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Now in our ninth calendar year!
PCR #432 (Vol. 9, No. 27) This edition is for the week of June 30--July 6, 2008.

"Hancock"  by Mike Smith
Saturday Morning Fever: CBS 1974  by ED Tucker
Base Balls In ‘bama .... No More Big Paydays? .... Aaron Rodgers: Cocky Or Clueless? .... Tampa Sports On The Rise .... Orlando Falls To Cleveland .... Seattle Sonics Move To Oklahoma .... Favre Saga Continues .... My Apologies
Special Supplement: Gruden vs Dungy  by Chris Munger
Shock Theater Classics!! .... Riverdays Is Upon Us!! .... Masters Of Horror Update ....  by Matt Drinnenberg
Jake .... *756 .... Movie Notes .... Musical Honors .... Bozo .... .... .... .... And The Oscar For 1991 Should Have Gone To...  by Mike Smith
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Sports Talk

Gruden vs Dungy

Firing Tony Dungy was a big mistake. Tony was fired for not being able to get the team to the big one. With quarterbacks like Trent Dilfer, Eric Zeier, Steve Walsh, and Shaun King, and finally a couple of years of Brad Johnson, Dungy just couldn’t win the Super Bowl, or even get there. With taking over the Bucs in 1996, Dungy turned around a football team that had no concept of winning an NFL game. The players, (who turned into great players like Lynch, Sapp, Barber, and Derrick Brooks) at the time were young and direction-less. The offense was a joke. And let's not talk about how long of a playoff drought there was until he got here.

In Dungy’s first year, the Bucs were already competitive. Then came all the changes that made the Buccaneers - the Buccaneers you know today. The uniforms changed, RJ Stadium was in the works and all of it was flashy. Every season with Dungy was magical. Every year you knew they were going to make into the playoffs, we just wondered how far they would go. The Bucs were underdogs in every game and everybody cheered for them. And we “Believed”.

Tony Dungy is a defensive mastermind. Coaches that worked under him moved on to head coaching positions because of the art of the “Tampa Two” defense that Dungy and Monte Kiffin created and other teams in the NFL use today. The one thing Tony couldn’t do to was get an offense going. Quarter after Quarter, game after game, season after season, we watched as the defense played an outstanding football game but the offense only put 9 points on the board. Because of this, Dungy, after losing several playoff games because of an inept offense, Dungy was fired and kicked out of the building (One Buc) at night in the pouring rain, all alone.

Then we traded for Jon Gruden. The offensive genius that we traded so much for because we knew he was going to get us to the Super Bowl. The Glazers wanted a ring and wanted it bad. The '02 season was great. We saw the Bucs post their best franchise best record that year, the defense was playing great, and the offense was surprising everybody by playing great games with Brad Johnson playing quarterback.

Sunday, January 26, 2003 - On a warm night in San Diego, California the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders 48-21. Watching the game, the average fan forgot about the fact that every player that won the game was put on the Buccaneers roster by coach Tony Dungy. Also every player on the Raiders roster that lost was put on the roster by Jon Gruden. At the time, we didn’t care anymore about Dungy, we were praising “Chucky”. Little did we know that one great season in '02 came with a hefty price tag for the Bucs fan. After that great season Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden started to let our hometown heroes go one by one. Lynch, gone. Sapp, gone. We could say that these players lost a step at the time of their departure from Tampa, but their replacements didn’t fare any better then they would. The front office traded defense for offense. The offense we were expecting to see hasn’t arrived yet.

Since winning the Super Bowl in 2003, the swashbucklers have done nothing. Reaching the playoffs only twice out the last six seasons only to be kicked out both times in the first round. We have not seen any offensive genius that we were promised Gruden was. We’ve seen front office staff and coaches that were great driven out of town. Meanwhile, Tony Dungy’s Colts are the one of the NFL’s elite, and they’re playoff contenders every year. Jon Gruden has worked hard to make this his team, and we’ve seen a flurry of players come in and out of Tampa that once they leave here, you never hear of them again. Gruden has no desire to go out sign a big name free agent. When we watched games with Dungy as coach, we may have been bored out of our skull, but it was Buc Ball.

"Sports Talk" is ©2008 by Christopher Munger.   All graphics this page, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova.