Each year on July 4th Americans get together to enjoy barbecues, family reunions, picnics, and parades in observance of the day in 1776 that the Continental Congress declared in the Declaration of Independence that the original thirteen colonies would exist as free, independent states.
School’s out for summer. The thermostat outside is set to blaze. Bathing suits are flying off the racks. Families are gathering to fire up the barbeques, telling family stories for the thousandth time. This is the perfect time to celebrate independence. But let us not lose sight of another important observance we make this week; NFL teams will be starting camp in almost three weeks.
The Buccaneers will start camp with a practice open to the public on Friday, July 26th. For those keeping score at home that is three weeks from Friday and it can’t get here soon enough. Like children returning to school from summer vacation, NFL athletes will report to their respective camps. Duffel bags full of clothes. Some will carry mattresses. There will be video of players getting onto golf carts with playbooks in hand. Saying “Bye” to their summer independence as they begin the business of becoming a single unit with a singular purpose: to win.
There will be lots of new faces. There will be veterans in new places. There will be players that nobody knows, yet. Possibly that next wunderkind who goes from undrafted free agent to making the eventual 53-man squad. It’s all quite exciting.
So, Buccaneer fans. Light those barbeques. Spend time with your families. Enjoy a happy, safe 4th of July celebration as well as the remainder of the summer. Watch that sunset, flip that burger, dance like nobodies watching. But remember, keep it all in perspective. For the celebration of summer is great, but the Buccaneers report for camp in under a month. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize.