Archive for the ‘Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Category
Keep in mind before I say what will surely infuriate many that I spent much of my previous Friday evening listening to the pre-season football game between my favorite NFL team The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and The Miami Dolphins. I enjoy the combat of a football game. I understand the drama of sporting events. I have known, and currently know many people who memorize sports stats and pour a lot of personal time and energy into sports as their premier entertainment. I know many people who spend their Friday nights going to football games for their local high school in the fall; have block parties in their cul-de-sacs on Saturdays when Ohio State plays Michigan, then tail gate on Sunday down at Paul Brown Stadium for The Cincinnati Bengals. These same people will rattle off statistics of sport players with great conviction, but couldn’t begin to tell you who Rob Portman is–the State of Ohio Senator who has been a potential candidate for Vice-President of The United States. They drink a lot, and take great pride in losing their senses to drunkenness, and in spite of those human faults, I still enjoy the fanfare of sports.
In Texas, as displayed to the outside world quite wonderfully in the film Friday Night Lights, high school football is the centerpiece of small town entertainment, and it does bond the community together in ways that defy logic. I could write books on why this is destructive in that it shows a tendency toward collectivism that is ultimately disparaging, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say that small town politics in the state of Texas loves their Friday night football. It’s an obsession really, so much so that tax payers in Allen, Texas passed a bond package with 63.66 percent of the vote from the booming suburb of north Dallas worth $119.4 million dollars, $60 million of which was designated to building a state-of-the-art stadium for their high school football team.
For the kids who play football in Allen they will play under the Friday Night Lights for their community in a stadium that rivals what many of the stadiums for professional teams play in. 8,252 people signed up for season tickets ranging in price from $40 dollars a game to $8 and they plan to sell out several of their games in the 18,000 seat arena in a town that has a population of 84,236, which is smaller than the Lakota School District in Cincinnati. The demand for football in Allen is so intense that 1 out of every 4 people plan to attend football games at the new stadium.
The residents of Allen have a median household income of $100,843, which is about $10,000 more than the wealthy area of Lakota due in large part to all the businesses that are locating to the area because of Texas pro-business attitudes. Many of the jobs that aren’t in your town because of intense regulation and high taxes are probably in Texas or thinking about it currently. And when people have plenty of money in their pocket they tend to be generous by passing tax increases on themselves without a thought of future sustainability. The people of Allen have the money and they wish to spend it on a football stadium for their local high school, and that’s that. This has led to severe criticism from people outside of Allen who don’t understand why the people of that Texas town will spend so much money on a football stadium when the state of education is so poor in America. Well, the answer is rather harsh, but must be understood in order to be truthful about the real nature of support a community has for their local schools when discussions of tax increases arise. People like to watch violence and mayhem. They love to see gladiators on the battlefield punishing other players in a quest to score a point. Those same audiences do not show up to watch some kid take a math test.
All public schools and all large college campuses use their sports programs to drive their funding models for their education institutions. “Jocks” are treated as special in schools because the school acknowledges the gladiators as the life blood of their existence. Without the Friday Night Lights, without football, schools are boring places of history, art, math and science. Only a few kids in each grade class excel in those categories and go on to become esteemed world-wide scientists or mathematicians. Most parents would rather give birth to the next Payton Manning rather than Albert Einstein and it shows in schools by what parents support. In Allen, Taxes they are just being honest about their priorities. They are not functioning from illusion. When it comes down to it, people do not care about educating a bunch of inner city kids on how to bake a cake in home economics. They don’t care if a 1000 nerds score a perfect 2400 on their SAT scores. But they do care if a kid is 6-4 and weighs 280 pounds in his junior year and can play as a guard on the offensive line protecting the team quarterback. In essence, they care about their own entertainment on a Friday Night, because once the game is over, they are back to their own lives looking forward to the next game.
On a typical Saturday during football season most men will sift through the political section of a newspaper and read intently the sports stats from the game on Friday. On Monday morning he will be able to go into his workplace and impress his co-workers with his vast knowledge about the tackles that 6’, 4” 280 pound kid had in Friday’s football game. He might even claim to know the boy’s father hoping that such a revelation will impress his co-workers with is access to celebrity. But nobody sits around the water cooler talking about how a kid from their public school won a spelling competition, or won an academic scholarship to Yale due to academic excellence in high school physics.
Schools are very aware of this leverage they have over the community. Locally, around the Cincinnati area the closest thing we have to the Texas Friday Night Lights experience is Colerain Football. Already, the band leaders in that town are letting it be known that if residents don’t pass a school levy this November that there will be cuts to the football program, and the band that plays for them. They know as school officials that the community cares about sports, but not about the positions of assistant art teachers, so the threat is directed and quite intentional. At Lakota in my home district, after three failed levies, the district cut off its nose to spite its face threatening to hurt the parents of the district by charging players $550 per sport for each player in order to force levy passage which has ended up backfiring. Lakota isn’t Allen, Texas; people are more indifferent to their Friday Night Football. If it’s there, fine, if not, they’ll go to a movie and out to dinner instead. The only parents who really feel passionate about football like they do in Texas are the parents who are hoping their kid wins a scholarship to college which will save them tens of thousands of dollars in college tuition. Lakota took bad advice from the classes the school board attended at Levy University in Columbus, Ohio that the OSBA puts on every year. In that class they learned that to pass tax increases that public transportation and sports are what motivate voters to throw more money at a public school. If those things don’t work, then nothing will. At Lakota, to make up for picking the wrong strategy in winning the hearts of the community, they have had to spend $160,000 on public relations to attempt to win back community support, which they won’t get as long as 1500 kids are being charged $550 to play sports.
Penn State covered up the sex crimes they all knew about because they understood that it was Penn State Football that drove new enrollment, and therefore revenue to their university. It is sports that drive education, not academics. In Allen, Texas at least they aren’t trying to deceive themselves in being so high-brow to not wish for the blood lust of violent impacts under the Friday Night Lights of their new $60 million dollar stadium. Nobody really cares about “education.” This is well-known, it’s just not publicly acknowledged. The people of Allen are not going to pour $60 million dollars into a program to help the poor and needy. They are not going to give it to a bunch of fools who want to build solar panels and wind mills. They are not going to give it to a bunch of socialist teachers who want to save the world with world peace. In polite conversation the tax payers will utter support for such things, but when it comes time to put their money where their mouth is, they spend it on blood, broken bones, and drama on a fourth and goal. Everything else is a waste of time and that is the key to the education funding structure. Without the Friday Night Lights, public education is just another stale experience that could easily be replaced with online classes.
“With Tale of the Dragon, Rich Hoffman combines NASCAR, Rebel Without a Cause, and Smokey and the Bandit. If you like fast cars, and hate speed traps, this is the book for you. And just every once in a while, any real American wishes he had a Firebird like the one in Tale of the Dragon.“
When I first heard that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had signed DT Eric LeGrand to the 90 man roster my first thought was that it was in bad taste to appeal to the world and sell tickets to my favorite team for the upcoming season by exploiting a young man’s depilating injury. LeGrand was severely injured during a special teams tackle while playing at Rutgers and broke his neck paralyzing him at age 20 from the neck down. Doctors gave LeGrand a 0 to 5% chance to ever regain any feeling in the neurological systems of his body.
But Eric is a tough kid and shortly after his injury, he insisted to be taken off his breathing machine. Then he gained feeling in his hands. LeGrand worked every day to move a part of his body and now he can actually stand for periods of time, which is an absolutely tremendous achievement. Coach Schiano who was his coach at Rutgers when LeGrand went down with the injury has been helping the young man stay focused, along with the fantastic support of a mother who refuses to quit, and it is becoming clear what forces have helped give Eric LeGrand the inner strength to beat these impossible odds to recovery.
Coach Schiano is now the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that is loaded with talent, but lost their way last season with a lack of focus and leadership. My love of the Buccaneers stems from the ownership of the Glazer family, and how innovative they have been in their approach to the game of football, and the NFL in general. When they hired Schiano after many interviews with many coaches, some who had taken their teams to last year’s playoff games, it was evident they saw something special in Schiano that would resurrect a level of greatness that the fans of Tampa Bay had come to expect.
Schiano has not disappointed so far, he has made some fantastic acquisitions in the free agency market, and this year’s draft is considered to be one of the best in Buccaneer history. The team has managed to create some cap room to work with, and they have used it to get some really good players to fill the voids exposed during the last season. That is why it seemed like a publicity stunt to see that Schiano had put LeGrand on the Buccaneer 90 man roster. After all, there is no way that LeGrand will play DT for Tampa Bay in 2012 if ever. Even if he could gain the ability to walk again, there is simply no way that he could outperform the hoards of other athletes all competing for the same job who have not suffered a debilitating injury. That is the conventional wisdom of the stats and science in placing an NFL player on the field to win football games. But conventional wisdom does not produce exceptions, and in any competitive endeavor, it is the exceptional that tip the balance of power in favor of a victor.
Great players are a dime a dozen, and coaches, teams and fans are always on the look-out for those special individuals who display leadership in the face of adversity and overcome odds that are insurmountable, and LeGrand certainly exhibits these traits without even stepping onto a football field.
My personal feelings about injuries and the kind of things doctors tell us are well noted here. I believe cancer could be cured tomorrow but the pharmaceutical companies and FDA are more concerned about preserving the status quo for their retirement accounts than actually solving a problem that will change medicine. When it comes to spinal cord injuries and nerve damage, doctors often project doomsday scenarios tapping their patients into the local pharmacy promoting bags of drugs to return the sick to some semblance of a normal life.
I don’t trust much of what doctors tell me, because I find the limits of their medical understanding confining and their belief in the potential of the human body to be deficient. My own doctors and rehab specialists tried to guide me in returning my knee to full function after extensive ACL surgery. I had torn my ACL in a basketball game, and then further damaged my knee by tearing the MCL while jumping through a wall of fire performing a whip stunt. The grass was wet to protect it from being burnt, so when I landed my foot slipped out from under me because there was no ACL to support my leg, and my femur actually drove into the ground leaving a small crater. My knee-joint slipped so far out of socket the bone had no knee in the way to protect it.
Doctors gave me weeks of rehab as the prognosis once they repaired my ACL, but I worked hard to recover as quickly as possible. I had my surgery done on a Thursday; I was walking and back to work on the following Monday. I could have milked time off work for weeks if I wanted to, but that is not how I think. I wanted to recover, and get back on my feet quickly—and I did. I went to rehab every couple of days, and I felt they were wasting my time, like my appointments were simply to provide work for the rehab employees and had very little to do with my actual recovery. I stunned the staff recovering 6X’s faster than the average, according to them. When my insurance company saw my progress with the rehab clinic, they cut the payments to my rehab. And on that day, it was my last session. I wasn’t about to pay for something out of my own pocket that I could do better on my own.
As I was leaving my therapists warned me that I might lose my advanced progress if I did not come to them anymore, in fact, my leg might not be as strong. They were aghast that I refused to take any medication during this time and made it sound as though my leg would fall off if I quit therapy. Within weeks of walking out on my therapists because my insurance company would no longer cover the costs, I was running on my leg again, and jumping through walls of fire—doing what I love doing.
My wife had ruptured a disk in her lower back carrying my youngest daughter the rest of the way up a mountain hike and didn’t realize it until we got home because she had difficulty walking. We went to see a back surgeon and discovered that she was about to become paralyzed from the waist down due to the disk slippage, so she went through emergency surgery.
After the surgery she had lost a lot of feeling in her toes and parts of her leg and was told that those nerves in her leg had been severally damaged, and she may never be able to walk correctly. Well, to my wife, this simply wasn’t an option. She had kids to raise and things to do. We rubbed her legs and feet for hours stimulating the damaged nerves and gradually she regained most of her feeling, and within a month, was able to walk normally. Again, if we had listened to the doctors, she would probably still have problems walking and her body would most likely be addicted to some pharmaceutical product to this very day even though that was well over decade ago.
The injury to LeGrand is much more severe than either one of the injuries described above, but what he has that is in common is a will to recover, to conquer his debilitation and take charge of his own body and its functions, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. For that, Coach Schiano is wise to understand that by placing LeGrand on the very young Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team that the presence of LeGrand will inspire the other players to greatness, to be at the top of their physical prowess, because compared to LeGrand, what does anyone have to complain about. If LeGrand can work out with the Buccaneers players and they see what it looks like to recover from paralysis what does a healthy player have as an excuse to not strengthen a ham string injury, or a sprained ankle?
For the inspiration of having such a positive presence on the practice field, LeGrand is worth the roster spot, and will certainly earn the privilege of playing in the NFL, even if it’s just on the sidelines. Because like most games, the battles are not won just on the field of play, they are won in the mind of the participants before the contest even begins.
I believe that with the positive attitude that Eric LeGrand has, with the support of his very positive mother and mentoring of Coach Schiano, that Eric may very well take his first steps on the practice field at One Buc Place sometime during the upcoming football season. Once Eric is on the field around other athletes, that desire to compete will drive the cells of his body to his cause, and he will walk while in a Buccaneer uniform, and the world will shudder at the miracle. LeGrand will become a shock to the medical industry of the world as new hope will be given to all victims of paralysis. The medicine of positive thinking will begin to get serious reappraisal.
Further, I believe that by the 2013 season, Eric will be running again and will be able to practice on the field simulating plays with the practice squad. And because he will have recovered and worked so hard to come back to that point, he will be a superior athlete, far surpassing what most in his position have otherwise achieved, because he has had to learn to overachieve just to recover.
By the 2014 season Eric will be in the rotation of DT’s in Tampa and he will find that he has surpassed his previous playing ability with a ferocity that defies fear, because he will have a new lease on life and will know that he has survived the worse that can be thrown at him, and he beat it back and the world will gasp at his stunning performance on third downs.
By 2015, just 5 short years from his terrible injury at Rutgers, at the tender age of 27, Eric LeGrand will be the dominate DT in the league and will be the starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many all over the NFL will be comparing him to Warren Sapp and Lee Roy Selmon but Eric will have done something nobody in the history of the world has done, he will have returned from an injury that doctors had doomed him to a life of paralysis to not only recover, but be bigger, stronger, and faster than ever before because he had knocked on death’s door and faced that ultimate fear at the brink, and that will make him unstoppable. And his never-say-quit attitude will carry the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a string of Superbowl wins that will dominate the NFL for a 6 year period up to the 2022 season. And Eric LeGrand will be known as one of the greatest players to ever play the game and he’ll not only change the game of football for the better, but will alter the course of medical science.
It will all come back to the odd decision of Coach Schiano and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to sign a paralyzed, but optimistic kid to their 90 man roster in 2012, a decision that will reenergize Buccaneer football in Tampa to a new decade of dominance and inspire the world to the unlimited possibilities of positive thinking. Once again it will be proven that the prizes of life do not go to the quicker, the stronger, or the largest man, but to the one who simply refuses to quit and believes that they can do anything once they set their mind to it and force their bodies to equal the quality of their thoughts. The strength of heart simply has more value than the bulk of muscle, and is so rare that even if a person is in a wheel chair they can have more value than a whole busload of healthy players that are the best physical athletes of their age, yet lack the inner drive to achieve beyond expectation. That is why Eric LeGrand will change the world, starting with the fate of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
Fire the CANNONS!!!!!!
This is what people are saying about my new book–Tail of the Dragon
Ok, it’s official, this is my favorite Superbowl commercial of 2012. Clint Eastwood on behalf of Chrysler, proclaimed that America isn’t done, that it’s only halftime and there is time to come back and win. I loved the metaphor, and thought it was well said–and stylish.
As for the hate and blame that is going on, I agree. When all the stupid people get out-of-the-way, America can start winning again.
I’m ready, how about you?
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It has been a long time since I’ve been able to write anything positive about my favorite football team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Shortly after writing a nice piece about my high hopes during the 2011 season, Raheem Morris lost control of the team somewhere between the game against the San Francisco 49’ers and the London game against the Chicago Bears. Raheem could not get his young players focused after loses to those two teams in the middle of the season and the Buc’s finished the rest of the season going from first place to never winning another game the rest of the season. This left the Buc’s needing to fire Morris who had been with the Glazers since he was a very young man. But when you are head coach, and you don’t win, someone has to pay. So the Glazers not only fired Raheem Morris, but every single coach on the football team, not out of meanness, but out of necessity. The press around Tampa Bay has been ablaze with speculation as to who in the world would coach the Buccaneers in the wake of this devastating termination of the entire coach staff. Many of the fans have been very frustrated that the Glazers interviewed so many coaches from the NFL, but committed to none of them. As January ticked away and time was running out panic began to set in from the fan base. They wanted to know who was going to hold the reigns of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and wanted to see how the coaching staff would be rebuilt, and they wanted it quickly. But the Glazers didn’t blink. They held out, they interviewed the held out some more—they interviewed some more, until they finally announced the hiring of Greg Schiano from Rutgers University. The reason I’m a Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan as opposed to any other football franchise is that the Glazers are not afraid to gamble to get exceptional results. This has given them some of the best players in football history, particularly on defense, but some of the best coaches anywhere, many of them still coaching in the NFL. This is because the Buccaneers as an organization put philosophy first and emotion second when they make football decisions, and they use the three basic philosophic axioms to make those decisions, existence, consciousness, and identity. Knowing they were getting old and needed new blood to their philosophy of existence, the Buc’s fired a very good coach in John Gruden to promote Raheem Morris since Morris was being courted by NFL teams all over the country looking for the next Mike Tomblin of the Pittsburg Steelers. The Glazers had lost Tomblin once, and they didn’t want to lose Morris, and since the great defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was leaving the NFL and head coaching jobs were being dangled in front of Morris the Glazers pulled the trigger, dumped Gruden and gave both jobs to Morris, who went on to be coach of the year shortly thereafter. Morris brought in great young players full of zip and poise, but eventually NFL teams were able to spot Morris’s weakness, his lack of ability to adapt and teach his team the kind of discipline needed to adjust a game plan when it didn’t work and constantly relearn plays to present fresh looks. Once teams figured out the Buccaneer playbook, the Bucs were exposed and could not win another game the rest of the year, and that was Morris’s fault. The Buc’s had lost their identity in the axiom of philosophy. This then affected their consciousness as a team and their ability to win games. Many fans of football think that what wins football games are strictly the X’s and O’s. Many sports analysts will also say such things. But they are wrong. What makes a winner on the football field is the same as what makes a winner in politics, in business, in family relationships, in personal endeavor; it’s having a correct philosophy. The Glazers rather than hire an NFL coach to just come in and win a few more games next year with the same players looked to fix their philosophy in the offseason. They aren’t looking for another quarterback, a free agent linebacker or even new D-backs. The Bucs are looking to fix their philosophy at the most fundamental level. What is the goal of their existence? How do they know they have that existence, which is their consciousness, and what is their identity which unifies those two primary axioms? This is why the Buccaneers as an organization fly that giant flag over the practice field. The Glazers know full well what they are doing. They took a gamble on Morris, it failed, so they abandoned that train of thought not because Raheem wasn’t a great coach, I think he was, but because he wasn’t able to maintain the three axioms of philosophy that the Buccaneer organization is expected to uphold. So the Glazers went out and hired a coach who displayed that he understood what those axioms are. Winning is not about spending money, it’s not about hiring a “has been.” It’s about being ahead of the curve and seeing what sometimes isn’t there yet. So I’m excited about the new hire of Greg Schiano. I am happy to see that someone outside the box is getting a chance to build a philosophy in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization that not only reflects the success of the past, but the success that is yet to be. I will continue to fly my Buccaneer flags and look forward to an exciting 2012 season which should be quite exciting. But remember, it’s not just about football, the games we play in life are about strategy and strategy is about winning wars. Whether the wars are ones of blood, ones of politics, or ones of just scores on a board, winning is a philosophy. But the key is in finding the correct philosophy, no matter what the endeavor is. For the Buccaneers, their philosophy isn’t just to win one year or two years, but to have a philosophy of winning consistently. And for us all, winning can sometimes hit us in the face by accident, but winning consistently is a philosophy that must first be identified by knowing our existence, recognizing our consciousness, and rallying being our identity. That is the way of things………………………. To learn what a Overmanwarrior is CLICK HERE: http://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/the-overmanwarriors-eating-fighting-and-philosophizing-the-keys-to-a-good-life/
Rich Hoffman http://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/ http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior www.overmanwarrior.com Watch Rich Hoffman’s favorite T.V. show: http://www.foxnews.com/freedomwatch/
I enjoyed an unusually personal day on Saturday that gave me a minute to breathe, which was much-needed. I began my day they way most of them have lately, with the old KISS song, War Machine. Of recent I have been turning this song up so loud on my iPod while I ride my motorcycle that cars next to me at stop lights can hear my music even with their windows rolled up, their heaters on full blast and my helmet confining the earphones.
I like the music loud because I want to hear the words and I don’t want any interruptions into my mode of thinking. On my motorcycle I can feel most of what I need to know from the world around me, so sound won’t cue me as to if there is danger, I just always assume there is, so I’m always ready for it. As I began this recent Saturday from my reading chair surrounded by my stacks of books, my multiple guns that are close by just in case, my maps, my phone, my two televisions broadcasting the news to me at all hours of the day I ushered in my predawn day to KISS on my iPod so not to wake up my wife upstairs.
I usually begin my day around 4:30 A.M. every day of the week no matter what is happening. I do this because I don’t like to let time slip away without capturing all I can from it. Occasionally, as it was a week ago when an outside contractor came to give me a quote, he noticed my guns and had to ask, “Are you enemy number one or what? Are you expecting a riot?” To answer that question would require a long complicated answer that is best described in the picture shown below involving the cop and the old lady. It is the privilege of being an American to be armed to the teeth, to secure your own freedom from any possible invasion of your time and space.
But…….to what end?
The busy bodies wouldn’t understand why the loud music, why the guns, why getting up at 4:30 A.M and going to bed at midnight are important. Why the reading, why the news, why all the deep conversations about philosophy, when it’s football post season play that is the talk of the town. Who will win the Superbowl, the Patriots or the Giants? “I DON’T KNOW OR CARE UNLESS THE TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS ARE PLAYING! I’m trying to focus on the science of abstraction!” I turn my music up to tune out the world and I listen to warlike music to remind me that there are many who wish to rob me of my time so I can defend it vigilantly. Because if I don’t stick up for my time, who will?
A friend of mine sent me the video below in the middle of this contemplation and it articulated wonderfully the moment. To the outside world, my measures may appear violent and over-the-top, but as I prepare for a very busy summer in my normal career, my political involvements, fighting yet another stupid Lakota tax increase, and the release of my newest book Tail of the Dragon I made myself a promise upon viewing this video–that I will take time to breath, to visit Alberta, Canada after this next wave of impositions and pursue the visions in that video.
When I try to explain to people why I fight so much, why I think like a War Machine day and night, it’s because I want the freedom of the visions in that video. I want that life free of those parasites that cannot fill themselves so they seek to empty you. I have little tolerance for those who wish to rob me of my time. I have even less tolerance for those who waste their own time. To me the greatest sin a human being can partake in is saying, “I’m so bored.”
After watching that Alberta video I read my email, caught up on the news I missed while I slept, and took a few calls. But after that the day was before me with no contractors to speak with, nothing severely broken to fix, no family to visit, no meetings to attend, and no literary work on my part since my book is now on a closed edit at the copy editor and the publisher is handling the artwork. For the first time since I signed my contract with the publisher in May of 2011, I have not worked on that latest book in my spare time. So I had nothing at all to do which was wonderful, it felt just like the images in that video.
I read a fiction book for a change that was so fun and exciting that I finished the book by 10:45 P.M. Saturday night. For months I had been reading my own book so many different times during a very exhaustive edit, where every single sentence was contemplated for effectiveness, that it was nice to read the fiction work of someone else. Lately when I have been reading, it has been heavy-duty philosophy and history. So a book on the light side of fiction was very refreshing.
My wife and I sat in our usual places, both of us in a friendly race to see who could finish our books faster. She started with one that was about 400 pages, mine was only 350. At the end of the night when we decided to go to bed she had about 40 pages left so she probably outpaced me a bit, but that didn’t matter. I was so wrapped up in my own little world that I was surprised when she made dinner and brought it to me when it was time to eat, as the setting sun outside showed the last traces of orange for the day.
The fighting is in pursuit of the ability to have days like the one mentioned above. Being a War Machine is not to bleed away your enemies, or even to make more of them. Being a War Machine is to fight away the altruistic parasites, the lazy, the easily bored, so that a day can be enjoyed to its fullest. So that I can read my books! So I can think!
I turn up my music over the roar of my motorcycle and the busy traffic of West Chester to hear myself think. To drown out the noise of the leeches who like a candle burning at both ends expect me to consume my life for their entertainment, because they are bored and don’t think for themselves. I think about war at all hours of the day not because I want a medal for some valor, or for the glory of defeating an enemy. My mind is a War Machine because I want freedom. I want unlimited access to my books, to the places of the world like Alberta, Canada and anything that gets in my way will be plowed over. So you better watch out………..because………………..well listen to the words.
And to those who give me dirty looks at the stop lights, I have one more message. When I was younger I had a shirt I wore all the time that said on the back, IF IT’S TOO LOUD, YOU’RE TOO OLD. It was a shirt I bought at a KISS concert. One of my friends parents back then used to scathe at that shirt whenever I’d come to their house. “You better hope you grow out of this rebellious phase Rich Hoffman. For your own good. All that loud music will blow out your ear drums. By the time you’re my age, you’ll be deaf.” Well, I always kind of liked that lady. She was very politically active and genuinely cared about her kids. However she was the epitome of the salivating soccer mom we joke about today who works to pass school levies and mistakenly over thinks her role as a parent. I decided back then I didn’t want the life she and her kind were selling. I am now older than she was then, and I still love my music loud not because I want to become a brainwashed demon worshipper like in the video below, but because I want to tune out the caution dwellers, those people who come out of high school with one foot in the grave and with every move thereafter is another nail in their own coffin. I know many such types who have allowed themselves to become “older” and “civilized,” or in other words……………what’s the word……………….“mature?” Those people are all unhappy and if they have not found their muse in life, I consider them more dangerous than any creature on earth because they seek to fill their emotional voids with money taken from us in taxes, with food off the self at the grocery, the diamond rings in the glass case at Costco, or the puritan beliefs of maturity, but no matter what the disguise, they are simply parasites who wish to rob you of your life. That’s why this War Machine LOVES IT LOUD! And I love it loud to push the world away so I can be close to my books. I always played my music loud not to gain attention, but to keep away those who were too timid to win my company, because my time has always been too valuable to waste by those who just consume.
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Fresh off a full day at my daughter’s house celebrating her 22nd birthday and indulging in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie marathon which was one of her birthday wishes, my thoughts returned to the genius of Walt Disney and his foresight to create the original ride of which that film series is based in his Disneyland amusement park so many years ago. This love of pirate lore has deep roots in American society and for good reason, because pirates are one of America’s parents, and to understand America, you have to understand the role that a pirate plays in the process.
Before indulging in that deep abyss of psychological exploration all one must do to witness the world as it always has been before rebellions of courage have lashed out against tyrannical static patterns of thought, the current Obama administration displays clearly why I have always considered it more important to teach my kids about the value of piracy than the importance of getting a doctorate in medicine, or political science. Because to me, the thieves, the scallywags, and the politicians of this world are those who seek to control others through rules and regulation and they should be fought as an enemy to individuality. President Obama to date has been the worst, yet best example of what such thieves and looters are capable of and why the world should run in the opposite direction of such moochers and social parasites.
Walt Disney knew what few people were ready to acknowledge when he designed Disneyland, then his much larger theme park Disney World. When I was a kid, I marveled at how Disney got away with having a theme ride about rapists, terrorists, and drunken bastards robbing and looting in an aimless life, and placed that ride within a very short walk from the Liberty Tree in Liberty Square as if both sections of his park were equal in some way. I always felt that Walt Disney was trying to tell people something important. Even though he sold the Disney image with Cinderella Castle there was something under the covers he wanted to instruct every American alive of the importance, and the sign posts are everywhere in Walt Disney World.
This became very evident to me about a decade ago when I was at Disneyworld with my wife and most of her family. The Park had closed except to employees and their families at 9 PM after the light parade, so for the next two hours the whole park was ours, since my niece was an employee at the time. So my wife, daughters my niece and two nephews went on a quest of adventure those next two hours that cleared up the whole problem for me. We had free access to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, before Disney reinvented it with the film franchise, and the ghost of Walt Disney spoke to me as we rode that ride 8 times in a row from 9 PM till 10 PM. The line was so short we had it virtually to ourselves. We could get off, get back in line and do it again almost immediately. After 4 times in a row the employees let us just stay in the boat and continue on for the next 4 times.
At this time I was reading a book I knew populated the libraries of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams with considerable respect, and I knew that it was a key to the wording of the American Constitution. It was also the book that created the very first libel law suit in the history of mankind, so the Founding Fathers being interested in the laws of England were very much aware of its importance. The book was called The Buccaneers of America written by Alexander O. Exquemelin who served under Henry Morgan’s command on those Buccaneer exploits that took place on the Caribbean oceans of the 1670’s. Morgan was a privateer serving the kind of England with the profits from his loot in raiding the Spanish and their hold on Central America. To England, Morgan was a privateer. To every other nation Morgan was a bloodthirsty pirate. Since the King of England Charles II was becoming very wealthy under Morgan’s exploits the English Jamaican colony town of Port Royal was left alone from the long arm of English law and the Governor of Jamaica gave Henry Morgan free rein to do as he pleased. This was the birth of freedom, even though the results often ended in prostitution, drunken orgies, and other decadence, freedom from the laws of kings began in this small Jamaican port.
Well, another important figure to the foundation of the United States also played a part in all this. The very young John Locke who was serving as Secretary of the Board of Trade and Plantations for Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury a very close confidant to the king. Locke was in a unique position to see how the behavior in the far away land of Jamaica influenced the politics of England to the highest rank. What Locke learned in these observations became the Two Treatises of Civil Government which Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would use to modal the Declaration of Independence after. You see, John Locke became a philosopher based on all these observations, the most pivotal in America history up to that point, because John Locke and the exploits of Henry Morgan occurred a hundred years before the American Revolution and set the foundation of thought that would become America. The seeds of rebellion had been planted by Locke and nurtured along by patriots like Sam Adams and Thomas Paine. But the ship that carried the seed for Locke to plant was Henry Morgan.
After Charles the II died, England sought to make peace with the French, Spanish and Dutch, so English heroes like Morgan were suddenly cast into the light of piracy and were hunted down for crimes that just a few short years ago made them wealthy. Fortune hunters who sought to live the “pirate’s life” of Morgan took to the seas and found themselves bandits as the governments of the world outlawed the practice of privateering.
But the new world of America had attracted all the adventurers and discontent of the world’s countries, many of them coming to America to settle in the various pirate towns, such as New York, and especially New Orleans to be free of people like Obama’s contemporaries, they were every bit as alive and well back then let me assure you. Pirate captains like Black Sam Bellamy continued on in the tradition of Henry Morgan for as long as they could. Politics being the nature of static patterns attacked the dynamic social patterns of the pirates by settling the new world themselves, and buffering out the effect of the wild outlaws who occupied this strange new world called America.
But some men, the raw adventurers who would rather die than lose their freedom, even if it was the chains of hell itself they fought against continued to pillage and plunder long after the laws of civilization had pulled tight the noose of control. This is precisely the same pattern that occurred in the American West. Politicians used the adventurous spirit of its wild and wooly class to settle the frontier. Then once the blood of their enemies had been shed they turned on the adventurous and killed them. This is how Black Beard came to be. Black Beard just thirty to forty years prior would have been a hero for England. But in 1718, he was an enemy to the world because he refused to acknowledge the laws of politicians, and proved far too difficult to socially control.
The great classic movie The Buccaneer with Charlton Heston playing Andrew Jackson and Yul Brynner playing Jean Lafitte was about the unholy alliance between Jackson who teamed up with the pirate of New Orleans in Lafitte to fight off the English in the War of 1812. Jackson wisely used the unpredictable static patterns of the pirates around New Orleans to defeat handedly the English troops who occupied the city. Did you not know that Mardi Gras was brought to Louisiana by early French settlers and the rituals of wearing masks and bringing single women to elaborate masked balls was started by the French pirates and prostitutes of New Orleans?
This is why Walt Disney recreated a New Orleans town to place his new ride Pirates of the Caribbean into at the very first Disneyland. Being a natural patriot, who had dropped out of high school, and never had any formal education of any kind, Disney had taught himself, and this is what made him a unique thinker. Disney obviously loved The Buccaneer movie, but during that same period of time the great classic novel called Atlas Shrugged came out, in 1957. In that classic book one of the key characters is the pirate Ragnar Danneskjöld who serves as one of the three main protagonist’s who raids and loots the “looters” of society. In the case of Atlas Shrugged the “looters” were politicians like Obama in the very first clip. Ragnar stole back from the politicians the loot they plundered from those who had originally earned the money. There is no question that Ragnar’s character in Atlas Shrugged, Yul Brynner’s adaption of Lafitte in The Buccaneer, and the many stories of Henry Morgan and how the Founding Father’s adored Morgan and his band of Pirates led to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. So as I was reading at the time of traveling down that boat ride for the sixth and seventh times that night the words of Exquemelin and Locke were clearly written on everything I was looking at.
In those two short years, 1957 with Atlas Shrugged, then in 1958 with The Buccaneer the static pattern of the pirate as a villain, as depicted in Captain Hook, or Captain Flint was suddenly shattered and a new way to look at piracy emerged, which was not shaped on Christian values of morality, but on the true intentions of the human soul. This is why the Disney ride is so popular, and why the movies are so enjoyable.
This is also why pirates are the keys to understanding what America was supposed to be, and what it still can be. This is also why films like Pirates of the Caribbean, and books like Atlas Shrugged are absolute keys to dusting off American Excepetionalism and becoming once again what we were in the beginning, when freedom was an idea created on a pirate ship, written down by a surgeon, witnessed by a philosopher, studied by revolutionaries, and translated for us by artists. It is why we root for blood thirsty killers like Jessie James even though publicly we chastise them. Deep in our hearts we know that the key to our inner desires is to not fall in line with what society tells us to do. The key is to cast off the control of the politicians and their rules, their laws, their meager attempts to control human beings as though they were cattle. The key to American Exceptionalism is in being…..well exceptional……exceptionally free, and living with a passion to protect that freedom, at any and all cost.
We like pirates and outlaws because they have the courage to question the rules that bind the human soul. We may call them unholy, unethical, unpatriotic, but deep inside we call them bandits and mean it as the highest compliment. I have yet to meet a man and especially a woman who doesn’t love a bandit in their lives whether they admit it in the light of day or not. Because the bandit seeks freedom as the highest goal, and adventure is but the vehicle that takes them to their destination. It is the rest of the world who watches in envy as those with courage take their freedom and live each hour of the day by the fruit of their valor. For the rest, they just watch Pirates of the Caribbean and fantasize about a world they could have lived, if only they weren’t such gullible fruitcakes with one foot already in their coffins.
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Even though Tampa Bay lost big today it is important to have adversity because it builds character, and when a young team like the Bucs are have been winning at will, they sometimes take things for granted. So losses are opportunities to build character, because the overall franchise is more than one game and this article is about the “bigger picture.” The young kids will bounce back and solve their problems, because the foundation beneath the loss is of high quality. And such a lesson is one everyone faces at some time or another whether it be an individual, or an organization. Winning all the time does not challenge the soul, overcoming something that shakes your foundations do. And with all the talk on this site about failure in government, it is because they do not go back to the film room and figure out why. They just ask for a “bailout,” and lose time and again without improvement and use higher taxes to prop up their self-esteem. A football team does not have the option of raising taxes. They have to dig deep and improve themselves.
To understand why any group or other interest that stands in the way of innovation infuriates me to the levels it does, I feel I must open the door just a bit more into my personal beliefs since you and I know each other just a bit better than we used to. In my life I am attracted to personalities who reach beyond the static patterns of convention, and in my opinion nothing else is worthy of my attention. I feel that way about my entertainment, my politics, my friends, and my sports. So I ask you dear reader to suspend your thoughts for just a moment, long enough to read this article. It doesn’t matter if you like a different NFL team than me, or even have different politics than I do, just suspend your beliefs for just a while and let me take you into the great temple which is Raymond James Stadium and let me share with you the richness you will find there. Click the video below to see how a football game begins in that palace of ingenuity. (THAT’S WHAT APPEARS ON THE JUMBO TRON)
On any given Sunday in the falling leaves of autumn, at the end of my driveway you will see two flags. You will also see flags all the way up my driveway and on the porch of my house also. And in the living room on football Sunday, it’s always Halloween, even at Christmas, as skulls, smoke machines and more flags are displayed. But the flags at the end of my driveway are special, very special, because they were given to me by the owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers himself and are the focus of my enjoyment of that football team which is run by that very innovative and generous family in one of my favorite cities, Tampa Bay.
To understand the history of why I’m a Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan, please see two of my previous articles on this subject.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an ownership represents much about my own style of management, and ideas about how all organizations should work They have as a franchise produced an extraordinary number of great players, coaches, and personalities who now populate the TV analyst’s booth on every sports channel. But they have done so without a lot of hoopla and fanfare, unless you happen to live in Tampa Bay. To the world outside of Tampa Bay, The Buccaneers are just another NFL team. The media doesn’t really understand why they are special, only that there is something unique going on in the Bay City of Florida that they sometimes contemplate with empty questions, and even emptier answers.
Players have come and gone, and coaches too, but in Tampa Bay there has been a consistency of always being competitive, of at least being an exciting team to watch no matter what year it was. The history of the team runs deep. Unfortunately, because NFL teams cannot afford to keep all their highly paid players, due to business limits, a team like the Buccaneers must always push the limits and dig deep to find ways to win even when they lose their best talent.
After losing coaches like John Gruden, which was a business decision, Monte Kiffin, the future Hall-of-Fame defensive coordinator, Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Derrick Brooks, (due to age) and many, many others including the power running full-back Mike Alstott, Tampa seemed out of cannon balls after nearly a decade of dominate defense and trend setting achievements as a franchise. All over the country, sports reporters were predicting doom and gloom for the Buccaneers. But I wasn’t, and neither were the Glazers. The Glazers knew they had been breeding talent down in Tampa for years and decided that if they were losing all that great talent on all sides of the ball, including coaches that they needed to look internally for the next great coach to build their team and maintain their reputation. The Glazers were not looking to an “outsider” to just merely win games in Tampa Bay. The Glazers wanted to preserve their culture that they had built, a static culture that required someone who had always been there and grown up in the organization all along, starting as a very young man.
It wasn’t hard for me to predict that Raheem Morris would be the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs had lost Mike Tomlin to the Pittsburg Steelers who was a coach in Tampa just a few years prior, and they weren’t going to lose the much sought after assistant coach in Raheem to another team, because Morris had grown up with all those great players and coaches on the inside, and the Glazers had enough understanding of what they brought to the NFL to keep a coach who could maintain their culture with a dynamic personality full of energy. So the Bucs promoted Raheem Morris to head coach and defensive coordinator, which was unprecedented in the NFL and drew much criticism from virtually every expert in the industry. Many were saying that Tampa Bay Buccaneer Football was on its way out.
Except me…….and I let Bryan Glazer know it after a series of terrible loses where the youngest head coach in the NFL was struggling through his first season with a decimated team lost to free agency, and age. But Raheem is the kind of guy who never quits, and his personality is as my wife says……infectious, so it was only a matter of time before Raheem turned things around and got the Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing the caliber of football everyone expected from this very dynamic organization, a team that could live up to that Jumbo Tron intro. Bryan sent me those flags in thanks because it was a tough time for he and his family. Virtually everyone was calling them stupid, cheap, and out-of-touch for hiring Morris when Bill Parcels had indicated he wanted the Tampa job, and news analysts were chipping away at the Glazer family credibility at every opportunity. But they trusted their instincts and stayed with Morris, and I thought a kind word would go a long way in their darkest hour. So Bryan sent me those flags in thanks. Those flags aren’t the kind you can buy from a street vender or even on EBay. They are only passed out during home playoff games, so they are very rare. Bryan gave me the ones he had on his desk.
Meet Raheem Morris here, and let him show you around the Tampa Bay Organization:
I love his energy! One of the first things he did after his first dismal season was draft Josh Freeman, which drew an extraordinary amount of criticism, because many felt that Freeman was not a marquee quarterback, because there were much higher profile quarterbacks on the block and that Morris was out-of-his mind for taking Freeman!
Most fans had the same reaction as that guy, but Raheem knew what he was doing and the Glazers trusted his decisions, even if everyone in the world thought Raheem Morris was out of his mind. In this early interview, you can see much of what Morris saw in the young Josh Freeman, a mature kid even-keeled who would not panic in the 4th quarter under pressure and would provide a stable platform all the other players could build themselves around.
Another controversial player that Raheem Morris went after which nobody understood was LeGarrette Blount, a fiery young running back from Oregon who seemed to have a very violent temper. Blount would have been drafted higher if not for this fight which would haunt him even to this very day, as sports analysts will not forget the incident. Blount is one of those people who were destined to fall between the cracks because nobody with any sort of vision would look beyond his brutal will to fight, which was mistaken as a ruthless will to win, at any cost.
I saw the game with Blount and I noticed how he squared his shoulders to invite the fight, and was not afraid. He seemed to run the ball the same way, without fear and with a fury. I saw something unique in the kid, and Morris obviously saw the same thing. But the Tennessee Titans missed this genius, because Blount’s fighting didn’t stop in the Titans training camp, again, here is a kid who will fight for every inch and does not understand what the word “quit” is. Here is Blount in just a practice where he loses his helmet and still won’t let the defense stop him, which triggers a violent exchange.
Raheem convinced the Buccaneer Organization to sign Blount as an unsigned free agent once the Titans cut him. Because Morris has such an “infectious” personality, Tampa Bay was able to get a hold of a player similar to Warren Sapp only on the offensive side of the ball. Tampa for the first time since Mike Alstott had a runner in the back-field that could pound the ball in a way the Buc fans had come to expect. Warren Sapp had the calm and cool Tony Dungy to keep Sapp from flying apart in rage. And Blount now had the bubbly and good personality of Morris to compliment his very natural aggression and provide leadership and direction so that LeGarrette Blount could be what he was built to be, one of the greatest running backs of this modern age.
LeGarrette Blount is pure, raw energy, but the credit to giving this kid a chance, belongs to Raheem Morris. Have a look at what Blount has been able to do for the Bucs.
The organization isn’t just those two guys. There are dozens of similar young people who have been quietly recruited into the Buccaneers and they are too numerous to list here. What becomes quickly apparent when studied is that Tampa Bay as a franchise recruits dynamic personalities into a static pattern established by the Glazer Family to use those dynamics to always push-off the competition within the NFL over a long period of time. It is within that statement that I am so passionate about Tampa Bay Buccaneer Football. I am not a person who cares for stats, or even individual players. I am all about dynamic patterns used to make a static pattern great, or better. (SEE THIS LINK TO UNDERSTAND WHAT I MEAN BY STATIC AND DYNAMIC PATTERNS.) In fact, even with all the great players and coaches, even when it came down to the treasured veteran linebacker Derrick Brooks, who was the ideal icon of the franchise, when he become too old to maintain the static pattern of expectation the Glazers let him go, just as they did Sapp, Lynch, Gruden and many others. It wasn’t out of disloyalty, although the fans did feel that way. It was that the Glazers put the high level static pattern of their team ahead of their loyalty to personalities. When the dynamic personalities are no longer effective, the Glazers look for new personalities to keep the Buccaneers continuously competitive.
It is true that this does hurt them at the ticket booth, as fans do fall in love with individual players, and many sports fans keep careful track of the various statistics of those players. But the Glazers have always maintained this discipline to their organization, which is unique to them. They fired my favorite coach in Sam Wyche to hire Tony Dungy. They fired Tony, even though they loved him in Tampa because Tony had stalled out and become less effective so they could hire John Gruden. And when Gruden had lost his touch with the players and become mediocre, Tampa fired Gruden, considered by many to be one of the best minds in football, to hire Raheem Morris, the young assistant who quietly absorbed all the greatness of the men who came before him. And Raheem knows that if he becomes complacent and stops bringing a dynamic to his team which protects the static pattern of quality that is expected with the Tampa Bay Franchise, he’ll be let go also. It’s not personal, but for the Glazers, they have a dedication to putting on the field at every level a quality product.
This mentality even extends to the Cheerleaders who are among the best of any NFL team. Not only are their costumes appropriate along that fine line between sex appeal, and family friendly style, but their choreography as a dance unit is top-notch, and has been since the construction of Raymond James Stadium. When attending a game at Ray Jay you will be treated to these cheerleaders who perform with precision in between plays in an overall show that is complete for the entire 3 to 4 hours you are inside that palace.
And it’s not unusual for the Buccaneer Cheerleaders to do many community events and appearances all over town exhibiting their quality performances as a dance team. The philosophy of these Buc Cheerleaders is to bring the sex appeal expected from a cheerleader in the NFL with a style and work ethic similar to a Broadway Dancer.
It’s in the details however that makes just an average organization great. It’s a multitude of little dynamics which tend to preserve the greatness of a static pattern in competition with other static patterns, and in the NFL all teams have great players and football minds that are seeking to destroy each other’s season. And in Tampa Bay if the cheerleaders don’t keep people excited about the product on the field during this epic battle between the players themselves, then the Pirate Ship that sites in Buccaneer Cove, which is a replica of a giant Caribbean Village, will. All the props in the stadium are built by the same company who builds for Walt Disney World and the Pirate Ship is one of the most unique features for a sports stadium in the entire world. There is nothing like it anywhere!
It was this Pirate Ship which earned my eternal loyalty to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Being from Cincinnati, I know the history of their stadium debacle up close, and the ironic thing is, before Paul Brown Stadium was built, the Bengals toured Raymond James Stadium for ideas, but they seemed to miss most everything in their interpretation. Raymond James Stadium is the centerpiece of activity in Tampa. When they aren’t playing football there for the Buccaneers, it might be football with the South Florida Bulls, or a Monster Truck event, or a concert, or an equestrian event, Raymond James Stadium hosts events all through the year, was built completely with community money but gives back to the community in so many ways without compromising the integrity of being the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Raymond James Stadium is the Crown Jewel of the NFL and all sports establishments. It is the best of the best even when others have tried to copy it. The difference is most ownerships attempt to duplicate the luxury boxes and vending sales, without understanding the dynamic relationship connected to the fan experience. This is why most have failed when attempting to duplicate the success of Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And this is why even when I don’t get to fly to Tampa for a game I duplicate the experience at my home on a Sunday afternoon. Because being a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is about more than a football team, it’s a celebration of the success of merging dynamic quality patterns with static patterns and how that balance can be achieved successfully.
Many who know me are baffled by the fact that I love the Buccaneers so much, because I tend to read a lot and don’t seem like the type of person who would enjoy “tailgating” and cheering for a player to carry a ball across a green field to cross a little line on the ground where the team gets points. (Such a thing is rather silly in the greater scheme of things) But in truth, some of my favorite people are in Florida, and Tampa has many people in it that I call my friends, and those friendships have in common a love of the Buccaneers because their success bleeds over into other aspects of life. And I don’t give out friendship easily. But in regard to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who even over their practice field fly a giant pirate flag that looms over the players to remind them of where they are and what they are expected to do, innovation and encouragement to reach deep inside to bring out greatness is encouraged in every act exerted. You can see that flag in the next clip. When people visiting Tampa Bay fly into the International Airport if they look out the east window of their craft, that flag is the first thing they will see in Tampa Bay, for it inundates the horizon.
But the secrets to a great organization are in many of the unsung positions, and the Buccaneers value their former players, even if they let them go to avoid salary cap problems where those players become too expensive for what they bring to the field of play. They promoted the linebacker Shelton Quarles to a scout which keeps his dynamic talent under the umbrella of the Buccaneer Franchise and allows the Bucs to locate passionate players who fit into the static expectations of the organization, because if anyone knows what kind of player should be in a Buccaneers locker room or on the field, it’s Shelton.
When I was growing up, as I pointed out in another article on the Buccaneers, my nickname was “Animal.” I like Blount had a problem with fighting. I could not take a hit without fighting back and I never knew when to quit. (I still don’t) because I would be bored in life without some kind of fight or another. No coach wanted me on a football team because I never took direction well, and I had no tolerance for the politics of school football. If I had met someone like a Raheem Morris when I was 16 through 22 I might have played football for a guy like that, because Morris, and the Glazers know how to tap into those types of individuals that other organizations overlook, or take for granted who move through life on the outside of establishment. And the Buccaneers know that it is in such dynamic people who a competitive edge over an opponent can be found. So it is with that in mind that I feel an affinity for LeGarrette Blount. I can relate to the kid. It will be interesting to see how he handles success, once money finds its way to him. I hope it doesn’t change the kind of man he has a chance to be. I’m sure that Raheem Morris is having those kinds of talks with the young man.
So as we contemplate education reform, and the role of government in society, I rest my mind from the burdens of the day and dedicate my valuable time to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers whenever they play because on every occasion that I doubt the validity of an idea I can look to that organization as a symbol of how things should or could be. I see upon that organization at every single level a passion for finding a dynamic which will make them better without compromising their static quality. I see an indulgence in more than just a game, but a philosophy that not only benefits the team and ownership of the Buccaneers, but the entire community themselves. It is the entire experience of the quality achieved at all these various levels which put the smile on a face of a young boy and ignite in him a hope that anything is possible. Or it brings delight to the over-weight middle-aged man stuck in a rut in his life to see gladiators give it their all on the field of battle, or the bored mother who holds up her hands to have beads thrown upon her head from the pirate ship in Buccaneer Cove. It is an entire city that is the better for the fact that the Buccaneers guard selfishly their unique brand of football in an NFL League that is all-too-focused on quarterbacks and statistics, that they often miss the magic of the dynamic in human spirit. Too often those types upon a confounded brow wonder how such characters came to be but for someone like the Glazer family created the conditions for the unique to blossom, and capture in those weekly battles a magic which enhances the lives of thousands.
Yo, ho, YO, HO, It’s a pirates life for me, and on Sunday’s I fly my flags proudly and think of Raymond James Stadium, the Glazer Family, the Pirate Ship, Raheem Morris and the various Buc players both past and present who live and fight the way I think all people should play at life, with passion, enthusiasm, and eternal hope, pounding one yard at a time for the end zones of life if only to hear the celebration of cannon fire and the cheering of a crowd under the gentle gaze of a October Sun.
Win, or lose, I am a fan of Buccaneer Football! Because it’s easy to be a fan when your team wins, or there is money in your pocket. But it is very hard to have courage and strength when things don’t go your way. That is the difference between success and failure and is the reason we play sports in society. It’s a measure of our ability to adapt and learn what we are made of, whether or not we will cry out for assistance, blame someone else, or look at ourselves in the mirror and grow better, and more hungry. It is in that process that everything becomes better. And because of everything I’ve said here about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a loss at this stage of their development is something that will burn in those young kids for years and make them veterans able to sustain victory long into the future. Unfortunately, our society does not apply this lesson to their everyday lives, because if they did, they would find that those lives would improve dramatically.