Keck’s Column: Mardi Gras Vs. Gasparilla



Well, so much for “social distancing.”

Aren’t we supposed to ease into normalcy? Tell that to the NFL. The league knows nothing is for certain in our world. So if the NFL season lasts all of one week, it definitely wants a Buccaneers-Saints showdown.   

Brady vs. Brees!

Jameis vs. Arians!

The Big Nasty in the Big Easy?

Let’s be clear, there’s nothing “social” about the Bucs and Saints. And now there’s no “distancing” for the Bucs to see just how good they are with Tom Brady. Can the Champs of the offseason rumble with the three-time defending NFC South Champs of the real season?

Talk about getting straight to the punchline.

Dessert for breakfast?

This is a beignet with extra powdered sugar.

A Small Window

There is a sense of urgency surrounding this Buccaneer team. Brady for two years. Arians is coaching his final act. Gronk is coming out of retirement. Why waste time?  

There better not be whining about having to start the season with Mardi Gras. Rest assured, the Bucs have been game planning for this matchup since the original Brady phone call. Me thinks Todd Bowles has already designed a blitz involving Jose Gaspar. Here’s hoping the Bucs take the rest of this offseason to bring hell on the Saints offense.

This is exactly why you sign Tom Brady. After a spring of getting kicked out of a Tampa park, walking into the wrong house and dealing with Jeter as his landlord, let him take out some frustration on somebody other than the Jets. What a chance for Arians to show Brady how his new toys really work.  

Beads For Everyone

Two years ago, Fitzmagic led the Bucs to a 48-40 win in the opener at New Orleans. Mike Evans had seven catches for 147 yards and a touchdown.  Last season, the Saints rolled their defense to blanket Evans. Evans was held without a catch, but Chris Godwin had seven grabs for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Add in Gronk and Brady could be tossing more than beads.

For the record, Brady is 4-1 against the Saints. In those games, Brady has thrown for 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. FYI, Jameis had four picks the last time these two teams played.

And FYI Take Two, if Jameis gets mouthy on the sideline and pokes a Buccaneer defender in the helmet, I guarantee it won’t be Ndamukong Suh or JPP or even second-rounder Antoine Winfield. And I also guarantee Mike Evans won’t come running to the rescue.

Fast Start

The best part of opening with the Saints, the Buccaneers follow with Carolina, Denver, the Chargers and Chicago. There are all the makings for a run to start the season. And we all saw how San Francisco took advantage of Buccaneer mistakes in the opener to key an 8-0 start in their Super Bowl campaign.

And please allow fans for this one. I want it as loud, as wild and as crazy as it can get in the Super Dome.  Bourbon Street has never been a place for amateurs. Call it the sports world starting up with a “little hair of the dog” and it is a big-ass dog!

Even the thought of a Bucs-Saints showdown to open the season can get us through game replays, Korean baseball and The Last Dance. For one day, we can all say, “I’ve got your social distancing, right here!!”