By Tom Krasniqi
There hasn’t been a whole lot to cheer about so far this season for the 2013 Buccaneers. The team is 0-3. Rumors of player griping. A quarterback change has been made. Coaching staff has come under fire.
There hasn’t been some positive energy. Until now. Bucs can rejoice. The remainder of the 2013 Bucs’ home schedule will not be blacked out. You heard it right—every game will be televised locally. That’s big.
The Bucs say they are projected to surpass the NFL’s threshold of 85% in ticket sales for the remaining seven home games, including Sunday’s game against the Cardinals at Raymond James Stadium. If the team falls short of the 85% mark for any game, the remainder of the tickets will be bought out to lift the blackout. Bottom line: The rest of the home games will be on television.
“In appreciation for the loyal support of our fans throughout the Tampa Bay area, we have committed to televise the remaining seven home games of the 2013 season,” Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer said in a statement on Thursday.
It’s a crafty public relations move by the team as they manage to divert attention away from what’s happening with the football team. It’s a brilliant move. One that should make Bucs fans happy.
“I’m thrilled for our fans, that our fans will get to see us every week, at home, whether they’re there in person [or not]. That’s what we’re trying to do is create that home field advantage,” Bucs head coach Greg Schiano said on Thursday after the announcement.
There’s no doubt the NFL’s blackout rule is antiquated. The blackout rule was designed to coax fans into attending games in order for teams to make their money at the gate. At the same time, the league also makes billions in television revenues. Why limit your product’s exposure to the public by not having games on television? I have never understood it.
This is a good day for the Bucs and their fans. Everyone can now watch every game on TV. Now it’s up to the Bucs to put a winning product on display for all to see. Lord knows they haven’t done that yet.
As for the Thursday injury report, the starting wideouts did not practice again as Vincent Jackson (rib) and Mike Williams (hamstring) both missed practice. OL Gabe Carimi (illness) and DT Derek Landri (knee) also did not practice. TE Tom Crabtree (ankle) and DT Gary Gibson (back) were limited. DT Gerald McCoy (ankle) and CB Rashaan Melvin (hamstring) practiced in full. CB Michael Adams (knee) is out.
Notable injuries for the Cardinals, WR Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) and RB Rashard Mendenhall (toe) were full participants at practice. DT Dan Williams (not injury related) and safety Rashad Johnson (finger) did not participate.
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