Yesterday was throwback day at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs (and fans) wore their creamsicles, lone Buc Hall-of-Famer Lee Roy Selmon–who became the first inductee in the team’s Ring of Honor–was there with other players from the 1979 playoff team, and the stadium piped in only ’70s music.
The only thing that wasn’t retro?
The Bucs won!
So, with some assist from the songs of our first win (with links if you want to hear them), here’s a brief overview of the day the Bucs fans brought Joy to the World (Three Dog Night).
Get Down on It (Kool and the Gang): If we’re talking downs, let’s go ahead and talk about brand-new QB Josh Freeman’s 4th down pass to co-rookie Sammie Stroughter for a touchdown. Would the Bucs have gone for it on the 4th down with another QB? Um, ok, maybe they would given the desperation of the Bucs’ season. But would another QB have laced a pass to the back of the end zone for Stroughter to reach out and grab? Probably not. That was one of 3 touchdown passes Freeman threw in his first game. He made a few rookie mistakes–some unwise passes lofted up in the air and two interceptions, though one was called back–but all in all, the dude looked calm, cool, and in control. And he has legs! He’s a 6’6 250-lb guy, and yet fully capable of fleeing from oncoming defenders. Freeman has potential with a capital P, no question.
TNT (AC/DC): I think TNT and Dynamite would be an awesome name for a pair of top running backs (better than “Earth, Wind, and Fire”), but sadly the Cadillac/Derrick Ward combo couldn’t get going yesterday. The Green Bay defense was daring Freeman to make plays, and luckily he did. Anyway, I’ve decided to grant the way cool double moniker to Geno Hayes and Ronde Barber. Linebacker Geno blocked a punt that Ronde ran into the endzone for a touchdown. Nice work on special teams, TNT and Dynamite!
Boogie Shoes (KC and the Sunshine Band): Aqib Talib spent the greater part of the TV timeouts exercising his own boogie shoes. Father of Bucs Chick called him a show-off for all of his grooving. But as far as I’m concerned, Talib can put on a skirt and knee-high boots and dance with the cheerleaders if he wants to so long as he keeps grabbing those INTs. He had another one this week (his 5th of the season), as did Tanard Jackson and Elbert Mack. T-Jack returned his for the game-shutting-down touchdown.
Running with the Devil (Van Halen): Peanut Smith is a special teams star, and once again he put the moderately effective offense in great position with an 82-yard kickoff return. This was his first game since suffering a concussion after the unsportsmanlike hit by Carolina’s Dante Wesley, but thankfully he seems healthy.
Sweet Home Alabama (Styx): Can I be honest? No one who played a big role this week is from Alabama. Nor did they go to school in Alabama. But let’s stretch it a bit and say that the homecoming of Lee Roy Selmon was sweet. The defensive end HOF-er gave a lovely speech thanking the town and the team and his family (all of whom were on-hand to grant him the honor). Also present were a number of his teammates, and they did this whole dramatic walk across the field to the podium with 1970s outfit-clad cheerleaders that was really more moving than I’m making it sound. And it was all the nicer to present this honor with the stadium lined with orange banners, the field painted in retro-orange letters, and Bucco Bruce flags waving at the top of the stadium.
One Way or Another (Blondie): The Bucs won, and we’re not going 0-16.