Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The Point After

British should have been warned: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming!

This week's (intercontinental) electronic conversation between Sports columnists Gary Shelton and John Romano:

GS: Okay, John. I'm here. Any minute now, I am sure England is going to get excited over the Bucs-Patriots. Right now, however, there isn't a word in the paper, a sound on the telly, and most people seem to be hiding their glee about the NFL.

JR: Maybe they're just really disappointed about the Gaines Adams trade.

GS: Yes. There is a postal strike about to begin. The carriers are refusing to deliver Gaines' fan mail.

JR: I suppose they could drop it off at Manchester United. You know, the Bucs' company headquarters. Speaking of which, do Man U fans seem to realize that their poorer relations are in the country?

GS: Well, they try not to talk about it, but they have to know. They probably look at them with a bit of amusement, a bit of embarrassment. You know, the way your relatives treat you.

JR: Shows what you know. My family seems perfectly happy since I agreed to the restraining order. Anyway, what are the odds the Bucs get out of Europe without an international incident? I mean, Aqib Talib has to take a cab at some point, doesn't he?

GS: That's a worry, all right, especially because the cabbies drive on the wrong side of the road over here. Say, do you suppose there is any way the Bucs could persuade Bill Belichick to dress his offense up like the characters on Taxi? You know, just to make things more interesting?

JR: Oh, I already think the game will be interesting. Belichick is not the compassionate type. Against the 0-6 Dolphins a couple of years ago, the Pats scored 49 points. Against the 0-5 Titans last week, they scored 59. Does 69 points sound doable to you?

GS: My first impression is no. My second impression is "Why not?" I'd love to argue the Bucs are better than you've seen, but unfortunately, I've seen them, too. I think it'll be closer, just because I think Belichick will have his starters flying back to Boston by halftime. Still, if you're offering the Bucs and 69, I'll wager any lunch that doesn't include cabbage.

JR: Nah, I think Roger Goodell makes a tackle himself before letting the score get out of hand. Here's the funny thing: A year ago, I thought the Bucs were slapping their fans by taking this home game away from them. Turns out, they did the local fans a favor.

GS: I still don't like the idea of fans losing a home game so foreigners can see, but if you were ever going to take away a game — and the price of buying a ticket — this is the year. I just wonder why Goodell won't try to expand his product to Tahiti.

JR: They tried once with the Dolphins but were afraid Ricky Williams would never come back.

GS: Small price to pay. He should have risked it.

JR: Do you really think these once-a-year games have an impact in Europe? Or is it like trying to sell cricket in Pittsburgh?

GS: Personally, I'm a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Sticky Wickets. I think the game is nice for fans who are here, but it's not likely to be more than a niche sport. I mean, the soccer fans seemed to manage just fine with the Chelsea game today.

JR: Ah, well, it's probably better that way. If there were too many Bucs fans in the UK, we'd have to explain the whole paper-bag-over-your-head tradition.

GS: I think that was the last sack a Bucs fan has seen.

British should have been warned: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming! 10/24/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows his killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  2. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Bills journal: Breakout game for Bucs tight end O.J. Howard


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It's obscured by the final score and a disappointing loss, but Bucs rookie tight end O.J. Howard had a breakout game Sunday, exceeding his season totals for catches and touchdowns in one afternoon.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) celebrates a touchdown catch with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Vladislav Namestnikov is Lightning's top-line 'secret'

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov is piling up the goals. Steven Stamkos is an assist machine. They make for an impressive pairing in a league that favors scoring pairs over the more traditional three-player scoring lines.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Vladislav Namestnikov (90) reacts after scoring during the third period of the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.
  5. Ex-Lightning forward Brian Boyle returns to practice after cancer diagnosis

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — Brian Boyle, diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia last month, was back on the ice with his Devils teammates Sunday after getting cleared to practice for the first time since his diagnosis.

    Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor says can be treated with medication, the Devils announced Tuesday. [AP photo]