Ad hoc thoughts on the weekend in sports.

But, man, did he make some bonehead plays, none worse than the intentional grounding penalty when the Bucs were close to scoring in overtime. Griese was not under immediate pressure, and all he had to do was run a few steps to the left before he threw the ball away. He would then have been out of the pocket, thus no penalty.

As long as Griese wins, he stays the starter, no argument there. But I still think Jeff Garcia is a better answer at QB for the Bucs — and I expect to see last year’s team MVP under center some time this season.

• Ronde Barber is the prototype cornerback for the Bucs zone defense, but, after getting toasted repeatedly in the third quarter yesterday, it showed he’s not fast enough and too small to consistently guard wide receivers man-to-man.

With the Bucs playing more and more man coverage, expect subsequent opponents to look for receiver match-ups against Barber.

Ronde’s struggles really underscored the notion that guarding a speedy wide receiver one-on-one is among the most challenging tasks in sports.

• It’s time to pull the plug on second round pick Dexter Jackson as kick returner, at least for now. Michael Clayton replaced him in key kickoff situations, and his barrel-straight-ahead approach worked a lot better than Jackson’s Fred Astaire-on-ice-skates bit (setting aside, for the moment, that Clayton fumbled and got away with it).

The Bucs have an able kick returner on the practice squad: Micheal Spurlock. It’s time to activate him.

Here's a bleachers-eye view of the Rays celebration.


The Rays had no choice but to deny it — that the reason they lost yesterday’s game was because of a collective hangover; and I don’t mean emotional hangover, but the kind of hangover you get from drinking way too much on a Saturday night.

Of course they lost the season’s last home game because they were, probably to a man, fighting the effects of the previous night’s alcohol intake. Dozens of cases of beer consumed. Dozens of bottles of champagne. If you’ve ever tried to take a jog with a vile hangover, you know how debilitated you are. Now try to focus on a low-and-outside slider.

Hey, I don’t blame the guys for getting wasted after clinching the team’s first ever playoff spot on Saturday. And I don’t blame them for not admitting that the after-effects of boozing contributed to the loss — just so long as they realize that much more work is to be done to hold off Boston for the AL East title, and they get back in gear tonight.

Celebrating too early and allowing the Sox to pass them in the division race would really set a bad note for the playoffs, and that includes forfeiting home field advantage.

Shit, I almost forgot. Congratulations Rays. You got it done — the first part, at least.

• I can’t remember the last time the Bucs were in a barnburner like yesterday’s win against the Bears, and it was fun to watch. I give Brian Griese big ups for staying resilient and rallying his team.

About The Author

Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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