The hero of the day is gangly and balding and painfully slow of foot. If you were picking a leading man for the highlights, it is fair to say he would probably not have been your first choice.
On the other hand, the guy looks great with the winning scoreboard over his shoulder, doesn't he?
Mike Glennon stole the show Sunday. He saved the day, and he saved his team, and he possibly saved this season. He came from the bench, and he came from yesterday's memories, and he pretty much came from oblivion as he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a theft of Sunday's game against Pittsburgh....
Imagine Tom Terrific.
Imagine Tampa Bay as titletown.
Imagine Tom Brady, flashing that grin, leading all those comebacks on the way to all those Super Bowls. Imagine him as elegant in the pocket as ever. Imagine him in the winners circle.
Now imagine him here.
Even the thought of it is enough to ruin your day, isn't it? Even as the Bucs turn to another quarterback in another lost-already season, even as the four-wins-in-a-career Mike Glennon takes over for the 16-wins-in-a-career Josh McCown, the thoughts of the one who got away can eat at you....
Now that the punishment is over, which way was it again to the Heisman Trophy?
Which way to the national championship?
Which way to maturity?
Jameis Winston has done his time, and order has been restored. Why, Winston sat out both halves of the Clemson game Saturday, which in college football amounts to hard time. Now, his world has been set right, and unless the coaching staff is informed that his suspension will increase once again, Winston can proceed with playing quarterback for the FSU Seminoles....
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — That program casts a giant shadow.
This one is teeny-tiny.
That program, Alabama, is trying to compete for its fourth national title in six years.
This one, Florida, hopes to go to some bowl game or other. Yippee.
That program has a coach it dares to compare with any who has ever walked the sideline.
This one's seat is so hot it might burst into flames at any moment....
It was just about this point in the program that another losing coach handed him another desperate situation.
It was just about here that a season, lost already, was turned over to Mike Glennon.
And here we are again.
The Bucs are terrible, again. A season is disappearing in the distance, again. The team has turned into a punch line, again.
It sounds like Glennon time, doesn't it?...
09/16/14 The Heater
And so the saddest summer of them all has come to this: In their own park, the Rays have been turned into extras.
They sit on the fringes of the moment, out of the spotlight, applauding another team's star. Tuesday night, it was Yankees legend Derek Jeter who absorbed all of the night's energy, but in some ways, this is where the Rays have been for all of 2014, well out of the picture, far from the things that matter....
They lost, because they were not bold enough to go for the win.
They lost, because they were not aggressive enough to avoid the pitfall of settling for less.
They lost, because in the NFL, teams who play for field goals usually do.
Sum this one up as simply as that. The Bucs lost to the Rams on Sunday because they lost their nerve. They lost because they would not reach out and grab victory with both hands. They lost because passive teams usually do....
TAMPA — It is awfully early to be this high on the tightrope.
Also, the wind is blowing. And it is a long way down.
Two games into the season, and already, the Tampa Bay Bucs look kind of, well, wobbly. The coach is new, and the uniforms are new, and a lot of players are new. But the empty feeling is familiar. The high wire is as slick as ever, and the rocks are jagged.
Already, before the season slips away from them, the Bucs need to win....
Justice is not supposed to care about how much money a man makes. Justice does not concern itself with how much star power his name carries. Nor is justice supposed to be about what he has done in the past. In professional sports, the rules are simple. If a guy messes up, he pays the price. If he is dumb enough, or confused enough, or wrong enough, he faces the consequences. Anything else is argument. That was true for Ray Rice. It's true for Roger Goodell, too. There has never been a sports commissioner under the kind of fire as Goodell, a man who remains commissioner today because of the simple fact he has made a lot of money for the NFL owners. He has not been strong enough. He has not been thorough enough. He has not been enough of a leader. And so Goodell must go. There are so many levels to how severely Goodell has mucked up the Ray Rice investigation, a judgment that, when you get right down to it, wasn't a particularly challenging one. Rice abused his then-fiance, so the league should throw Rice out. What's so complicated about that? Yet the NFL has turned that investigation into tap dancing and wrist-slapping, into video tape highlights and dodgeball. Goodell has failed the public, a violation of his prime directive. Along the way, he has lost all credibility. Even now, he cowers beneath his desk, waiting for the headlines to pass, hoping for the outrage to die. He gets a couple of these tests a year, and this time, he stepped into the muck. Will he survive? Probably. Should he survive? No, not if doing the right thing is the mandate....
Once, another running back stood accused of abuse so serious it would make you cringe.
Once, another wife told chilling tales of mistreatment, but in the end sided with her husband over the concept of legal justice.
Once, another team … did nothing.
And Michael Pittman ran on.
If there is any solace to be had in the aftermath of the Ray Rice release, perhaps this is it. Finally, justice occurred. Finally, there was an attempt by somebody to get it right....
The ending was great. The movie was lousy.
So, would you like to see it again?
That's where we are with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the nice, misleading way they concluded their defeat against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. They almost won. Yippee. They came close to erasing their own ineptitude. Yay. They almost made you forget the way they sleepwalked for 3½ quarters. Yahoo....
He lost his wide receiver before the day began.
He lost his quarterback one snap into the game.
He lost the answer sheet to his special teams for the entire afternoon.
Still, Willie Taggart has not lost the faith. His USF team lost a football game, and it lost an opportunity at a statement game, and it lost for the 11th time in 14 games. It lost a chance to notch an upset on an afternoon it got six turnovers from the opposition....
This year, the roar returns.
This year, the Bucs defense will be fierce once more. This year, opposing quarterbacks won't be able to wear flip-flops, and running backs won't be able to pick the closest available freeway, and wide receivers won't spend Sunday as if they were going out for a jog on the beach.
This year, the muscle comes back.
TAMPA — He should dance, the way Ray Lewis used to dance.
He should live on the edge, or on the other side of it, where Lawrence Taylor once resided. He should bite people in the pileups, the way Dick Butkus used to do. He should have Mike Singletary's crazy eyes, or have Jack Lambert's gap-toothed profile, or Patrick Willis' oversized biceps.
Perhaps then, the world might notice Lavonte David....
It was late in the evening, and goodness knows, it was past time for something special.
The night felt all wrong. Florida State was sputtering, and quarterback Jameis Winston was spewing, and Oklahoma State had taken on the look of a Hollywood underdog. A 17-point lead had dwindled to three, and even that felt like a deficit.
This is how you defend a national title?...