Reports all over today seem to imply that the vote will occur and the NFL work stoppage will end. While it is not over yet, this seems far more credible now and so people are getting excited (especially me!). Another reason to be excited as a Bucs fan, aside from our strong and young roster, is that there seems to be an interesting trend amongst the younger players. As JoeBucsFan.com pointed out earlier, some of our youngest players are reaching out to the community. Rather than police blotters, the social media world has been buzzing about guys like Adrian Clayborn and Gerald McCoy taking fans to the movies and Ahmad Black taking a fan and his children out to breakfast. Hell, even I got to go play golf with AC (Adrian Clayborn. You see, when you are golfing buddies, you get to use nicknames.)
During that round of golf what we did was talk smack. That is what guys do when we golf (badly I might add). We were not worried about the lockout and defensive schemes any more than when I play golf with other, non-football players. This is a young man who chose to eat salad and drink water all day in the 100 degree heat because it is the right thing to do. Not because anyone was watching (and I can assure you we were not eating salads or drinking water!) I can report that I have rarely met a young man with as high a profile who acts as humbly as AC did that day. As a fan of this team I can tell you that watching him interact with not only our foursome, but the other folks at the course, we are fortunate to have Adrian in Tampa and I look forward to sharing more bad golf shots with him when he is not mauling opposing QB’s and stuffing the run!
The fact is, the youngest amongst our new generation Bucs seem to be ‘bucing’ (could not resist) the trend toward stupidity and lawlessness for a different form of celebrity. They are bonding with the fan base. Does that mean that young men won’t make mistakes? Nope. Everyone does. What it means is that they are paying attention to the people that can elevate them beyond simply another player on the team they love to a persona that transcends the football season and plants roots in the community.
I seem to remember this happening once before. That was the start of something special too.
Thanks to all of you players for reaching out and letting fans get to know you. As weird as it may seem to you (as the celebrity), it is an awesome experience for fans both young and old to get to know you more on a personal level. Keep up the good work and of course, Go Bucs!