Sunday, November 30, 2008

Week 13 Bucs Post: Whew...

Wow. That game almost killed me... My heart can't take too many games like this. A lot of big moments for this defense (which struggled mightily against the pass for most of the day but was seriously solid against the run... Nice zero yards rushing there, Bush...) to seal this game. Barber had three huge passes defended on his stat sheet at the end of the day, the last of which he tipped to June for a CLUTCH interception in the endzone...
Clifton Smith had another huge day on kick returns. I don't have words for how happy I am that we found this undrafted rookie on our practice squad. 158 yards on 8 returns is no joke. Smith is a good kid.

Garcia, too, made me very very happy today. He didn't have a huge game in the air, but his 42 yards rushing were huge and he led this offense in a nearly mistake-free game.
Carnell Williams' first touchdown after coming back from what should have been a career-ending injury was pretty darned heartwarming...
... but possibly my favorite moment in this game was watching Garcia wind up and give Gruden a hard celebratory smack on the ass after throwing a TD pass to Bryant in the third quarter. Gruden seemed to get a kick out of it, and I was glad to see that those guys seem to love each other again after all the drama of a couple months ago...

The only thing putting a damper on my happiness right now is the report from ESPN that Monte Kiffin is abandoning the Bucs to go coach with his son at Tennessee... I don't want to believe that he would leave this team when the defense looks SO good and has so much potential for the future... (but I guess it would be pretty cool to coach with your son, too...) Sigh... Please don't leave us, Monte. I don't want to think about a future in Tampa that doesn't include you...

UPDATE: By the way, I followed Stanley's advice and watched this game at Peter's Bar and Grill on Fremont and it was fantastic. Affordable food (Eggs Benedict pictured below was $7) and microbrews (the Eggs Benedict plus fries and 7 beers for me and my dad came to only $31 before tip...), plus a smoke-free environment in the main seating area. Awesome. It lacks some of the trashy charm of The Wooden Chicken (my old Portland Bucs-watching haunt), but you also don't feel like you get lung cancer just by walking through the door and it's closer to my parents' house, so I'd say that's a good trade. I'll definitely be back there for Week 15 against the Falcons...

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