This article is dedicated to Mark Cook, one of the best to cover the Bucs. R.I.P. Cookie, we miss you terribly.
Hello friends, it’s ole’ DLT again. Yes, like a shining grey-bearded Brett Favre in his purple Vikings jersey, I have un-retired from Bucs’ content (again). Some of you may remember me as Jason OftheTower, a frequent poster at the old St. Pete Times message boards in the 1990s (I see you out there BucNorth, Shivver, and Steve Shute).
Others may remember the old NFL.com Blog Blitz when the NFL was looking for local writing talent and found Jenna Laine (and somehow allowed me to write there, too).
Even more, may remember me from the time I convinced Scott Reynolds that Pewter Report needed a “Voice of the Fan” section of the site. Thankfully, he came to his senses.
I found my niche writing opinion pieces with Bucs Nation for several seasons. I saw Trevor Sikkema grow from a budding writer to a superstar. Evan Winter did the same. Jenna’s now a personality at ESPN (she worked so hard and I couldn’t be happier for her). So many other writers grew up and went on to star on bigger and better stages. I’m so proud of you all. Bucs Report staff, I appear to be the Kingmaker, so be ready!
I retired from writing Bucs-related content for the first time in mid-way through 2017. I had grown weary of the Jameis Wars (First, Jameis vs. Mariota, then Jameis vs. the law, then Jameis vs. the turnovers). I was still a fan, mind you, but I had too many other projects to focus on (I do geek stuff too, as those who follow me on my Twitter or Instagram will know) and I just wanted to cheer on the team without obligation.
Then my friend Derek “Old School” Fournier had put out a call for writers to give a written alternative to his fantastic WhatTheBuc podcast and I couldn’t resist. I unretired and joined the team, eventually elevating to editor-in-chief. We had a blast and it was thanks to that association I met so many great people in the Bucs media world, including Ren Daxt from The PewterCast and of course, the late great Mark Cook, who was an idol of mine and made me feel like I was a friend, even though we met only a couple times.
When Derek decided to retire the podcast, most of us moved on, and rather than try to return to Bucs Nation or try to catch on with another outlet, I spent the 2019 and 2020 season on my site, TrueBucsFan.com. I tried to build it with other writers but in the end, it was just me. It was fun for a while but once we reached the end of the 2020 season, the Bucs had won the Super Bowl, I felt it was a great time to go out on top. The site became a burden as the sole content provider and I just didn’t have time for it anymore. So, I retired again, shut down the site, and turned off the lights for good on my Bucs writing career, and focused on my other entertainment projects.
Through a long summer, I saw Bucs GM Jason Licht keeping the team together, Tom Brady doing Brady things, the Lightning winning the Stanley Cup (again), and then I got the Rona. Yes, I am/was fully vaxxed, but Delta doesn’t seem to care about that, so be careful out there, my wife and I got it at the Lightning boat parade – an outdoor event. I had a lot of time to digest what our favorite pewter-clad pirates were doing and shoot if I didn’t want to still force my opinion on the world beyond 280 characters.
Of course, we’re now over 600 words into this article and I’ve only talked about myself. Well, as Terrell Owens once said, I do love me some me. But you aren’t here for that, right? You’re here for the Xs and Os and the awesome video breakdowns, the deep dive into PFF NextGen infostatgasms.
Sorry folks, I don’t really do that stuff. It’s all over this wonderful site with some amazing, hard-working writers who know that content a heck of a lot better than I do. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to join Bucs Report. This site has so much amazing content from podcasts, to breakdowns, to the latest Bucs News. I’m proud to be part of the team and hopefully provide something different for you to consume.
What you’ll get from me is this: I just tell you what I think. I hope it’s entertaining, I do try to be funny, in a “dad joke” sort of way (hey, I did say my idol in this biz is Mark Cook). If the team is playing like a dumpster fire, I’ll not sugarcoat it. While I’m a fan, I don’t wear pewter-colored glasses and I call it as I see it (instantly Keith and Philip are wondering what the h-e-double hockey sticks they have done). I don’t pretend that I’m not a fan so I can be, you know, professional. Frak that. I’m screaming my lungs out Thursday night with 65,000 of my closest friends. I don’t WANT to be in the press box, or belong there. Being with you is where I want to be.
What about Thursday night? Yeah, I suppose you want me to drop a line or two about what we all truly care about in this legal-document-sized self-centered article.
What is there to say, really? We all know what we expect to happen. The Cowboys didn’t play their starters much in any of the pre-season games, so the first time they’ll get going is on Thursday night. Dak Prescott is a pretty good QB, but is coming off a major injury and hasn’t seen live football action since he was lost for the year last season. Add to that, phenomenal guard Zack Martin will probably miss the game with the Rona, and Dallas’ defense is not very good while learning a new system.
I’ve read some of the interviews in the Dallas media and when you glean through the typical football clichés you often hear, they don’t sound like a confident bunch heading into Thursday night.
While the Cowboys certainly have dangerous weapons on offense in CeeDee Lamb, Zeke Elliot, and Amari Cooper, it should be a fun night for Bucs fans. This game will only be a story if it isn’t. Football is weird, so who knows? Still, I expect a dominant performance from the Bucs, to the tune of 38-16. Be here Friday if it isn’t, because trust me, the overreaction will be epic.
In this column, you’ll see my thoughts on the game recently played, I’ll talk a bit about the upcoming opponent, I’ll drop some Bucs history here and there (being a fan since birth has its privileges), talk playoff scenarios when the time comes and most of all, I’ll just enjoy my time with you.
I live-tweet on Game Day and it’s typically a sight to see as I lose my mind during the game, so join me for my bout of temporary insanity if you like. For home games, you’ll probably see me around the stadium or tailgates wearing my number 73 De La Torre jersey. No, I wasn’t a gigantic Joe Haeg fan, that’s the year of my first rotation around the Sun. If you see me and want to say hi, don’t be shy! I love meeting you!
Let me end this before Philip rage quits. If you’ve gotten to the bottom, you need to question what you’re doing with your life but I do thank you for reading. I look forward to providing more me-centric articles in the future. What was that Phillip, the Bucs you say? Oh yeah, and Bucs stuff, too.