Sep. 10, 2017
Bucs begin season with a bye
After six weeks of training camp, four pre-season games and to many practices to mention everything was ramping up for the September 10th season opener against the Miami Dolphins. Then Irma deceived to interfere.
Hurricane Irma that is, as today the Nfl made the decision to postpone the game until week 11 when both Miami and Tampa have their scheduled bye weeks. There would be no game on Thursday, Friday, or even Saturday. The game would not be moved to another venue out of state which were all options on the table. There will be no Bucs game period this Sunday and that stinks.
Did the NFL make the right decision? There are lots of ways to look at it. With evacuations under way in South Florida and the Florida Keys, there is no way the NFL would play the game in Miami at any point with Irma approaching from the Southest.
The next option would be to play the game in another city on Sunday maybe Charlotte, New Orleans, or even Kansas City were all cities that were in play to host the game. But another problem with that option would be that you have over 100 players and coaches separated from their families with Irma beginning to lash the state of Florida. It would not be fair to these players and coaches to be hundreds of miles away from their families and worrying if their families were safe. Put yourself into the shoes of the player for a moment. How well would you do your job, and how focused would you be if your family was in the midst of a natiural disataer and you were hundreds of miles away with no way to help?
The last option and the least favorable one was to play the game on Nov. 19th in Miami. On Monday in his press onference Coach Koetter said that "no one wants to play 16 games in a row." But thats exactly what the Bucs and the Dolphins will have to do. Today Koetter had put a more positive spin on the situation basically saying it is what is and the Bucs will just have to deal with it.
This will put the Bucs on the road for three straight in late November early December at a critical part of the season when teams need to be healthy. The Bucs will play at Atlanta, Miami, and Green Bay before coming back home the 10th of December To play the Detroit Lions.
Keep in mind from 1978-1990 teams played a 16 game schedule with no bye week and teams were still able to compete and win a championship. This will be just another challenge for the Bucs in this 2017 season.
The other factor that could help or hurt the Bucs is the first game will now be Sept 17th against the Bears at home. The Bears will already have played one game. Advantage Bears. The Bucs will have had two and half weeks off between games. Advantage Bears. The Bucs will be able to see what the Bears are all about offensively and defensively, while the Bears will not have tape on what the Bucs are planning offensively and defensively. Advantage Bucs.
The Bucs are planning to be back in town Tuesday for some work and then begin practice on Wednesday for the Bears. Did the NFL make the right decision? We won't be able to tell if this was the right decision or not until we are deep into the 2017 season.