Bucs Need To Give Brooks Love
August 11, 2010 at 01:56pm by Scott • 3 Comments »
I make a lot of fun of Pat Yasinskas, and I will continue to do so because at any given opportunity, but the piece he did about the Buccaneers’ obligation to Derrick Brooks is absolutely spot on.
The Bucs — and I’m talking everyone from ownership to the front office to the public relations department — have to hit this one out of the park. Seriously, it’s that important. A team that needs to sell tickets and win back its fan base needs the best player in franchise history and it needs to keep him for the long term.
The Bucs need to do this, and not just because of the revenue implications. It’s just the right thing to do.
Multiple people close to the situation have told me there was an attempt by Brooks to come into One Buccaneer Place soon after his release that was blocked from very high levels.
That’s almost criminal. If anyone should have a lifetime pass to One Buccaneer Place, it is Brooks.
If that’s true, that’s fucking disgusting. What did they thing he was going to do, go in there and tear up the place? BROOKS? Honestly, there’s no reason why any former player who was with the team for a season or two shouldn’t be allowed in there. It’s not Area 51 — there aren’t any military secrets or captive aliens to keep hidden. At worst, someone would discover Joel Glazer‘s shoe fetish.
When he walks out of One Buccaneer Place on Thursday, Brooks needs to feel like he’s part of the organization. If this thing comes off as some kind of insincere gesture, Brooks, a man of tremendous pride, is going to walk out of that building for the final time and keep his distance from the team.
Yes, yes and yes. It’s not too late to announce a Derrick Brooks Day as the theme to a home game this season. They did it for Mike Alstott, they should do it for Brooks. I’ll even go one step further and say that if they don’t do something of a similar caliber for Brooks that they did for Alstott, people could interpret it as having some kind of racial undertone as the reason. Not to take anything away from Alstott, but Brooks was a better player than Alstott, period. He was with the team longer and more of a team leader. The only difference in Alstott’s favor is that he retired injured instead of being cut like Brooks. That shouldn’t matter.
It took years after Doug Williams’ original departure for the wounds to heal. The team accomplished that when they brought Williams back as a personnel guy. Then, they absolutely blew that bridge up again when they pushed Williams out the door a few months back.
I live in Tampa and I know this for a fact. Williams walked into a Tampa barber shop recently and was giving away the last of his Buccaneers’ golf shirts and saying he’ll never wear them again. That’s a shame and it probably never should have come to that point. But it has and it’s too late to repair the latest Williams fiasco.
Man, Williams must feel like the Buccaneers’ chew toy. Maybe it’s not all their fault. Williams may have thought he deserved a role with more responsibility or maybe he thought more of his own skills as a personnel man than he should have. You can’t placate a person when it comes to making business decisions. But there was probably a way to salvage the relationship for the sake of Williams’s historical importance to the team and still relieve him of his duties if he wasn’t performing well. There had to have been a better answer than whatever went down to make him give away all traces of his time with the Bucs.
With the throwback games and alumni days and the Ring of Honor, the Bucs have done a great job over the last couple years in embracing their past and keeping long-time fans interested. They can’t fuck up their relationship with Brooks. Lee Roy Selmon won’t live forever and then who have they got as a tie to their successful past? Someone like Al Davis can afford to piss off a Hall of Famer like Marcus Allen because the Raiders have so many other former Raiders who are both successful as players and still loyal to the team. Who do the Bucs have? Warren Sapp says he still bleeds red and pewter, but if there’s one guy whose temperament you don’t want to have to bank on, it’s Sapp. Maybe John Lynch, but I haven’t heard a peep from the guy since he did his retirement announcement at One Buc. Anyone seen Paul Gruber lately? The names run out pretty damn fast in Tampa. The Bucs cannot fuck this up. Stroke Brooks’s ego and keep him close to the franchise.