This should have been the day. Gene Deckerhoff should have been proclaiming that “toe meets leather” and Tom Brady should have been leading the crewe out of the tunnel. Today should have been a magical day. Today, preseason should have launched the 2020 Buccaneers in a collision with those dark and dirty Steeler scoundrels.
Instead silence hangs heavy. A tropical breeze sweeps the turf and wisps gently up to the cheap seats while flags beat a drum cadence heard by only the occasional Raymond James Stadium worker.
The faithful are ready for some football but there are no Steeler invaders crawling through the stands like rodents on a pile of sweet delicacy. Missing are the glorious chants of “Tampa!” and “Bay!” which promised to be oh so loud on this Friday night.
This was supposed to be the day it all began. The final charge to glory by a group of men that have suffered so much defeat, now lead by a fearless new captain with tales of almost unbelievable plunder and glory. Today was when it was all to begin.
Like a distant thunderclap comes a break in the silence. The sound of football cracks the thick quiet. No, this isn’t the glorious battle we envisioned for today. There is no warfare for starting position or roster spots. The sound of clashing pads and bodies will have to wait just a little while longer.
Instead Matt Gay thumps another kick toward the posts in the north endzone. One more step, one more leg swing, one more repetition on the trail to victory.
The Coming Storm
Today should have been the day. Instead…silence. Don’t fret, that day is coming. Like a Florida storm, the rumble is building in the distance. Everything is ready. Everything is set. It’s coming very soon, but for now I will sit here alone in the Cheap Seats. Waiting.