Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘hardy nickerson’


September 21, 2010 at 01:07pm by Slow Joe   •  14 Comments »

I don't know their names like Scott does, but really, does that matter?

You clicked on the picture, didn’t you?  Hahaha!  Dumbass.  I told you I don’t know how to do clickys.

I have only a few websites I check out every morning: Facebook, PFT, my fantasy football league, and this blog.  The weirdest thing about covering for Scott here while he’s on vacation is getting used to the idea that I’m­ the one responsible for the content.  And if I don’t post, well, there isn’t going to be any new shit here when I wake up.  That’s right; I’ve been booting my laptop up, clicking here to see what’s new, and then realizing “Oh, shit, that’s right, my dumb ass has to write it.”

Another complication is that the Bucs are surprisingly good.  This means that the media are pretty much slurping the Bucs balls, which in turn means there’s no one for me to attack.  Last year was miserable for Scott and all Tampa Bay fans, but at least he had the benefit of skewering all the journalists that wrote shit about the Bucs.  I can’t even poke fun at Martin Fennelly, for Christ’s sake.  I mean, even on a bad day, an unemployed comic should be able to do that.

Anyway, enough of my bitching:

BUCS MAY AVOID BLACK OUT: According to Stephen Holder of the St. Pete Times, there’s a strong possibility the Bucs may sell their game out this Sunday against the also-undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, allowing the game to be televised locally.  Officially, it would need to be sold out by Thursday at 1 p.m., though I know that NFL teams can apply—and are usually granted—extensions if the sales look close.

Personally, I think the blackout rule is useless and actually serves to hurt the popularity of the home team.  I lived in Tampa in the early nineties, when every Bucs game was blacked out.  Do you know what I saw around town?  Lots of Cowboys, Dolphins, Redskins, and other teams’ jerseys, hats, and t-shirts.  I remember going to a sporting goods store in the Tampa Bay Center (now One Buc Place) and seeing an Emmit Smith jersey next to a Jerry Rice one, both prominently displayed in the window.  You had to go in the back of the store to find the lone Hardy Nickerson jersey.  The Bucs were simply irrelevant, and almost non-existent.  In Tampa!

The NFL blackout rule assumes that people make the decision that if the local team is not on TV, then “hell, might as well go spend $250 so my whole family can see them play”.  This is nonsense.  Fans go to games because they are a fun event, akin to going to Disney World; they’d go whether the games were televised or not.  No one shrugs their shoulders and shells out fucking $250!  If the NFL wants a stadium to be sold out, it needs to:

1. Set ticket prices so that supply meets demand such that all seats are sold, or

2. Wait for the economy, which is worse here in Florida than in most states, to recover.

I assure you blacking out the games is not helping at all.  And it will only serve to erode the Bucs’ fan base.

BIONIC WINSLOW: Someone in the comment section yesterday asked me to give some love to Kellen Winslow for his performance Sunday, and he definitely deserves it.  The man was just a beast.  If the ball is thrown anywhere near the same stadium he is in, he’ll snag it.  Not only that, he has reportedly been the perfect teammate since he’s set foot in Tampa.  (Maybe not so much to Jerramy Stevens, who has to take all his practice reps during the week and then doesn’t get to do shit on Sundays.)

I have mixed feelings about K2; he’s so impressive, it makes me wonder what kind of amazing tight end he would be if he had never had that stupid ass motorcycle accident.  But then, if that was the case, he’d probably still be a Cleveland Brown.  And a douchebag.

LOOKS LIKE BATCH WILL BE THE QB: The Pittsburgh Gazette is reporting that Charlie Batch will most likely quarterback the Steelers this week against the Bucs.  Not because head coach Mike Tomlin necessarily thinks he’s the best guy, but because he may be the only guy.

This is probably a good thing for the Bucs as Dennis Dixon, who looks to be out until after Ben Roethlisberger returns, could have been a dangerous threat against a Bucs defense that still struggles a bit with gap responsibilities and containment.  But don’t sleep on Batch; he’s a wily veteran and won’t make dumb mistake.  I still think this is going to be a low-scoring game.  Sort of like my sex life.

REAR ENTRIES: Getting Educated And Patriotic

June 30, 2010 at 02:29pm by Scott   •  4 Comments »

Rear Entry 12

HARDY NICKERSON AT ROOKIE SYMPOSIUM: Hardy Nickerson was one of the featured speakers at this year’s rookie symposium, the multi-day rookie convention that desperately tries to teach young players to not do the stupid shit that many of them will go ahead and do anyway.

“When I got a vision that I wanted to be a linebacker and got a taste of it — got a taste of that first contact, that first tackle — man, I immediately went and started studying and finding out about all the great players that played the position.”

Nickerson is smart and cool and old school, so he went and studied and became the pivotal player in a complete reformation of one of the league’s historically worst teams. These days, rookies have dreams of holding out after two years into a six-year deal because they made a highlight reel somewhere. Plus they play their stereos too loud. YOU CALL THAT MUSIC?

(For the record, I don’t feel this way about Sean Weatherspoon, the featured rookie in the linked clip. He will go on to do great things for the Falcons, some of them at the Bucs’ expense.)

STEVE WHITE IS SMART: People throw around terms like “under tackle” and “over front” like they know what they’re talking about. People like me. Steve White decided to throw all of us poseurs a bone and explain the differences between the under and over fronts of a 4-3 defense so we don’t look like complete dumbasses next time.

In our normal base defense with four defensive linemen we normally line up in whats called an “Over” Alignment. What that means is when there is one tight end the defensive end to that side (what we call the under tackle)lines up head up over the tight end. The defensive tackle on the tight end side (the call side) lines up in a 3 technique on the outside shoulder of the guard on that side of the center. The defensive tackle away from the tight end (away from the call) lines up in a cocked alignment between the center and guard with his hand on the outside foot of the center. The defensive end away from the tightend (away from the call) lines up in a five with his hand on the outside foot of the offensive tackle.

He goes on for several more paragraphs like that, so if you’re into the technical stuff, it’s gold. Pull it out Good Will Hunting-style when you hear some uneducated prick in a bar talking about how he would use the linebackers if he was the coach. But make sure he’s smaller than you before you do it. Uneducated pricks tend to have short fuses.

SANDY CHARBONEAU IS SERVING THE COUNTRY: I’ve been hard on Sandy Charboneau over the years for being unnecessarily mean and for wrapping our beloved cheerleaders in what were essentially colorful burkas for last year’s calendar shoot. She left last year and was replaced by Cathy Boyd, and I always wondered what happened to Sandy. It turns out she is now working for Armed Forces Entertainment, the division of the military that sets up all the fun stuff our soldiers do to take their minds off all the shitty stuff they do. So even though it’s not exactly front line infantry, she is doing her part to serve the country, and I respect that.

Sandy recently participated in the P-R-O convention here in Atlanta as an instructor representing AFE. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a single Buccaneer cheerleader at that convention, and I have some really kick-ass binoculars, so I think I would have noticed. Maybe the Glazers didn’t want to spend the money to send them this year. That sad thing is that I’m not even kidding. That’s probably really the reason. Hell, they went to sexy Caribbean islands and the Keys for the calendar shoots a few years ago. Now they basically go to St. Pete, and you know it’s because it costs them nothing to do it. Next year they’re going to shoot it on the practice field. I can handle spending cuts on free agents and equipment, but not writing the checks to make the cheerleaders the absolute best squad in the league is damn near intolerable.

First HOF List Includes A Bunch Of Filler, Seven Bucs

October 29, 2008 at 10:56am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

The Hall will just never appreciate what Williams meant to the Bucs during those times.
The preliminary list of candidates for the Class of 2009 Hall of Fame Inductees is out, and you may want to check it because there is a non-trivial chance that you are on it. Holy shit, they really set the bar low for the first pass. Boomer Esiason? Kent Hull? Frank Wycheck? Wasn’t Wycheck in a professional wrestling match a while back? I think that should disqualify him immediately.

There are seven players on the list that had suited up for the Buccaneers.

Lomas Brown: Brown was an excellent tackle for the Lions, but really only started getting noticed around 1989 when Barry Sanders started running behind him. So did he suddenly get better, or did he just look better because he had possibly the best running back ever on his team? He was a high first round pick in 1985, and you could argue that he lived up to his draft status. But that doesn’t make him Hall material. His role on the Buccaneers was mostly as a veteran presence.

Joey Browner: Browner was a playmaker at safety with the Vikings, but his career was pretty much done when he was with the Bucs in 1992. If production and numbers are what is necessary for the Hall, Browner might have them. He tackled with authority and caused fumbles all the time. But he didn’t really do anything to revolutionize the position.

Randall McDaniel: McDaniel was the prototypical guard and blocked for some of the most explosive offenses in football. McDaniel could play just about any position on the line and was an elite lineman for most of his career and still had a little juice left in the tank when he came to Tampa. Remember that touchdown pass he caught? McDaniel should be in the Hall this year.

Hardy Nickerson: Really, the only guy on this list whose prime playing time came as a Buccaneer. Nickerson was a tackling machine and, more importantly, may have had the single most important role in completely re-shaping the Bucs into one of the league’s best defensive teams. He should be one of the first guys in the Buccaneer Ring of Honor, hands down. But is he a Hall of Famer? I see other linebackers on the list that should probably go before him.

Marvin Powell: Powell’s career will be judged on his time with the Jets and not the shitfest that was the Buccaneers from 1986-1987. He was definitely good, and he made guys like Freeman McNeil, Johnny Hector, Richard Todd and Ken O’Brien look better than they were. But his was not even close to a Hall of Fame career.

Reggie Roby: Roby made his mark with the Dolphins and I guess if you’re going to induct punters, Roby has as good a shot as any other good punter. I seem to remember he had a knack for landing them inside the 20 pretty often. He made it to a lot of Pro Bowls, I suppose. I dunno… until Ray Guy gets in, it’s a moot point.

Doug Williams: If you can get in the Hall of Fame based on your performance in one quarter of a Super Bowl, he’s in. Williams was tough and smart and underappreciated during his time with the Buccaneers, but taking into account the entirety of his career, I don’t see the Hall. One Super Bowl, regardless of how many barriers you break, isn’t enough.

So, there you have it. McDaniel might make it, but a lot of these first-timers are sliding in with little or no resistance, so it may be a while even for him. For example, I would bet that Bruce Smith and Rod Woodson get in on the first try. John Randle and Shannon Sharpe also have a shot at it; it depends on how many other guys got denied over the last couple years (Derrick Thomas should be a no-brainer) Again, Ira Kaufman of is the local Tampa voter if you’d like to share your opinion with him on which Buccaneers should get in.

Glazers Have Orangegasm

October 16, 2008 at 09:33am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

David Lewis and Lee Roy Selmon are as happy as I am about the Ring of Honor and throwback announcement.
After twelve years of being in pewter and refusing to acknowledge Buccaneer history with a ring of honor or at least a throwback game, the Glazers have decided to unveil both in 2009.

The Bucs plan to introduce a Ring of Honor for the franchise next year as part of a 30th anniversary celebration of the 1979 Bucs, who went 10-6 and advanced to within one victory of a Super Bowl berth in only their fourth NFL season.

The organization also intends to play at least one game during the 2009 season wearing Tampa Bay’s throwback orange jerseys, according to an NFL source.

The Ring of Honor is long overdue and I hope they don’t just concentrate on the Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden eras. I realize they were the most successful for the team and that the majority of players selected will (and should) be selected from those periods, but the Bucs had other great players that got stuck playing for shitty teams. James Wilder comes to mind as a guy who would have thrived in a different system. Jimmie Giles, David Logan, Richard Wood… all of them should be locks. And the poor guys who suffered in both uniforms and then retired before the big Super Bowl payoff like Paul Gruber and Tony Mayberry and Hardy Nickerson should also get their consolation prize of having their names in huge letters at Ray Jay. Of course, if Lee Roy Selmon isn’t the first player enshrined, the whole thing is a sham.

But the bigger surprise is the announcement of a (*sniff*… I’m getting choked up…) throwback game next year. The Glazers have been adamant about not participating in the throwback weekends because of the stank stigma that surrounds Bucco Bruce. I understand it to a degree. It’s impossible to separate the team’s new success in the 90s from their new uniforms, even if it’s just a superficial association. But the fans who endured such disappointment in the orange and white for so many years have a sentimental attachment to it. It’s their badge of honor and every now and then they want to wear it on their sleeves literally. “You were in Iraq? Pffft… I was a Buccaneer fan in the 80s.” The rest of the league has at least one throwback game a year — the Bucs were the only team to completely ignore it year after year. But not next year, and I hope they make it an annual tradition. Derrick Brooks is the only player currently on the team to wear the orange, and he has been a supporter of the throwback for years. He may hold off retirement one more year just to be able to play in that game.

I’m just… I’m just so happy.