Tom Brady’s Invisible Hand: The kind of leadership that Adam Smith wrote about

Everyone who has read at this site for any amount of time knows how much I love the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  When I need a break from the serious stuff, I do enjoy the NFL product, and specifically I am a big Glazer family fan who owns the team.  Brian Glazer not that long ago sent me personally some nice flags and a kind note which I have displayed here out of respect.   I have always respected their commitment to winning, in having a winning mindset which I of course see as a metaphor for all things that we do in life.  I often say that the games we create in life reflect the nature of our existence and in spite of politics that are seeking to eat the NFL from the inside out, I have great value for the kind of decision making behind the X’s and O’s of professional football, including all the business stuff that goes on with salary caps, union negotiations, and the construction of stadiums to satisfy local market needs.  With that said, how the Glazer family managed to get their team to the first home Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida is amazing by itself, but to lure Tom Brady to helm the quarterback position, and to have the sense to leave him alone and not to micromanage him even with all they invested to make it happen is nothing short of a miracle to me.  In the business world, I would call it all an extreme anomaly.  Yet the Super Bowl for me was one of the greatest games I have ever watched.

I’ve been working on a business theory for quite a long time, I have a book coming out this year on the topic, but when the Buccaneers signed Tom Brady as quarterback my hopes shot up because I understood what the Glazers were thinking, and I knew what Brady was thinking.  As I said in the video above, taken very early in the morning, so the light is very low, if Brady had stayed in New England he would always be known as the creation of Bill Bilichick, the master offensive mind of a team that has won six Super Bowls.  At the end of his career, at least for the last few years anyway, Brady wanted to show that it was he who drove those winning teams.  Nothing against Bilichick but we see this in most organizations, from other sporting events, to business, even within family structures.  Ayn Rand dealt with this problem in her books, who makes who, is it the organization that wins or is it the individual.  Many people would like to say its both, but they would be wrong.  And they would also say that it’s the organization of classic top-down leadership that is in charge of wins and losses.  That is certainly the position of most governments of the world, and most communist leaning corporations.  Yet they always miss the truth. 

I saw Tom Brady going to Tampa as the quarterback as a perfect test case for my thoughts on this matter.  We know winners when we see them, but they are so rare that its hard to make a case study.  The Buccaneers were a 7-9 team last year with pretty much the same players.  They picked up Brady and some other hole fillers this year but give the kind of leadership they had in Tampa, I knew they would let Brady be Brady just as when Trump was Trump as President, great things happened.  It’s a Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi kind of thing, finding the flow of a process and the way that flow is conducive to the humans who interact with it.  A good leader can always find the flow of the people in a process.  Top down management establishes the flow and expects everyone to meet it, and the limits of the process are then limited by the weakest and worst in that process.  A leader like Tom Brady isn’t just about accurate throws and football basics, with him he knows how to get flow out of his fellow players not with a top-down approach where everyone is looking up at him because he’s the greatest of all time, but because he knows how to set goals that everyone can rally behind and believe in.  The most understudied and least talked about regarding Brady’s leadership ability is just how important it has been in setting him apart from everyone else. 

Brady had a chance to unleash that side of himself in Tampa Bay.  That has been in fact what the Glazers have been looking for the entire time I’ve been a fan of the team starting in 1993 when Sam Wyche brought some of the same characteristics to the team way back then.  In Tampa they have experimented with this kind of thing for a very long time which is why I have been a fan of them so intensely.  Its not just about football or the NFL experience, it has been a science experiment for me where I could watch them play around with the leadership formula and measure the results from year to year.  Sometimes it works in bits, sometimes not at all.  But this year was exciting because Trump was president, I was writing a book on the topic, and now my favorite team had made a clear decision to value individualism over the communist concept of individuals come and go, but the team is forever. 

At the end of Super Bowl LV nobody is questioning why Tom Brady was the greatest of all time in his field.  There was no talk about the raw skill of youth beaten by nature the wisdom of age.  Brady wasn’t just the quarterback; he was the coach and cheerleader.  He had the defense playing like there was no tomorrow and the passion on the field showed.  I have seen this passion in many professional activities that I’ve been involved in.  But this was happening on a huge global stage, and it defied the wisdom of everything that institutionalism preaches.  By the time it was all said and done, Brady had done something everyone thought was impossible, and it was impossible not by his age or skill, but by the intellect of the situation.   It was happening outside of conventional logic and was forcing people to deal with prejudices they have had all of their lives and they didn’t have definitions for what they were seeing.  But it was clear to me, and I was thankful for the experience. This wasn’t a lesson on how to move a football down field to score, it was on the very essence of leadership and how it works in the world.  When the same players a year ago with a losing record suddenly are winning the Super Bowl and all that really changed was the acquisition of Tom Brady, there is no other explanation.  A leader can be a leader anywhere.  But an organization can’t be a winning one without such a leader in their midst.  Once the games of life are done, its not so much the score, but in the flow of energy that is unleashed by a great leader that wins and loses in life.  It is Adam Smith’s invisible hand we are talking about, in this case the invisible hand of Tom Brady that made all the players and coaches in the Buccaneer organization just a little bit better, good enough to go from 7-9 a season ago to being unstoppable toward a Super Bowl victory.

Cliffhanger the Overmanwarrior
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Tom Brady is going to Tampa Bay: Lessons in leadership that our government could stand to learn

In spite of the entire country being shut down due to stupid politicians overreacting to an obvious power play by the CDC and World Health Organization to get funding for their mythical universal vaccine that they want to implement by 2025—more on that later—I’ve been having a fantastic week. With everything closed it has given more time to read with less distractions and honestly, I wouldn’t mind if it went on this way forever. If I have a reading light and we lost everything of modern convenience, I wouldn’t notice much. But I do not like having the culture we have built as Americans robbed from us. It’s a punch in the face and it deserves us hitting back. So, it has been fun to learn that Tom Brady has signed with my favorite football team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which I haven’t talked about in a while because there hasn’t been much to talk about. However, in the realm of leadership the Glazer Family in Tampa continues to show truly what is at the heart of American innovation and optimism. The Buccaneers have not been to a playoff game for a number of years, but its not because the ownership hasn’t been trying. They have went through a number of coaches and players looking for just the right combination to find a winning team and now that they have signed Tom Brady after his two decades with the Patriots and his six Super Bowls with them, the Buccaneers have nearly guaranteed themselves a shot at that final elusive game at their home stadium since the next one will be at Raymond James Stadium. And the way the deal went down and why is something about leadership worth talking about.

The problem with government is that they don’t understand people and human innovation. Even well intended governors in top tier states like Mike DeWine through limited intellectual bandwidth thinks that his top priority as a governor is to save lives. But through his leadership if he mismanages those priorities he could scare everyone to death trying to save them and that is not uncommon in any top political office where they are put there by popular majority opinion rather than the true nature of a skill set. If you can scare people enough and get them to vote for you, then in politics that is a measure of success, but when real leadership is needed, nobody is there to do it because the job doesn’t flush out those traits in people and you end up with a bunch of losers trying to put a cap on life to measure success within those limits—then we end up with a society of losers. I know Trump understands this trait and he is personal friends with Tom Brady and all those guys get what real leadership is, especially in the context of games. Trump didn’t have much of a choice but to go along with this massive CDC, WHO scheme to get funding for their projects. Panic driven politicians will pay them anything they want now, so the mission has been accomplished for those organizations and if Trump resisted during an election year they would have massacred him in the press. So he is using the virus to unite people from both parties which will pretty much guarantee his re-election. It’s going to cost us trillions of dollars, but who’s counting anyway? We must save lives. (LOL) Trump, like Tom Brady has such great leadership that they think there is no surrender so long as there is time on the clock. If Trump gets re-elected, he figures he can fix everything, which is why he’s a winner. And that is likely what attracted Tom Brady to the Buccaneers, a chance to do the same and punch his own ticket as an individual for a return to a Super Bowl with a loaded team looking for that much needed leadership.

The Glazer Family is unlike other NFL team owners in that they don’t stick with a losing formula long. They will make quick and drastic adjustments to get a winning team, which works in every field—not just sports. So, I have been a Tampa Bay fan since the days that Sam Wyche was with the team after he was fired from the Cincinnati Bengals. I have not been a Bengal fan since. I cheer them on because the Bengals are my home town team, but the Mike Brown ownership of the Bengals and that family in general has a loser mindset that has sealed their fate as long as they own the team, so my decision was to put my sentiment in central Florida, a place I consider my second home anyway. The Buccaneers are loaded with talent trying to make a mediocre quarterback that they had there a champion, but the kid just couldn’t do it. Tom Brady can see it, so he has signed to lead the team to one of the most spectacular seasons that the NFL will ever see. The passing attack will be unstoppable with a quarterback as good as Brady. But those conditions weren’t created by Brady, they were created by an ownership trying every day to win. They had all the pieces in place with the payroll to show for it, but a quarterback. Now they have the best that there has ever been and anybody would have to admire that effort.

As we look around at a world closing itself off from a hidden virus, afraid of their own shadows, it was refreshing to hear from the real world and culture of America when there wasn’t any other positive news. And as bad as things have been, I enjoyed tremendously getting this news. It has been such a let down to see that the mighty American economy could be switched off so easily over a fear provoked by health officials who are always looking for money and attention that it has ground our culture to a stop and given our enemies the benefit of a laugh. I have watched the Buccaneers struggle through many seasons where they entered it with optimism and ended in failure but what I always love about them, and why I have stuck with them for so long is that they always keep trying and are perpetually on the hunt for great leadership. And that’s why they were willing to do whatever they had to do to acquire Tom Brady. In politics we have elections that allow us to look for great leadership and when we have had it, the established order of losers have attacked it with everything they have. And what’s depressing about this China Virus scare is that we have allowed it to even ruin our elections. That’s why this news about Tom Brady going to my favorite team was so optimistic. Its good to see out there that some people still get it, Brady gets it, the team gets it, and the ownership in Tampa gets it. And maybe when other people see all these elements coming together they might learn something about having a winning attitude, even when failure and loss is the only thing they experience. There is a lot of merit in continuing to try until you do get it right and after America comes out of this fake virus scare, they’ll learn a few things by watching Tom Brady pick a franchise up on his back and carry it to a victorious season. The same kind of sentiment can be done in politics if only people had the courage to do it.

Rich Hoffman

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The Buccaneers Fired Dirk Koetter and the Bengals Finally Fired Marvin Lewis: To win you have to get rid of a problem, especially in areas of management

One of the reasons I am still a Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan after many seasons of losing is because the organization as ran by the Glazer family is always on a quest to find the right combination of coaching to match with the players they have on the field to be victorious. If they fall short, they do not hesitate to fire their coaches such as they did Sunday afternoon at the end of their season after losing to the Atlanta Falcons. Dirk Koetter had been with the team for three years but it was obvious with all the weapons the Bucs had on the field to use that the coaches just didn’t have an approach, and they ended the season with just five wins, most of them coming at the beginning. I thought Dirk Koetter was a pretty good guy, not the worst coach in the world, but even after victories after he’d hand out game balls to star players, there was something not quite right about him, and that surely turned up on the field. The Bucs organization is quick to determine that someone is working out and they fire them when its apparent that things just aren’t going to change which is precisely why I continue to love the Tampa Bay Buccaneer organization as a whole. They may not win every game, but at least they try to.

That is why the Bengals in Cincinnati should have terminated their relationship with Marvin Lewis years ago. The guy just doesn’t get it. They have stuck with him for 16 lackluster seasons and the results have never been good. He should have been fired many years ago because it was disrespectful to the Bengals fans who pay premium money for the NFL experience to expect them to put up with Marginal Marvin for so long. The resentment was obvious at the stadium even under the best of circumstances. I had gone to the game this year with good club seat tickets to watch Tampa Bay play the Bengals in Cincinnati on a beautiful October day just before Halloween. It was an absolutely perfect day for the NFL experience in a big city with real playoff implications, because at the time both teams were in the hunt. And the Bengals won that day so everyone should have been happy. But virtually everyone from the vendors selling beer to the men in the restroom talking to each other about the game across urinals were talking about how they were surprised that Marvin Lewis hadn’t found a way to blow the game. Any kind of respect for Marvin Lewis had left Cincinnati a long time ago, yet Mike Brown had stuck with him perpetually with no end in sight.

In any kind of successful organization, you can’t be trigger happy either. You have to give a new coach time to implement a change culture of winning from losing, and that should take a year or two. But in the NFL fans are the ones paying the bills, its unrealistic to expect them to put up with a bad team for more than a few years and still retain their season ticket packages. A lot of people say that Mike Brown doesn’t care about such things so long as he has a profitable television contract which I find hard to believe. As a businessman of any kind it is stupid to leave any money on the table and you don’t get to be as rich as the Brown family is by being stupid. I just don’t think they know what they are doing as football people. The father Paul Brown did understand, but his family didn’t and it shows.

The Bengals have been living in the past, they have had a couple of Superbowl appearances in the 1980s but nothing since and they are hanging their hat on that one achievement. Meanwhile the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won a Superbowl back in 2003 for a great 2002 season which had been many years in the making. But that was then, the world we live in is very much a what have you done for me lately reality. While at that Bengals game I wore my 2002 Superbowl victory hat for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and people kept saying to me that it was silly to wear that hat because it was a long time ago. I would then say to them with friendly banter that I would be happy to wear the Bengals Superbowl victory hat if they could get me one. Of course, that was when laughter from both sides exploded at the absurdity of it. But why should it be absurd?

The NFL is designed to give every city with an NFL team a shot at victory. I view much of the NFL structure as an entirely socialist enterprise where winners are penalized, and losers are boosted up, particularly in regard to draft picks. But this is because the goal of the NFL is to sell tickets and merchandise and if a team doesn’t make it to the big dance at least once a decade their fan base cools it in regard to spending. People generally support their home town team, but they don’t necessarily dream of a new football jersey for Christmas for a losing team. They want to at least thing that there is a chance at victory. Those are the basics of business. Yet in Cincinnati we have been asked to put up with losing as a reality and that goes against so many raw emotions for which the NFL experience depends. To stick with a coach like Marvin Lewis for so long because he’s a nice guy, which he is, or because he’s a progressive employment option that earns street credibility with the very progressive NFL isn’t enough to justify what they have asked fans to endure. You don’t keep a coach because of being nice or black, but because they win. That is the only objective in playing professional football—winning.

I would love to cheer on the Cincinnati Bengals. But I will always love the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will spend quite a lot of money flying down to a game or two from time to time to blow many thousands of dollars on the Tampa economy because the Glazer family are always trying to do what they have to do to win. If the Bucs don’t win a single game in the whole season, I will still cheer them on. It didn’t surprise me at all that just a few hours after losing to Atlanta that Dirk Koetter was terminated as the head coach. It would have surprised me if he hadn’t been fired. But after the Bengals lost against the dreaded Steelers, YET AGAIN, it wouldn’t have surprised me if the Bengals had signed Lewis to a 150 year contract extension—but under tremendous public pressure, they finally fired Marvin Lewis. Because the Bengals have become synonymous to losers, and that is a terrible thing to bestow on a city that has supported that team through many years of lackluster performance. It’s a terrible disrespect to a community that doesn’t deserve it and I do feel sorry for Bengal fans. At least for me I can look forward to positive changes in the Buccaneer organization which gives me hope for an upcoming season of victory. That season may be over by the upcoming October, but at least they are trying. The Bengals are like drunken gamblers who have lost their life savings at a slot machine. They just keep pulling the lever and hoping for a new car. But all they ever get are lemons. Hopefully their next coach will be a real one.

Rich Hoffman

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Mike Brown is Terrible for the Cincinnati Bengals: Embracing a losing mentality is bad for creating value for his customer base

Long ago I wrote an article about why the Cincinnati Bengals would never be a championship team, even if they could load their team with all first-round draft picks. It was never about talent; the Bengals have always had great talent that was worth watching. I usually go to a few games a year even though I am not particularly keen on the Bengals because of their losing reputation, and I really enjoy watching Carlos Dunlap play, along with Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. There are others as well. There is a lot to like about having the Bengals in Cincinnati and the NFL experience in general, but I typically don’t get very excited about them because of their front office approach to the customer base. Mike Brown as an owner never really understood what his role was as an owner and people do resent him for it. Sure they buy the product the way people in Russia bought bread during the height of communism, because there wasn’t any other option. Mike Brown was happy to just barely get by and keep his team in the black financially, but he has shown that he doesn’t care about the customer in the stands buying his product.

Since I do love the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I did go to the home Bengal game when they played in Cincinnati at the end of October. Tampa Bay has been good some years and not so good other years, like this year. But what I see out of their organization every year is an attempt to win. They may get the combinations wrong, but at least they try, so I remain a loyal fan. As many who have read here for years know, I became a Tampa Bay fan because Mike Brown fired Sam Wyche when he was the head coach of the Bengals back in 1992 for one bad season. I never thought it was fair and I followed Sam Wyche to Tampa and remained a fan even after all the many coaching changes there because I simply think the Glazers are good owners and I cheer for their teams because I like them as people. Good people, good product, good public. Tampa Bay is a great place to watch a game win or lose, because you always feel they are trying.

However, after the Buc, Bengal game on a very beautiful day in Cincinnati where the home team held on to win in a close game that was very exciting I was in the Club section using the restroom after and by the way the fans were talking you’d think that the Bengals had lost. The talk after the game was that it was a miracle that Marvin Lewis didn’t find a way to lose the game, not that the home town Bengals had won, and I actually felt sorry for the team. Honestly, the Bengals played a good game. The Bucs at the time were playoff contenders so there was a lot for Bengal fans to be happy about. But the reputation of the team has left a fog over the entire organization that was costing them millions and millions of dollars and it was quite embarrassing.

Like I said, I go to a few games a year. I love the Club section because it’s usually a business class of people and I like the indoor amenities. There’s room to get up and walk around that you don’t get throughout the rest of the stadium. But I noticed that during the entire game almost no seats around us filled up with people. While the season ticket holders and hard-core blue-collar fans who have invested many of thousands of personal dollars into the Bengals and are willing to overlook the Bengal faults due to their own large investments into the NFL experience, the business class people see clearly what is going on with the Bengal organization and they aren’t supporting them even when they get free tickets through business associations. They simply have better things to do with their lives than watch losers play. Because business people know that even when losers sometimes win by accident, they are still losers, and that is the state of the current Bengal ownership under Mike Brown and they reject the product wholesale. When you can’t even give away free tickets, there is a problem with the product.

In business we are all trained, especially these days to give value to the customer, the people who pay for your product. If they aren’t getting value, what incentive do they have to continue using the product. The days of old top down relationships with the customer that large companies and monopolies had could afford to ignore the customer experience somewhat. For instance, the reason GM is failing isn’t because of large tariffs, but because they have a lackluster labor force that builds bad cars people don’t want. People bought them back when only America was building cars. But when there are better options, people will go where their value is massaged. In the case of GM put a Chevy Cruz next to a Toyota Corolla and the differences are obvious. I personally still support the GM brand, my family likes the cross-overs, but for sedans, there isn’t any question as to quality between the two. It’s the same with the NFL, Mike Brown thinks that just having a professional football team is all it takes, and up until a few years ago he was partially right. People were happy to have an NFL team in their city whether they were winners or losers, just the experience was worth the cost of the product. But times have changed, where the Bengals haven’t.

With the advent of Fantasy Football and the video game culture of Madden, the new generation of football fans are less inclined to love the home town team as they are players that they can invest in. The loyalty to the team as a whole has been broken up in these days of more individualized experiences such as we see with the smart phone revolution. That means that if a football team doesn’t occasionally win a big championship fans will drift away onto other interests, and the product will be permanently impacted. It’s a simple value stream kind of thing that any business would track trying to ensure that the customer experience is something they could build a business on. The Mike Brown assumption that people will buy his product regardless of what decisions he makes is really quite an insult especially to the business class people who spend their entire work week trying to figure out how to make their customers happy only to spend their leisure time getting spit in the face by Mike Brown. The final straw for Cincinnati fans was a few years ago when the Bengals were winning a playoff game against Pittsburg and they blew the ending with stupid penalties. Marvin Lewis stuck by those players not trying to recruit better personalities in the offseason and for smart people, they saw a lazy coach who was just riding the cart Mike Brown was pushing. And that was why fans were in the bathroom on a really wonderful day with a Bengal win against a good team complaining about Marvin Lewis when they should have been celebrating.

Whether the product is government, entertainment, or general business, the first obligation is to the people who give you money for that service. A few years ago when there was only the Post Office, there wasn’t anywhere to complain about the lazy postal worker who carelessly threw mail on our front porches. But with the rise of FedEx and UPS, that changed. The same with phone companies, it used to be that if you made a call outside of your home zip code, you would be charged for long distance communication. Now there are many communication options and those costs are long gone. And when it comes to sports, there are lots and lots of options and these days it’s actually more fun to watch them on the big magnificent televisions in the comfort of our homes. I still like to hear the roar of a crowd and see things in person, but if the customer experience sucks, I’ll just stay home. And that is what is happening to the Bengals. I wish I hadn’t been right all those years ago, but as usual, unfortunately I was. The Bengals under Mike Brown ownership will never win a championship. He has disrespected the customer base to a point that it will never recover and that’s a shame. Especially when Cincinnati has given him so much by way of tax relief and other benefits. Mike Brown didn’t respect Cincinnati enough to at least try to win. He is happy with mediocrity and his insult to all of us is that he insists that we like it.

I’d love to love the Bengals and take my grandkids down to the field to get autographs by really good people and players like Carlos Dunlap. But because of Mike Brown’s terrible leadership, I just can’t.

Rich Hoffman

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The “Fitzmagic” Show in Tampa Bay: A study in leadership that everyone could learn from

I haven’t been too keen on the NFL experience over the last couple of years. My favorite team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are always fun to watch, even when they haven’t had very good seasons, but so far this year they look spectacular. And there are some things worth discussing about what makes winning teams great that gives sports a unique way to express the abstract psychology of success. Of course I didn’t start this season with very high hopes as Jameis Winston got in trouble yet again for sexually molesting a young woman, this time an Uber Driver. And I haven’t been too impressed with Dirk Koetter as a head coach. I love the owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and have supported their continued efforts at being a great team by making changes every year to be competitive, but the results just haven’t been there for me, so I didn’t enter this season too excited about them or the NFL. But after two games and two wins to start the season against very good teams in the Saints and Eagles, there are some things worth talking about that involve the spirit of winning and nature of teamwork.

At the heart of this sudden success is the backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who has had back to back 400-yard games. Honestly, I think the playbook in Tampa Bay is so good, and to their credit, the team went out and filled the offense with great receivers and a good line that most quarterbacks could be successful under those conditions. But it’s what Fitzpatrick does as a leader that has made that team come together in a really special way. It’s not the typical kind of thing that Xs and O analysis can quantify, but it is unmistakable when you see it. Leadership ability is probably the most valuable attribute in any business. We build our sports recreation as a society to exhibit it when we can and as fans we marvel when we see it. And for Fitzpatrick maybe it took him until age 35 to finally figure out how to put it all together. Maybe the three-game suspension to Jameis Winston was the greatest thing to ever have happened to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because it allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to start the season knowing he was the starting quarterback and getting reps with the first team and at this point in his career he could afford to play loose. But nobody thought this was going to happen where he has been the best player on offense in the NFL for two consecutive weeks.

You can always tell when someone who is supposed to be a leader is faking it, and that has been the case of Jameis Winston. He’s a young kid with great charisma, but he has been trying too hard to establish himself and that is why Tampa Bay hasn’t been winning the last couple of years. If you can’t get the team to buy into the team leader at the quarterback position, then its going to be a long season. But sometimes a kid like Jameis just never really gets it. The same can be said about Cam Newton. Great raw talent, very likable personality, but when he’s down, he pulls the whole team down. And when he’s up, he pulls everyone up. But when a savvy veteran like Fitzpatrick gets a shot with over 15 years of experience to show his stuff without the pressure of being a franchise quarterback, then it’s a special thing that we often don’t see.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is having fun playing the game of football and it shows, and the rest of the team has rallied behind his enthusiasm. He was given a good team by management to work with, a starting job due to the suspension and a setting sun on his own career to make a point and he is simply a smart guy utilizing all those conditions. So they are calling it Fitzmagic in Tampa Bay what has happened to the team since the old quarterback started throwing the ball all over the place and raising the level of play for the entire team with his natural leadership. That leadership has been on display before with other teams, and it was obvious last year on the HBO series Hardknocks but with Jameis as the starting quarterback, and with the very expensive price tag of the franchise player, Fitzpatrick had to be happy to be a backup and help wherever he could.

So the ticker fell his way, he gained a starting job and if the Buccaneers are smart, which I think they are, they’ll keep Fitzpatrick in that starting job. Jameis Winston has been reckless and is still learning about natural leadership, so there is no reason he should be the starting quarterback when Fitzpatrick is obviously in a special place that many teams would kill for to discover among their roster. Leadership, especially natural leadership, is the most precious commodity in any business and with Fitzpatrick Tampa Bay as a football organization has found one. He’s the right guy at the right time and he is old enough to understand this time in history. That much was clear when he did his press conference after the Eagle’s game dressed up in an outfit from DeSean Jackson. All great leaders know how to have fun under the intense pressure of expectation and in that one gesture and very mature press conference where Fitzpatrick gave credit to the entire team for the win when the entire story could have been about his second consecutive 400 yard game, he showed that he had the heart of the team and the best shot at a chance to win a Super Bowl in 2018.

I still watch sports because I’m always hoping for these types of stories in the dialogue of the action. I have been a Buccaneer fan all these years during winning times and not so winning times because I know the owners are committed to finding just such a combination every year. They are always trying to win and when they aren’t they make moves in coaching and players to position themselves. And all that work has paid off. Even when their franchise guy went down due to a suspension and the schedule for the start of their year looked ominous. The Bucs have the Pittsburg Steelers on this coming Monday Night Football on prime-time television. The organization went the extra mile to sign Fitzpatrick. I couldn’t help but notice that the yards after the carry from Jackson, Evans, and Howard had just a little more swagger to them likely because they believe in Ryan Fitzpatrick. If that team keeps playing like that, they very much likely will be a Super Bowl team. And out of all the bad stories regarding the NFL lately, especially the flag drama from spoiled brat football players, the joy of such games come from watching teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hitting everything on all cylinders. It is a thing of beauty to watch and is very rare in any sport. But at this point in time the Fitzmagic show in Tampa is the hottest ticket in town and it’s a story that the NFL badly needs, and I’m very glad to see it happening.

Rich Hoffman

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Failure of the Nordic Model: What the world needs to learn from America

The best argument against the Nordic Model type of socialism so advocated today by progressives, Democrats and socialists—like Bernie Sanders is not necessarily the quality of living which can be argued as whether or not it is good—it’s the type of people the cultures produce under those heavily taxed, and controlled societies. Advocates for the Nordic Model declare, which is appealing to an American society currently drowning in college debt–which is likely the perpetual strategy of the progressive political class—just as it is behind every public school levy—is that the education is free, average median income is high, and lifestyles are good—there’s parks, lots of government services, and the trappings of an otherwise utopian society that seems wonderful to those who find the challenges of capitalism to be ominous. Nordic societies have given up on the gifts provided by brilliant and ambitious citizens in favor of collective comfort and the cost to their society is a mundane culture of generally happy people just content to live and die like in the movie Soylent Green.

I once had a friend who was a Penthouse model from Sweden who was so in love with American life that she oozed it in every aspect of her life. Her reason was that Sweden was so encumbered with socialism that she found that society stifling. As a beautiful woman she had an advantage over the average Swedish female, yet that society didn’t give her many options to take advantage of her exceptional good looks. So she came to America, posed for a men’s magazine, found herself a very rich husband and lived a generally good life shrouded by the trappings of capitalism, and she loved it. I learned a lot about Swedish society through her, and the conclusion was that I would feel choked by it—it was far too limiting for me.

Now becoming a nude model for a soft porn magazine is hardly a noble profession, nor is marrying a sugar daddy husband the result of enormous skill. But in America that was an option for her which was not an option in Sweden. There weren’t that many rich guys looking for a beautiful woman to pamper—because everybody pretty much had the same level of income. For a girl like the model, there was certainly a glass ceiling limiting her ability to the collective opinion of the masses—so she came to America. Her story is just a microcosm of the type of people who come from other places to take advantage of the gifts of capitalism to make their lives better, and overall enrich the level of life for everyone in the overall culture. Arnold Schwarzenegger could have told a similar story as my model friend. In their home cultures they would have just been average every day people, but in American society, the limits to their lives went as far as they were willing to take it.

These are examples of entertainment personalities who found success in America and it should be considered as a representation of American culture the kind of entertainment that is exported—such as the motion picture industry. What great Nordic films are breaking box office records around the world these days……………………………..(crickets). What great companies besides IKEA are spreading across the world as a result of Nordic Model economies……………………..(still crickets)…………………anybody? What great sports stars, musical influence, new computer technology have emerged from Nordic Model society? How about novelists? Who are the great writers who are shaping philosophy coming out of Sweden, Finland or Norway? (still crickets) That is the problem with Nordic Model societies. They may have a nice standard of living for the average person, but their culture ends up being happy to just be happy leaving their exceptional people with no place to go but to regulate themselves into mediocrity. And the mediocre do not advance human civilization. They never have, and they never will.

In America mediocrity is acceptable. People are free to ride on the coat tails of the exceptional all the time. Last week during the NFL draft many exceptional young men received the opportunity toward fortune and glory by being drafted into an NFL team. For me the excitement centered around Jameis Winston who was drafted by my favorite team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Given all the headaches centering on the young man from the rape allegations, and the theft of crab legs, the organization took a chance on the 21-year-old quarterback out of Florida State because they were looking for an exceptional leader for their football team. They deemed his talent as so exceptional that they bent over backwards to get him, and had a signed contract within 24 hours of drafting him. When Jameis arrived in Tampa the day after the draft the hungry city treated him like a king reborn pampering him like he was a god. It was quite extraordinary, and was evidence of the recognition that they saw in the young man a chance to win once again. Winston would not have had an opportunity like that as a 6’-4” man of color in Sweden. He might get a chance to play soccer, but that’s about it. In America Winston had the opportunity to play football, baseball, maybe even basketball and to become a multi-millionaire well before the age of 30. Life is good for Jameis Winston and for fans in Tampa Bay; they are free to ride on his coat tails to future victory—or at least the chance of it. The reason that ownership, the coaches, the fans, players and much of Tampa Bay showed up at the training facility to welcome Winston to Tampa as a savor of the franchise was not because of some ridiculous notion of team, or a collective recognition of the common enhanced by a quality player—it was because Jameis Winston as an individual is a great football player and there are parades of people willing to fall into his wake to benefit from his individual heroics.

Who are the Steve Jobs types in Nordic society, or the Elon Musk types? What about Bill Gates–who is the equivalent of those billionaire inventors in Sweden?   I’m sure they have a few, but per capita how many creative types are inventing a new means of wealth in the Nordic Model? The answer is that there are far more people per capita under a capitalist society that have great success than those in a socialist country who manages to leverage their interests with the government in charge to become one of the rare elite. There is no reason for anybody to work to do anything great in the Nordic Model because everyone is comfortable just being average. It pays in a Nordic Model society to be average, so nobody does anything exceptional. That is the terrible cost of socialism under any guise.

A classroom of well-behaved children is not necessarily a good thing if what’s snuffed out is their individuality and the imaginations of their specific gifts. In America if a person has developed something that they can do better than anybody else, they can have a shot at the American dream—at riches and a lifestyle typically reserved for kings and nobility in European cultures—and it galls the world to no end that Americans have little respect for the ways of the past, where a select few ruled the many. Even if a person is physically ugly, they may do something so much better than someone else that they can have a shot at wealth. Socialism simply takes the monarchy of thought into government rule as opposed to a heredity rule. It is still the rule of a minority of the majority in trade for safety and security.

Ohio Senator Shannon Jones, who I used to like when she showed a willingness to take on labor unions—has now lost my support forever. Why, because she proposed a bill that says children should have to ride a bicycle with a helmet. Give me a break! What an utterly stupid rule! Government telling little kids that they have to wear a helmet to ride a bicycle—those helmets are hot, and stifling to the impulse of jumping on a bike and riding over to a friend’s house as needed. Helmets are a ridiculous imposition created by that panic driven mom class who think their children are so precious that every bump on the head is a life or death situation. Then when those overly coddled children do have a major crises in their life, like they end up in a car wreck where they bleed a lot, or end up in some other catastrophe, they end up dying because they have not been trained to withstand physical punishment, and then the mothers really lose their children just because they allowed their lives to be governed by panic and a drive for safety at any cost. The product of such children are a kind of limited life stuck in a bottle living their entire lives slightly detached from reality—which is ironically the kind of people produced by the Nordic Model. Shannon Jones belongs in the Nordic Model socialism that wants government imposed bicycle helmets at the cost of individual liberty and the potential evolution exceptional people. I never rode with a helmet and I had lots of wrecks. I learned exceptionally well how to roll out of trouble and protect my head from trauma. To this day I ride motorcycles every day often without a helmet and I’ve been in crashes at well over 100 mph. Because of my childhood I developed an ability to survive that is exceptional—something I wouldn’t have developed if I would have been forced to wear a helmet as a kid. If that was how it was when I was a kid, I likely would have just stayed inside and done something else—and said heck with riding a bicycle.

America is great because it creates the path for the exceptional to move away from the control of overly coddling government types like Shannon Jones. Sure people like the Penthouse model, Jameis Winston, or Elon Musk are the exception, but in a Nordic Model society, they would be stuffed into a jar for the common good. Their entire society would miss the gifts of their exceptionalism even if the benefits are as small as a nude woman in a magazine, or the wonderful technology coming out of Space X. The cost of the socialist society even if everything seems comfortable on the surface is that people live half dead lives in a kind of haze because there is no purpose to their life, no dreams to reach for, no fantasies to pursue. They just live and die guided quietly by the state toward an inevitable end comfortably put down to rest in service to the great collective.  Only the collective isn’t so great when compared to individuals produced by a capitalist society. Of course the masses will always have the bottom feeders. Those types will happily cheer on Jameis Winston with godlike reverence and dream of sleeping with women like the Penthouse model. And they’ll love the products of Apple and Tesla. And they may even dream of being one of those people one day. The opportunity of having that dream is worth more than the comfort of the Nordic Model. Sure kids with helmets on a bicycle may live if they fall down and bump their head. But the cost in using the helmet often slowly kills their minds in other ways. And those ways are the difference between the Nordic Model and a capitalist society. The evidence of which is the best method can be measured directly by which one produces better people for the society at large. And the winner of that race is obvious. Just go to the movies and see which culture tells their story best on the silver screen.

Rich Hoffman


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Up for Whatever Happens: Tampa Bay Beats the Steelers in an improbable win

There hasn’t been much to cheer about the last couple of years, and first part of this new season as I’m a diehard fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team.  It has been a transition period for them as they have sought after their correct player/coach combinations.  With the addition of Lovie Smith as the new head coach, I have been optimistic until the thrashing that took place in Atlanta.  I am also a fan of the Bud Light commercials, “Up for Whatever Happens” which I featured during the last Super Bowl.  So even after a terrible start to the new season, it was wonderful to see Warren Sapp grant a Tampa Bay resident with a dream “happening” by converting his living room into a pirate themed amusement park at the beginning of the game against the Pittsburg Steelers.  This is usually how it looks at my house on each Sunday that the Bucs play.

Football is a celebration of capitalism and the type of people who have assembled on the outskirts of society to attack the NFL are the same idiots who believe in global warming, the income disparity between men and women, and that it is better to have a president in the White House because of skin color rather than content of character.  These intrusive big-government, anti-capitalists want to step into the private affairs of Ray Rice, and Adrian Peterson along with coming after the Washington Redskin franchise name—as they do every “citizen” of the world for reasons that have nothing to do with justice.    These characters are not so interested in protecting women from domestic violence or children from abusive punishment—or honoring the name of a conquered people—but rather in moving the progressive bar further to the political left by attacking a mainstay of American capitalism—the NFL.  So I tend to support American football as a leisure activity in spite of their altruistic obsession of appeasing those same radicals with the pink ribbon campaigns and 60 minutes of exercise per day for children.  I believe that the Madden Football on Xbox and Playstation does more for children than an entire year of public school as far as teaching them how to think—so I love and support the NFL.

I also love Lovie Smith who has always been and continues to be a stand up guy who coaches in a unique way as a mentor first, and a leader desiring to win second.  This could be said of the Glazer ownership as well which I have spoken about in great detail over the years.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneer organization from the top to the bottom is a class act and a great enhancement to the Tampa Bay region.  Lovie Smith is the perfect kind of fit for the type of coach the Glazers had been looking for.  But after a terrible, embarrassing loss to the Atlanta Falcons—a division rival, I had no hope that the Bucs could bounce back and beat the Steelers playing in Pittsburg—where the home team almost never loses.  The mountain of improbability was just too high.  I didn’t even put my flags out for the first time in about 8 years.  I watched the game out of loyalty but I didn’t want to put too much emotional investment into a team that was obviously struggling with Lovie’s team philosophy. I didn’t even get excited much when the Bucs came out and sacked Big Ben in the opening moments jumping up to a 10-0 first quarter score.  The Steelers made some adjustments and came back to get the lead and held it until the closing moments of the game—but with 7 seconds left on the clock, the Bucs mounted a valiant comeback—held their poise and won the game.  It was very impressive, and if I had my cannons out, I would have shot them as seen in that Bud Light commercial.

I don’t care if the Bucs win another game this season—that win was one that I’ll never forget.  Hopefully the organization will build on that victory and step will into the future.  For all the talk about the recent Hall-of-Fame inclusions of Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, and soon John Lynch, Ronde Barber, and probably Mike Alstott, Tony Dungy, along with many others—the Bucs have been living in the past—happy to have their one Super Bowl win in 2002.  The ownership has tried to recapture that magic, but the results have been average.  There have been some great wins, and some fun Sundays, but the Bucs have not been able to rekindle the magic of their Hall-of-Fame players.  The Steelers on the other hand have a whole hallway of Super Bowl wins and a legacy of success that is unmatched.  Their current head coach is a former Buccaneer coach and has had great accomplishments in Pittsburg.  The reason it is so hard to win in Pittsburg is because the fans expect success from their team—and nothing less.  That is obvious when Pittsburg comes to Cincinnati to play which is four hours away to the south—there are nearly as many Steeler fans in the stands of a home game with the Bengals who follow the team to away games with great enthusiasm.  They do the same in Cleveland, and Baltimore creating a very intimidating fan base that rattles visiting teams during every Steeler home game.

It would have been very hard for Lovie Smith to prepare his team after such a daunting loss to get back on the horse and prepare for the Steelers—where the odds were against them in every category.  The NFL world was shocked to see the Bucs steal a win against the valiant Steelers—yet it happened in a convincing way.  Even when I thought the game was over with only a minute left—Pittsburg had the ball forcing Tampa to use all their timeouts—the defense put the screws to a very good Steeler offense.  The big difference in the game was that Gerald McCoy was back in the middle forcing the Steelers to attempt to run the ball to the outside where speedy linebackers were there to pick up the attempt.  The defense held, and the Bucs got the ball back with 30 seconds left to march down the field and score a touchdown.  Mike Glennon—the back-up quarterback throwing to a guy who was signed only the week before—who was cut after the pre-season, caught the ball on a slot reception and nearly made it into the in-zone.  Two plays later Vincent Jackson caught a touchdown stunning the football world.

After the game the Bud Light commercial featuring Warren Sapp and the Buccaneer themed living room came on again and it was just more revered the second time—because of the win.  There are a lot of metaphors in football that can be applied to life and it is games like the one between the Bucs and Steelers that serve as testimony to all of them.  Even when the odds are terribly stacked against you and you appear to be out-classed in every category—if you believe you can win, it’s the first step in marching down the field to get a victory—against all odds.  And in such times it takes a coach who is willing to spit in the wind of convention and not surrender to the temptation to lose his cool that can convince his team of young saplings that they can achieve the most audacious feat only a week after receiving the most embarrassing loss of their lives.  Lovie Smith is a great coach if for no other reason than the way he handled himself before and after the Pittsburg Steelers game of 2014.  It was a game that belonged featured in the Bud Light commercial “Up for Whatever Happens” because in the closing seconds on a brilliant autumn afternoon in the Midwest—it did.

Rich Hoffman


Sam Wyche and Hardy Nickerson Inventors of ‘A Bucs Life’: Tampa Bay Bucs hire Lovie Smith as head coach

Long before there was an internet I remember specifically picking up a copy of The Tampa Tribune at a Cincinnati area Borders Books and Music and eating a fabulous breakfast at Perkins while reading about the very dynamic changes that my favorite football coach Sam Wyche was bringing to the fledgling  Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  One of those changes was in uniform, one of the others was the free agent acquisition of Hardy Nickerson from the Pittsburg Steelers.  Between Nickerson and Wyche the two paved the way for what became the Tony Dungy Era Buccaneers.  For me Wyche as an NFL coach was way in front of the train, he was the first coach to teach Joe Montana, he invented the no huddle offense, pissed off most of the NFL and beat writers all over the country and was a pure bred innovator.  He was bringing to Tampa—a team swimming in corruption from its owner Hugh Culverhouse’s three extramarital affairs–passion, drive, and conviction.  Hugh gave Wyche free control to make the Bucs into something great, and that is just what Sam went to do.  Nickerson was the first block that would become a wall built for the next four years in a defense that produced Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch and many other notables.  Nickerson hung around till 1999 teaching those young Buc defenders how to become Hall of Fame material.  In 2013 Sapp was inducted, in 2014 Tony Dungy, Brooks and Lynch are all finalists.  When Hugh died, Wyche was on the out as the Glazer family wanted to bring their own kind of guy in as coach, Tony Dungy which was an excellent choice.  But Tony only honed off the edges of a team that Wyche built.  Of that group was the upcoming line backer coach Lovie Smith.  Now, twenty years later replacing the hard copy newspaper with the internet and an iPad, I am once again reading exciting news about the Buccaneers.  Lovie Smith has been hired to be the new head coach after a few years with Greg Schiano did not produce winning seasons.  And Lovie hired Hardy Nickerson to be his linebacker coach.  An explosion of fun is headed for Tampa.  For me it all started with the kind of intensity, and innovation seen in the clip below—with Hardy Nickerson and Sam Wyche—the coach who started it all in Tampa.

During this last season when my enemies wanted to give me a rough way to go they ribbed me incessantly about the Bucs terrible record.  Under Schiano they started off the 2013 season 0 and 8 and knowing a bit about the Glazers, I knew the writing was on the wall.  They fired Sam Wyche after four losing seasons even though he had some dramatic wins and brought to the team a dynamic that it had not had before.  The Glazers fired the great Tony Dungy after getting repeatedly to the playoffs but not going to a Superbowl and hired Jon Gruden.  Then Gruden was fired to give Raheem Morris a chance, a long time coach for the Bucs as the ownership was looking for a new Lovie Smith or Mike Tomlin—both guys had come into the NFL through Tampa Bay.  When Raheem didn’t work out the Bucs went outside the box in hiring Schiano from Rutgers.  When Schiano started 2013 flat, I knew he was gone and I told my enemies that.  I still listened to the games and paid attention to the team for pure entertainment, but I knew the Glazers would pull the trigger at the end of the season—and they did.  They fired Schiano on “Black Monday” a day where 5 NFL coaches lost their jobs, and by Wednesday even over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day hired Lovie Smith by Wednesday.  When Lovie did not take an NFL job during 2013 after being let go from the Chicago Bears in 2012 for not going to the playoffs that year with a 10 – 5 season I assumed the Glazers were talking to Smith to resurrect some of the old magic from the Dungy era—a period of time paved by Sam Wyche and Hardy Nickerson.  So when I saw that Nickerson was coming back to Tampa not as a player—but a coach—I was ecstatic.  Hardy Nickerson is my kind of player.  He’s a class act, he’s tough, he’s fearless—and now he’s teaching the next generation of Buccaneers how to hit, strip away the ball, and in general wreak havoc against opposing offenses.

Football is a trivial game.  The game itself isn’t any more important in the scheme of life than a typical poker game or a gambling excursion.  Wins and losses come and go and football games are only games.  But for me, people like Wyche, Dungy, and Lovie Smith, are innovators who brought their teams from the back of Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality train to the front.  (See Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance  CLICK HERE)  Football however is the closest thing America has on a high-profile front that represents pure capitalism and the reasons why The United States was able to excel in the past economically while other countries struggled.  Football is an American game built around American philosophy and when Sam Wyche in the clip above pointed to his players warning them not to shake hands with the other players before the game—he meant it.  On the field of battle the other team is the enemy.  The goal is competition, not hugging, kissing, or brown-nosing.  The goal in football is to dominate the other team, and Hardy Nickerson bought into that philosophy—which carried over to players who mentored from him and became Hall of Fame players.

In normal everyday life I yell a lot.  I tend to play at life much the way Hardy Nickerson played the game of football in Tampa Bay and Sam Wyche coached.  In one day this past week I punched a desktop breaking the linoleum top, I threw a chair, sheered the lock of a door by head butting it and yelled at about 30 different people.  I didn’t do these things to be intimidating or to put on a show.  I did it because the passion in my heart had no place else to go and came out in explosive outbursts.  Sam Wyche always had that kind of passion as a coach which is how I became a Buccaneer fan in the first place.   For him it wasn’t fake or a show—it was real, and the players who played for him knew it.  Whether the situation is a football game or everyday life, passion is something that the world needs more of.  There is time for handshaking after the games we all play are done—but in the meantime you have to lay it all out on the field of play and give it everything—and I mean EVERYTHING.

I am very proud of the Glazer family in Tampa—a place I consider my second home.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just had a 4 -12 season, but I have never been prouder to call myself a fan.  I’m a fan because the Bucs fired a coach two years into a contract so they could abandon the guy and move on to a formula that wins.  That formula might not work, and if it doesn’t, they’ll try again and again and again until it does.  Meanwhile, they are always looking to bring in the type of coaches that made them successful to begin with, and hiring Hardy Nickerson as a member of the coaching staff is a tremendous indicator of just how serious they are about trying to win.  The other NFL team in the town of my primary home is The Cincinnati Bengals who just allowed Marvin Lewis to lose his fifth playoff appearance game.  The owners of the Bengals will bring Marvin back next year, and the year after, and the year after, and the year after so long as the guy wants to coach because they have no idea what they are doing.  They simply hope that their time will come every now and again and wait their turn for a shot at the title.  Unlike the Bucs, they wait for their time to come, while the Glazers try to make their time to come with forward-looking leadership.  Hardy Nickerson and Sam Wyche are the embodiments of that philosophy and are the primary reasons that after all these years from that first peek at the Buccaneer team of 1993 that I am still a fan—and so long as the Glazers own the team—am likely to continue even if they never win again.


There is a lot of talk centering on my little grandson because as a young little guy just over a year old he is already grunting and making animal noises showing a tremendous amount of aggression.  His father was a cage fighter, his mom is my kid, and he’s my grandson—what would anybody expect?  When he sees me he greets me with a growl and a fist pump.  His grunting and growling has been so obvious that people are taking notice and are concerned.  But as a little boy who will grow up to be a man, I know damn well what I’m doing, and my relationship with him will be as such.  The enemy is on the field and you don’t shake hands with them, you don’t whisper sweet nothings to them, you don’t make friends.  You crush them, you pummel them, and you make them beg to come off the field with their very lives forgetting about victory. And those foundations start in the mind.  Once the game is over, shake hands, go to church, and break bread.  But in the meantime conquer, destroy, and win!

That is the way of the world, and makes everything in life—even for the losers—better.  It is in Tampa what they call……………….”A Bucs Life.”

Rich Hoffman


$96 Million Dollars for Darrelle Revis: The Buccanneer Way–excellence in defense

This is a Part II to some of the recent happenings with my favorite football team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  CLICK HERE to see Part I which was about Warren Sapp and is needed to understand fully my thoughts about this article covering the $96 million dollar price tag for Darrelle Revis who the Bucs traded away their first round draft pick among other things, to land Revis from the New York Jets.  The leading reason I love Tampa Bay as a football team under the ownership of the Glazers is because they are not afraid to attempt any dynamic to become better.  They are a very interesting organization that is firmly committed to thinking outside the box to at least become a competitive team.  They may not go to the Superbowl every year, but they are always “in the hunt.”  They do not fall in love with coaches or players who do not take the team where they want to go.  For the Buccaneers, who are known for their punishing shut down defenses, they have struggled to maintain that presence since the departure of Warren Sapp in 2004.  They have looked, and drafted and tried many combinations of individual personalities in an attempt to recapture that magic.  If the combination did not work, the Glazers cut their loss and moved on to the next dynamic.

In that regard, the industry of football was shocked that the Buccaneers would be willing to pay $96 million dollars to one person who was not a quarterback.  In professional football, it is simply unheard of to pay that kind of money to one person, especially coming off ACL surgery.  To the world of sports analysis, no single person is worth that kind of money.  Yet for the Glazers in Tampa, who have been searching for a way to give their fans another dominate Buccaneer defense similar to the days of Warren Sapp, it is worth the money to them.  As I’ve said before, American Football is the game of capitalism, and countries who favor socialism do not understand why Americans love it so much.  Soccer is the game of socialism, which is why almost every country that plays soccer as their national identity, have an economic system of socialism blowing the wind in their sails.  With that perspective, Darrelle Revis is simply the best defensive player in the NFL and the Buccaneers wanted him, so they paid the money to get him.  Revis set his value at such a high figure by being the best, and anybody who wants to enjoy his services can pay the money.  That is how capitalism works. In this case, Revis gets the kind of money that being the best defensive NFL player for 6 years can garner, and the Bucs get a player that should be able to return the team to the number one defense in the league category.   Revis was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on April 21, 2013 signing a six-year contract worth $96 million, making him the highest paid defensive back in NFL history.[63] The Jets received the Buccaneers’ 2013 first round pick (13th overall) and a 2014 fourth round conditional pick, which can become a third round pick.

For those in the world who wish to believe that anybody, or any player if they have a good coach, or school to teach them, can become a player like Darrelle Revis due to institutional merit, they are sadly mistaken.  Revis is great because of his individual effort.   Revis was born to former high school track star Diana Gilbert and Darryl Revis.[64] Revis is the nephew of former NFL defensive lineman Sean Gilbert.[65] Revis’ high school accolades include the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 2003 Player of the Year, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2003 WPIAL Class AA Player of the Year, and 2003 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Fabulous 22”.

In the PIAA Class AA State Championship football game, he led Aliquippa to a come-from-behind 32–27 win over Northern Lehigh by scoring 5 touchdowns including 3 rushing touchdowns, a punt return, and the return of a blocked Northern Lehigh field goal attempt. He also completed a 39 yard pass, had a reception, and an interception in the game.[7]

In his junior and senior years of high school he led Aliquippa to WPIAL basketball championships, leading the team in scoring both years, culminating with a 25.2 PPG average his senior season. He also had the most interceptions out of any cornerback for high school.  He would go on to become a dominant player in college and then in the NFL earning him the reputation of Revis Island referring to the part of the football field that he covers.  He is the prototype of the “shutdown” cornerback.

In Tampa Bay, they suffered through a season during 2012 that had them losing most of their games by 7 points or less.  They had the offensive weapons, they had a top ranking running defense, they had wonderful special teams, but they could not stop the pass.  They had lost a number of players over the years at cornerback and just could not find the right combination.  Teams learned about halfway through the 2012 season that the Bucs could be beaten if they went over the top and threw over their very good defensive lineman, and linebackers.  And that’s what happened.  All the Bucs could hope to do was win games by out-scoring their opponents, because they couldn’t stop them.  This was an uncharacteristic element for a Glazer team known for their staunch commitment to defense. So it was well-known that they would address the issue in the upcoming off-season.  But few thought they’d be willing to spend so much money to address the situation.

The Bucs are taking a chance with Revis, and Darrelle appears to understand it all too well.  Coming off an ACL surgery is risky, and for the Bucs to spend so much money on a damaged player speaks volumes as to what they value in Revis’ head as opposed to his physical skill.  But for them, the marketplace was a perfect fit.  Darrelle with the Jets had carried the entire team on his back, but in Tampa, he will have a tremendous amount of help.  He should thrive under the ownership of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but only time will tell, however, the Glazers deserve credit.  They are not just looking for a cornerback to cover 45% of a football backfield.  They are looking for a leader at the level they had with Warren Sapp, John Lynch and Derrick Brooks who played on the field at the same time.

The Revis trade articulates how much value one person on a team can be.  Individuals are not interchangeable.  While teams do involve coordination of many individuals to accomplish a task, it is individuals of exceptional character and skill who raise the bar from mediocrity to “excepetionalism.”  The Buccaneers expect out of Revis exceptionalism and it is worth the money to them to get it.  It is fun to root for a team ownership who is willing to commit so much money to one player to obtain not only victories, but a culture that is known to the entire city of Tampa—as a dedication to “DEFENSE” as it was established in the years leading up to their Superbowl win of 2003.  Even if the experiment turns out to be a bust—which I don’t think it will I am proud to support the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of their willingness to embark on such experiments.  I am proud to wear their merchandise, to fly their flags, and watch their games.  The Glazers work hard to give me a product I can enjoy and they value the art of capitalism to a level that I don’t see in any other NFL team.  That commitment is all over the Revis trade, and for that I am extremely excited for the upcoming 2013 season.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a fun year to be a Buc fan!

Game day at the Hoffman House is a fun day for my family.  I put on quite an extravaganza for every game.  During the fall, the game can be heard streaming from my garage on the radio broadcast from Tampa and the televisions inside my house are on the game as I monitor the details over computer screens.  I thoroughly enjoy Tampa Bay Football games, and this year there will be more to cheer for than there has been in a long time.  For me, the cheers are not so much for points scored, but for points prevented as I cheer for a return of the great Buccaneer defenses of the past, and the rise of a new age of The Buccaneer Way that will raise the bar for the entire NFL, and drive the American economy with a wonderful example of capitalism at its finest in a game only understood by free people in free lands who love to sip beer and eat chicken wings as the leaves outside our windows begin to fall.

It’s the Buccaneer Way!

Rich Hoffman

166701_584023358276159_1119605693_n“If they attack first………..blast em’!”