes the Mary Poppins transition to a cartoon world, and it's important to know exactly who is on the bus from the start: President Judy Genshaft is the first you see at the back of the bus, then, moving forward, players Austin Reiter, DeDe Lattimore, Mark Joyce, (mystery non-player guy who I will unearth with careful reporting), Sean Price, Luke Sager and Andre Davis.
0:22: The first stop is Lowry Park Zoo, with two towering giraffes whose heads aren't even in the frame. Genshaft is, presumably, dropped off, and replaced with Rocky the Bull. Former Bucs coach Jon Gruden, who could have been at the zoo, replaces Joyce and mystery guy. Mystery girl and Bucs running back Doug Martin join the bus. Sager is out.
0:31: This is what the Times had in mind when we put our name on the Forum: product placement in cartoon bus videos. Woohoo! Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos are on board, as is Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn. Gone are Price, mystery girl and Davis. Much like his offense, Taggart's bus has plenty of motion and substitution. I just noticed that the tires on the bus are "Bullsyear" tires.
0:34: Right before the bus leaves the Forum, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor (a University of Tampa grad) joins the bus.
0:41: The bus gets to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, and in a delightful twist, former USF basketball walk-on Alberto Damour is now on the bus, replacing Gruden. Castor is replaced by Dick Vitale (who looks enthusiastic), and Buckhorn and Martin are replaced by Rays skipper Joe Maddon.
0:48: Taggart isn't remotely discouraged by the fact that Sean Price is now the only player remaining on his bus, all replaced by local dignitaries. Genshaft is back, now sitting next to Maddon. Gruden is back, sitting next to Damour. Emblematic of the battle for local fans, Stamkos is replaced by the Bucs' Martin -- while the bus is moving -- and the bus finally arrives at Raymond James Stadium.
There you have it. We're guessing that Greg Schiano didn't sign the right waiver to, well, get on the bus, or that he disapproves of cartoon buses so close to the start of the regular season.