This is a Part II to some of the recent happenings with my favorite football team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. CLICK HERE to see Part I which was about Warren Sapp and is needed to understand fully my thoughts about this article covering the $96 million dollar price tag for Darrelle Revis who the Bucs traded away their first round draft pick among other things, to land Revis from the New York Jets. The leading reason I love Tampa Bay as a football team under the ownership of the Glazers is because they are not afraid to attempt any dynamic to become better. They are a very interesting organization that is firmly committed to thinking outside the box to at least become a competitive team. They may not go to the Superbowl every year, but they are always “in the hunt.” They do not fall in love with coaches or players who do not take the team where they want to go. For the Buccaneers, who are known for their punishing shut down defenses, they have struggled to maintain that presence since the departure of Warren Sapp in 2004. They have looked, and drafted and tried many combinations of individual personalities in an attempt to recapture that magic. If the combination did not work, the Glazers cut their loss and moved on to the next dynamic.
In that regard, the industry of football was shocked that the Buccaneers would be willing to pay $96 million dollars to one person who was not a quarterback. In professional football, it is simply unheard of to pay that kind of money to one person, especially coming off ACL surgery. To the world of sports analysis, no single person is worth that kind of money. Yet for the Glazers in Tampa, who have been searching for a way to give their fans another dominate Buccaneer defense similar to the days of Warren Sapp, it is worth the money to them. As I’ve said before, American Football is the game of capitalism, and countries who favor socialism do not understand why Americans love it so much. Soccer is the game of socialism, which is why almost every country that plays soccer as their national identity, have an economic system of socialism blowing the wind in their sails. With that perspective, Darrelle Revis is simply the best defensive player in the NFL and the Buccaneers wanted him, so they paid the money to get him. Revis set his value at such a high figure by being the best, and anybody who wants to enjoy his services can pay the money. That is how capitalism works. In this case, Revis gets the kind of money that being the best defensive NFL player for 6 years can garner, and the Bucs get a player that should be able to return the team to the number one defense in the league category. Revis was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on April 21, 2013 signing a six-year contract worth $96 million, making him the highest paid defensive back in NFL history. The Jets received the Buccaneers’ 2013 first round pick (13th overall) and a 2014 fourth round conditional pick, which can become a third round pick.
For those in the world who wish to believe that anybody, or any player if they have a good coach, or school to teach them, can become a player like Darrelle Revis due to institutional merit, they are sadly mistaken. Revis is great because of his individual effort. Revis was born to former high school track star Diana Gilbert and Darryl Revis. Revis is the nephew of former NFL defensive lineman Sean Gilbert. Revis’ high school accolades include the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 2003 Player of the Year, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2003 WPIAL Class AA Player of the Year, and 2003 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Fabulous 22”.
In the PIAA Class AA State Championship football game, he led Aliquippa to a come-from-behind 32–27 win over Northern Lehigh by scoring 5 touchdowns including 3 rushing touchdowns, a punt return, and the return of a blocked Northern Lehigh field goal attempt. He also completed a 39 yard pass, had a reception, and an interception in the game.
In his junior and senior years of high school he led Aliquippa to WPIAL basketball championships, leading the team in scoring both years, culminating with a 25.2 PPG average his senior season. He also had the most interceptions out of any cornerback for high school. He would go on to become a dominant player in college and then in the NFL earning him the reputation of Revis Island referring to the part of the football field that he covers. He is the prototype of the “shutdown” cornerback.
In Tampa Bay, they suffered through a season during 2012 that had them losing most of their games by 7 points or less. They had the offensive weapons, they had a top ranking running defense, they had wonderful special teams, but they could not stop the pass. They had lost a number of players over the years at cornerback and just could not find the right combination. Teams learned about halfway through the 2012 season that the Bucs could be beaten if they went over the top and threw over their very good defensive lineman, and linebackers. And that’s what happened. All the Bucs could hope to do was win games by out-scoring their opponents, because they couldn’t stop them. This was an uncharacteristic element for a Glazer team known for their staunch commitment to defense. So it was well-known that they would address the issue in the upcoming off-season. But few thought they’d be willing to spend so much money to address the situation.
The Bucs are taking a chance with Revis, and Darrelle appears to understand it all too well. Coming off an ACL surgery is risky, and for the Bucs to spend so much money on a damaged player speaks volumes as to what they value in Revis’ head as opposed to his physical skill. But for them, the marketplace was a perfect fit. Darrelle with the Jets had carried the entire team on his back, but in Tampa, he will have a tremendous amount of help. He should thrive under the ownership of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but only time will tell, however, the Glazers deserve credit. They are not just looking for a cornerback to cover 45% of a football backfield. They are looking for a leader at the level they had with Warren Sapp, John Lynch and Derrick Brooks who played on the field at the same time.
The Revis trade articulates how much value one person on a team can be. Individuals are not interchangeable. While teams do involve coordination of many individuals to accomplish a task, it is individuals of exceptional character and skill who raise the bar from mediocrity to “excepetionalism.” The Buccaneers expect out of Revis exceptionalism and it is worth the money to them to get it. It is fun to root for a team ownership who is willing to commit so much money to one player to obtain not only victories, but a culture that is known to the entire city of Tampa—as a dedication to “DEFENSE” as it was established in the years leading up to their Superbowl win of 2003. Even if the experiment turns out to be a bust—which I don’t think it will I am proud to support the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of their willingness to embark on such experiments. I am proud to wear their merchandise, to fly their flags, and watch their games. The Glazers work hard to give me a product I can enjoy and they value the art of capitalism to a level that I don’t see in any other NFL team. That commitment is all over the Revis trade, and for that I am extremely excited for the upcoming 2013 season. I have a feeling it’s going to be a fun year to be a Buc fan!
Game day at the Hoffman House is a fun day for my family. I put on quite an extravaganza for every game. During the fall, the game can be heard streaming from my garage on the radio broadcast from Tampa and the televisions inside my house are on the game as I monitor the details over computer screens. I thoroughly enjoy Tampa Bay Football games, and this year there will be more to cheer for than there has been in a long time. For me, the cheers are not so much for points scored, but for points prevented as I cheer for a return of the great Buccaneer defenses of the past, and the rise of a new age of The Buccaneer Way that will raise the bar for the entire NFL, and drive the American economy with a wonderful example of capitalism at its finest in a game only understood by free people in free lands who love to sip beer and eat chicken wings as the leaves outside our windows begin to fall.
It’s the Buccaneer Way!