Bye Week Roadtrips 2017: Pt II – Tampa Bay Bucs



An unapologetic, even if often manic-depressive (it’s a requirement given his choices of sports teams), fan of NC State University, the Baltimore Ravens and the Baltimore Orioles.When not parked in front of the computer and/or TV, can often be found on the golf course shouting obscenities to no one in particular.

[Interior Day, Sleazy Office, Hollywood, California]

Darkest Timeline Zack Morris sits quietly in the office, staring at the phone, willing it to ring.  On the wall, the HD Tee Vee box plays a fantasy football advice show.  DTZM pays no attention, the sound is muted.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly sits nearby on the sofa, playing Candy Crush Soda and giggling.

RTD:  Shit…I can’t get past this level.  (to DTZM) … Any word yet?

DTZM (annoyed):  Have you heard the phone ring yet?

RTD:  Oooookay then.

[Door Flies Open]

Nevaeh, the new unpaid intern, storms in disheveled and out of breath.  She’s carrying a Starbucks’ drink carrier, which currently holds four gigantic cups.  She also holds a small bag in her other hand and has a large bag tucked under one arm.

RTD:  Starbucks’??????  Didn’t we go over this on orientation day?????  You know what, forget it.  You’re terrible, just terrible.  Just….get out.

Nevaeh bursts into tears and runs crying from the office.

RTD (standing up and walking to the office door):  Oh, and just leave the office door standing wide open, why don’t ya?  And everyone knows Nevaeh is just “Heaven” spelled backwards FFS!!!!  Your parents were stupid!!!!

RTD begins to close the office door and then thinks of something….

RTD (shouting now):  Oh I forgot….  Exit interview at my place tonight if you’re up for it.  Around 9-ish.  Bring some wine!!!!!

RTD returns to the table where DTZM still stares at the phone.

RTD (opening bags and passing out cups):  Can’t find good free sexy help these days, I swear.  Here….  Coffee.  Black.  I dunno how you drink that shit.

DTZM:  Why?  What’d you get?

RTD:  Soy Latte, extra foam.  Whipped cream and caramel on top.  Wanna try it?

DTZM:  Good lord, no.   But I will take one of those cherry danishes you got there.

RTD:  Ohhhhhh, I only just had her get the one .. (under his breath now)for meeee(sighs) ..  But she did get a bunch bagels too, soooo….if you really want the danish…

DTZM (grabbing the danish):  Hey thanks man, you’re the best.

RTD (under his breath while taking a bagel):  Grumble, grumble.

DTZM (while chewing cherry danish):  I canfph  beliefph he hathn’t called yet.

RTD (grimacing at an onion bagel):  Why don’t we just call him?

tWBS guides Dave along I-75 headed toward Tampa.  His passenger has been flipping radio stations, but this time when she tries the station won’t change.  She looks mildly confused.

Passenger:  Hey sorry, I think I might have broken your radio.  I can’t get the station to change anymore.

tWBS:  Nah, it’s all good.  It’s just that Dave likes this song.  In fact, turn that up, would ya?

Passenger (no less confused but turning up radio nonetheless):  Ummmmm…..who’s Dave?

tWBS (giggling and blushing a little bit now):  Heh heh….well see, ummmmm….heh heh….ummmm, it’s kinda like this….

Just then music cuts out and Dave’s hands free cell system kicks in and the phone begins to ring.

tWBS:  Whew, saved by the bell.  (answering phone) …  Hello?  And thanks.

DTZM:  Thanks for what?

tWBS:  Great timing.  So what’s up?

RTD:  Are you in Tampa yet?

tWBS:  Ummmmmm….no.

DTZM:  No???  This is supposed to run today!!!

tWBS:  Oh keep your shorts on.  I’ll be there in a couple of hours.  I kinda got delayed.

RTD:  Do we wanna know?

DTZM:  We do not wanna know.

tWBS:  There was this party, see?  And it went on a little longer than expected.  Like four days longer, hehehehe.  Anyway, this was in Fort Lauderdale and…

DTZM and RTD (in unison):  Fort Lauderdale???  Why??

tWBS:  I told you, there was a party.  Anyway, that’s where I met Amber, she was at the party.  And her ride left and she needed a lift to Tampa so…

RTD:  Oh my god, you’re giving a hooker a ride to Tampa.  This is so great!!!  Please tell me you’re recording some of this!!!!

tWBS:  OK, first of all….  she’s not a hooker, dammit…

DTZM:  Oh thank god.

tWBS:  …she’s a stripper.  And a damned good one.

Amber:  Thank you, baby.

RTD:  Well all I care about is using…

tWBS:  Aaaaaannnd she can totally hear you right now.

Amber:  Hi guys!!!!!!

RTD (excited) and DTZM (not excited) in unison:  Hi.

RTD:  So how far out are you from Tampa then?

DTZM:  Yes, how far?

tWBS:  Coupla hours, tops.  And get this….  Amber knows a guy who plays for the Bucs.

RTD (more excited now):  Of course she does!!!!!

DTZM (feeling more dread now):  Of course she does … (sigh).

tWBS:  See?  We’ve got it covered.  What could go wrong?


RTD (to DTZM):  You know this could really work out well.

DTZM:  Your confidence is inspiring, but my stomach can’t take this.  Where’s the Maalox?

Two-ish hours later….

Amber:  Ummmmm….OK.  Turn left here….I think.

tWBS (turning left):  You think?

Amber:  Hey, I’m trying.  I’ve only ever been here twice and it’s been awhile.  Here!!!!  Turn right, here.

tWBS jams the brakes and turns right.

tWBS:  *sigh*

Ten minutes, several wrong turns and lotsa backtracking later…

Amber:  OK, take the next right.  I’m sure this is it.

tWBS (turning right):  Uh huh.

Amber looks at the houses and the house numbers closely as they pass by, finally she announces…

Amber:  Here!!!  The next house.  This is it, I’m sure of it!!!

tWBS slows Dave’s pace even more and pulls up alongside the mailbox at the end of the driveway.

tWBS:  Ahhhh, shit.

Amber and tWBS go to the front door and knock, but the place is deserted.  A “For Sale” sign has been uprooted and tossed haphazardly into the shrubbery.  As they walk around the property, circling the perimeter of the house, they notice how dilapidated the place appears compared to the other upscale homes in the area.  Several windows have been broken out, shutters hang askew, and the back door stands wide ass open to the elements.

tWBS (looking at the open back door):  I don’t get it.

Amber:  So he doesn’t play for the Bucs anymore?  I’m sorry, I didn’t know.

tWBS:  No, not that.  Don’t worry about it, it’s not your fault.  It’s just odd how broken down the house looks so soon.  He’s only been gone for….  I mean it’s almost as if someone was…

Just then a commotion can be heard at the front of the house as several vehicles approach.  tWBS hustles in that direction and Amber follows.  They both peek around the corner of the house to see what’s going on out front just in time to see several young men exit the vehicles.

Young Man#1 (opening the trunk, removing a baseball bat, approaching the mailbox):  Hey, watch this guys.

Young Man#2:  You did the mailbox last week, Jameis.

Young Man#1 (standing by mailbox now looking confused and disappointed):  Oh yeah, I forgot.  (picking up rocks from the yard now) …  But there’s still some windows I still didn’t get.

Young man#2:  Let’s just get the stuff inside and get the party going.

tWBS (revealing himself, walking to the front now):  Hey!  Aren’t you Jamies Winston?  And you’re….

Young Man#2:  Please man, no autographs.  We’re just trying to have a little fun on our day off and…

tWBS:  Autograph?  Yeah, OK.  I was gonna teach you how to catch a ball, because apparently no one else ever has.  But fuck you now.  Go have your sad little party in your former QB’s house, big man.

Young Man#2 and the rest of the young men move into the house now.  Soon, loud music and laughter can be heard.

tWBS (to Jameis Winston now):  But you hang on just a second, Jameis, you and me need to talk.

Jameis Winston (referring to Amber who has now followed tWBS to the front):  Heyyyyy….who’s the white girl?

tWBS:  She’s my ummmmm….assistant.  She needs to talk to you too.  We’re doing a bye week report on the Bucs and if we could get a little inside information it could really make it great.

Jameis Winston (pouting now):  We don’t have a bye week.  I had a whole big thing planned in Cabo that week, and now it can’t happen.

tWBS:  Try to focus, Jameis.  I know you don’t have a bye week, hurricanes bad, yada yada yada.  But we still have to do this report.  Anything you could give us…..?

Jameis Winston goes to his car and opens the trunk.  He pulls out a binder packed with what seems like a full ream of paper.

Jameis Winston:  Here.  It’s this week’s scouting report.  I never read them anyway.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go get the grill going.

tWBS, with Amber’s help, begins pouring thru the pages trying to glean something to send back to his bosses.

Your Tampa Bat Bucs Bye Week Update

(Lack of in depth comprehensive-ness commensurate with how much anyone cares about the Bucs, fwiw)

After a 2-1 start, the Bucs have dropped three straight to land in the NFC South cellar at 2-4.  The next two weeks (Carolina, @New Orleans) will likely make or break their post-season hopes.

“The only thing you can do right now is you’ve got to get one game,” Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter said. “I showed the guys the division standings and we are what we’ve earned to this point. The fact that some other teams got beat in our division is in our favor. It is a factor [that] we have not played division games and those games can move you up fast. We have to play better football as a team. We have to coach better football. You’ve got to get one. You’ve just got to get one win.”

 – Dirk Koetter

And the news hasn’t been all bad.  The Bucs do boast the top passing game in the league.  Winston has multiple reliable (and healthy) targets including Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and OJ Howard.  Unfortunately, a less than stellar ground game has kept them one dimensional on offense more than they’d hoped.  Doug Martin’s return has not provided the boost the ground game needed.  The passing game is unlikely to carry them by itself.

On the other side of the ball, it’s been even worse.  The Bucs’ defensive front has been passable (most of the time) stopping the opposing ground game, but their LBs and secondary is in a shambles.  Between injuries, suspensions and infighting within the players and the organization (I’m looking at you TJ Ward), it’s a mess which is unlikely to get fixed this year.

And so, I hereby amend my prediction from the pre-season.

This is not a playoff team.  Not as it stands now, at least.  8-8 will be their ceiling.  6-10 is more likely.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ remaining schedule…


Hours later, dusk has now begun to settle upon the neighborhood Mike Glennon once called home.  Several more party goers have arrived while tWBS and Amber have been sitting inside Dave trying to digest the information Jameis Winston gave them.

Amber:  So are we ready to go?  You got what you needed, right?

tWBS (looking at Amber now and grinning mischievously):  Almost.  Gimme five minutes.  I’ll be right back.  And….  You. Wait. Here.

tWBS grabs his phone, gets out of Dave and approaches the house.

[Late Afternoon, Sleazy Office, Hollywood, California]

The speakerphone rings.  DTZM and RTD look at one another both with anticipation and dread.  Finally RTD hits the button…

RTD (flat monotone):  DFO Productions.

tWBS (laughing):  Geez, who died?

Amber giggles in the background.

DTZM:  Where are you???  We haven’t heard anything since this morning.

tWBS:  Currently just a bit northwest of Tampa.  I figured since I didn’t need to be in Baltimore for three weeks, that maybe we’d spend a little time in Daytona before heading north.

Amber (giggling in the background still):  YOU SAID WE COULD GO TO DISNEY WORLD TOO!!!!!!!

tWBS:  Hehehe…yes baby, we’ll do the whole Mickey Mouse thing if you promise to try to learn to surf when we hit Daytona.

Amber:  Deal!!!!!

RTD (almost gleeful):  Wait, she’s going to Baltimore with you now?

tWBS:  We’re playing that by ear.  Day by day, RTD.  That’s good advice, btw…you should write that down.

DTZM:  OK fine, we’ll worry about THAT later then.  But aren’t you forgetting something?

RTD:  Yeah, forgetting something for sure.

tWBS:  Jeebus guys, check email FFS.  I’ll talk to ya in a coupla days.


RTD frantically opens his inbox and opens tWBS’ message.  There are two attachments.  The first is a .doc file and RTD skips past that one.  The second is a video file.

RTD (clicking the file):  You ready for this?

DTZM:  No.

The two watch for a few minutes…

DTZM:  OK, this isn’t bad.  There’s Jameis Winston manning the grill.  And there’s…

RTD:  *sigh* … This is really disappointing.

They continue to watch another few minutes…

RTD:  Wait…  Now what are they doing?  Ummm….are they?

DTZM:  No…no…nooooooo.  Turn it off!!!!

RTD:  Wow, Dirk Koetter is more flexible than I would have imagined.

DTZM:  Huh…you’re right….

RTD:  Holy shit!!!  This is awesome!!  We gotta find a way to get him into Joe Flacco’s house….


To Be Continued…..

An unapologetic, even if often manic-depressive (it's a requirement given his choices of sports teams), fan of NC State University, the Baltimore Ravens and the Baltimore Orioles. When not parked in front of the computer and/or TV, can often be found on the golf course shouting obscenities to no one in particular.
Please Login to comment
5 Comment threads
4 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
UnsurprisedtheeWeeBabySeamusballsofsteelandfuryMoose -The End Is Well Nighblaxabbath Recent comment authors
Notify of

DTZM: OK, this isn’t bad. There’s Jameis Winston manning the grill. And there’s…

Mmmmm … Grilled crab legs.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

comment image


God, I looked at the Buc’s remaining schedule and actually breathed a sigh that they don’t face ARI again. That’s how bad the redbirds are — each time one of you post another team’s schedule, I’m just hoping the Cardinals don’t face them. As if, maybe — JUST MAYBE — they aren’t scheduled for 9 more games…


This is totally unrealistic.
This is far too much suspension of belief.
There is no way anything like this could ever happen in real life.
I don’t believe that Dave would ever allow something like this to happen on this road.

tWBS goes to Tampa with a stripper and doesn’t visit Mons Venus?


comment image


DTZM really sounds like a buzzkill tbh


Dads usually are.


I don’t know. Fozz sounds more like a leader in mayhem, as long as you aren’t being a dumbass.