© St. Petersburg Times, published February 17, 2002
While I am not especially a Rick Dudley fan, particularly of his trades of high first-round draft choices, his departure as Lightning general manager is disturbing since it appears he was fired because he became frustrated at running the team on a shoestring. One playoff appearance in 10 years, in a league in which most teams make the postseason, should be as unacceptable to management as it is to fans. Management's promise to loosen the purse strings if it will put the team "over the top" is like asking someone to climb Mount Everest in a T-shirt and shorts and promising to airdrop a parka and boots if they make it within 100 yards of the summit.
-- Charles P. Schropp, Madeira Beach
Doesn't matter who the Glazers hire anymore. This franchise has been cursed with the worst ownership in professional sports from the beginning. Nothing will improve until that changes. Hugh Culverhouse wasn't interested in winning and evidently neither are the Glazers. What an embarrassment.
-- Scott Adams, Galesburg, IL
I wrote a letter two years ago praising the Glazers for handing free tickets to me before the Redskins playoff game. After recent events it seems the Glazer children and Papa himself have pulled the fashionable Jekyll and Hyde treatment. They have not only embarrassed the organization in recent weeks, but they have embarrassed the Tampa Bay community and thousands of fans who have poured their heart, soul and money into the team. The family needs to do a huge favor since it is apparent they know nothing about running a sports team: Sell the team. If they sell now, they may be able to salvage some integrity. With every day that passes they appear more like the Three Stooges. The only difference is the Stooges made us laugh, and there's nothing funny about what has happened in recent weeks.
-- Ryan Halstead, Clearwater
In reading the diatribes from your various writers, I find one glaring omission: No one mentioned that what the Glazers really want is a championship team. They have given coach Tony Dungy and general manager Rich McKay everything they wanted. They paid millions for Keyshawn Johnson, more millions for Brad Johnson and paid the price for free-agent offensive linemen. They haven't seen the result they were promised. There is no doubt Dungy is a fine man, a good citizen, and by all accounts, a wonderful father. But that was not what the Glazers were paying him for. It appears the Glazers are trying to hire a winning coach and not someone who fits the mold determined by the Times. That is the sin for which they are being castigated.
-- F. Darrell Thomas, Trinity
Maybe now the NFL will be a little more careful about the type of greedy, incompetent idiots they allow to buy their teams. The Glazers are a disgrace to football.
-- Johnny Getz, Seminole
I have full confidence in the Bucs organization, meaning the Glazer family. The "spoiled" Glazer boys bought me a top notch receiver, a new stadium (no matter how they got it) and new respectable logo and colors, gave an inexperienced minority head coach an opportunity and brought my expectations to Super Bowl level regardless of poor playoff results. I like having "spoiled" kids running things. "Spoiled" kids get what they want. "Spoiled" kids want the championship.
Marvin Lewis' agent insisted on guaranteed years -- guaranteed adjustment period, new mistakes because of inexperience. Even if the Glazers don't have a big-name coach this year they would understandably leave their options open for that big-name guy next year, which obviously would not happen with guaranteed years on Lewis' contract.
-- Robert T. Farrar, Largo
I found a Web site (www.pinstruck.com) that enables you to send a voodoo curse. You can even personalize the dolls' appearance with facial hair, glasses, etc. I sent one of these to a friend of mine as a joke and he lost his wallet the next day. Can you give me the Glazers' e-mail address?
-- George Roux, St. Petersburg
This just proves that you don't have to be bright to be rich. I wouldn't trust these yo-yos to run an electric train, let alone a football franchise. I believe the only "last word" these two should have is "goodbye."
-- Jay Brower, Seminole
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