Battle in the Bay…Cease Fire!

There’s a storm brewing in Tampa Bay these days. Groups of Bucs fans battling back and forth. A mutiny aboard our very own ship. A ship that was already taking on water after a surprisingly disastrous 5-11 season now has members of it’s own krewe firing cannons at each other instead of the enemy.

WE can’t have this.

Look I get it. Last season really took it’s toll on all of us. We all had extremely high expectations going into the 2017 season after finishing 9-7 in Koetter’s first year and the way the defense finished the 2016 season. The addition of speedster DeSean Jackson to an already potent offense,  a strong draft class. All the love the team received on Good Morning Football and Hard Knocks. It all led us to believe that special things were on the horizon. As it turned out, we were all wrong. Everyone was wrong. And it hurt. It hurt badly. Now that hurt has turned to something else. Something that’s eating away at our fan base causing it to implode.

WE can’t have that.

I’m not writing this to take sides. I’m not naming names. I’m not saying that someone is right or anyone is wrong. I don’t really care. I don’t care how or why it started. I don’t care who started it. I really don’t. What I do know is that WE need to stop it.

WE can’t have it.

After such a promising start to this 2018 offseason, we should all be ecstatic. I realize that last season probably taught us to temper our expectations a bit, but I can’t help it. I’m getting excited all over again. We all should be. We should be discussing the new additions and what they bring to the table. We should be talking about who we think the team will pick in the draft. We should be anticipating the 2018 schedule that’s coming out soon and figuring out which road games we all want to invade. Instead, I’m seeing arguments, accusations, anger and social media potshots between Bucs fans.

WE can’t have this.

Again, I’m not taking sides. I see what everyone else sees. I know what I know. I understand where the frustration is coming from. I really do. But why worry about it? Let frauds be frauds. Everyone will see through it eventually. Let the fake fans jump ship. We don’t need them on board anyway. We only want true die-hards on our krewe. It shouldn’t matter if you’re a “Stick Carrier”, a “Buccaholic”, a “Skulleton Krewe” member, a member of the “Buccaneer Invasion” or a WTB tailgater. As long as you’re a real fan who stuck around through two separate 5-game losing streaks and was still standing tall in RayJay watching the Bucs beat the Saints in Week 17, then you’re a citizen of Buc Nation. That’s it.

We have to put all the petty stuff aside and just be Bucs fans. We can argue about Gruden vs. Dungy. We can debate about whether Chris Conte should be a starter. We can discuss draft scenarios. But let’s leave all the other nonsense alone. Let’s worry about Buccaneer football, get unified, come together as one fan base and take back our stadium from opposing fans. Not because one guy says to, but because WE as a fan base want to. Let’s be our team’s “12th man” every single game from kickoff until the clock hits zero. Let’s be the best fans in the NFL. And let’s do it together.

All of us, as one big happy family.

If you don’t want to do that, then walk the plank. If you’re a fraud, then walk the plank. If you’re a fair weather fan, then walk the plank. If you think your “fan group” is better than any other “fan group”, then walk the plank. If you’d rather be known as a member of a “fan group” than a citizen of Buc Nation, then walk the plank. If you’re on board, then stay on board. Don’t be a “jump ship chump” as my friend “Big Nasty” would say. Be real. Be true. Be a Buccaneers fan. Let’s ALL be Bucs fans together. Let’s siege the day and defend the bay together. Let’s invade our opponents’ stadiums together. Let’s follow the Licht and help Captain Koetter right this ship together. Most importantly, let’s enjoy this ride together. This team is on the verge of something special. I feel it. So let’s come together and do our part to help them out. At the end of this season, we just may be celebrating another Super Bowl win…together.

Until then, as always…GO BUCS!!!

Jon Hinkle

My name is Jon Hinkle, also know as Deez Bucz to most Buccaneers fans. I have been given the opportunity by to do some writing about one of my favorite subjects...Buccaneer football and all that goes with it. This is my first public writing gig, so I'm hoping that I can entertain the fine fans of Tampa Bay while learning and gaining experience towards a possible new career in sports reporting. I hope everyone enjoys the fruits of my labor and I look forward to bringing some new and exciting stories to Bucs Nation! And as always.....GO BUCS!!!

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