TAMPA — Okay, here we go. Bucs game. Woo hoo. Hold on a second. No Gerald. No Jameis. No Lavonte. On no. What happened? What the heck is ... wait, being told it's a meaningless preseason game. Anyway, here are some instant thoughts following the Bucs' 20-13 loss to the Redskins at a rain-drenched Raymond James Stadium on Wednesday.
• Preseason games don't have a ton of meaning. The fourth preseason game has even less. And Wednesday's game had even less than that. For starters, the heavy rain (more on that in a minute) made for sloppy conditions that turned a football game into a night of slip-and-slide.
In addition, no one of real consequence played. (Apologies to the guys who did, including Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.) The Redskins left 25 players back in Washington. I half-expected Redskins TV analyst Joe Theismann to play a series or two. And the Bucs left all of their starters in the locker room - or swanky suites, as was the case.
As far as the fans, all of them — maybe 4,000 — were there, I'm guessing, just to say they were there. Give them credit for being dedicated fans, but also question their sanity. I'm not even sure I would want to sit in the stands for the fourth preseason game. But to sit through the beginnings of a tropical storm? That's just crazy, man.
• Speaking of which, why was this game even played? Well, we know why. The NFL apparently needs the money. The billions they make just aren't enough. So why not force more than 1,000 stadium workers to risk driving on potentially flooded streets just so they can work a game that has no meaning? Shame on you, NFL. The players don't mind playing on a slippery field. And any fan that decided to attend did so on his or her own accord. But many who work at the game had no choice. To put those folks in jeopardy for the sake of a crummy preseason game shows you how greedy and selfish the NFL is. Then again, what else is new?
• One more thought about the weather: wouldn't it have been nice to see the Bucs reward the fans that did come out? Maybe a ticker voucher for a future game or free hot dogs. How about a little something for the effort?
• Yes, there was an actual game played. As expected, it was lousy. Fumbles. Dropped passes. Looked like the game was being played in a, well, tropical storm. Bucs QB Mike Glennon had a ball fly out of his throwing hand and go in the wrong direction. Yeah, not good.
• Rough night for Glennon. Raise your hand if you had more yards passing than Glennon. (All of you should have a hand up.) Glennon threw for minus-1 yard. And it came on a night when a few teams out there — the Vikings, perhaps? —- might have been watching Glennon closely. Then again, hard to beat up anybody in a game with conditions as rotten as this. Evaluating any player was darn near impossible, making the final cuts a little tougher for the coaching staff.
• One big positive for the Bucs? How about kicker Roberto Aguayo. A week ago, Tampa Bay was in complete panic mode because he couldn't make kicks in practice. Now he's booting 50-yarders in the rain. Take that, Tropical Storm Hermine ... and Hurricane Bucs Fans.
• Best news of all? The next time we see the Bucs, it will be for real.