© St. Petersburg Times, published January 19, 2003
There was no way the 49ers could beat the Giants, but they did. There was no way the Falcons could beat the Packers in Green Bay, but they did. There was no way David could slay the giant with a slingshot and three stones, but he did. The so-called experts say there is no way the Bucs can beat the Eagles. I guess they don't know who they are, or what they are, or what they are made of. I really feel sorry for the Eagles. They don't know what they're in for.
-- Weldon Comerford, Seminole
I want all people to know the real truth about Eagles fans. I have been an Eagles fan all of my 30 years. I would never hurt anyone. Sure our fans are a little wild, but if you think that your families are in any danger coming to Philadelphia, you have been sadly misinformed. Anyone who wants to come see the town, we welcome you.
-- Janette Costanzo, Philadelphia
Several articles concerning Philadelphia fans, weather and field conditions sure remind me of that old song, It's Crying Time Again. Whatever would the poor Bucs players have done if they had played in the NFL before the days of domes and Southern exposure?
-- Bill Braveman, Inverness
The Eagles' Hugh Douglas displayed the right mind-set to avoid being distracted by their win over the Falcons when he said, "This win doesn't mean anything." Hugh talked about how they've been this far before and lost. The Raiders are displaying the same focus and lack of complacency. Winners don't get distracted by their previous wins or losses, and right now the Bucs look a little too enamored with their Niners victory to bring their whole minds to the Eagles at the Vet. A little dose of humility is the medication required.
-- Jim Rapp, Safety Harbor
According to John Romano, his five unsung heroes included "Whoever gave Bill Cowher a shoulder to cry on after the Pittsburgh coach bellyached his way through the weekend." But I remember Jan. 24, 2000, the day after the Buccaneers lost to the Rams in the NFC Championship Game. All the crybaby Bucs fans could talk about was how the referee fixed the game by dening Bert Emanuel a catch on a critical drive, thus costing their Buccaneers a trip to the Super Bowl.
If Romano is going to make such comments about other professional football teams, be prepared to hear some feedback. Not all of us are riding the Buccaneers bandwagon.
-- Greg Cahue, St. Petersburg
I am still savoring the victory over the 49ers and our conference win, as is every other Buccaneer fan, but in all the talk I hear and the print I read, I think one of the keys to our success is being overlooked. If Rich McKay had not agreed to stay on as general manager, we might not be enjoying the postseason. Under his leadership we have drafted well, brought those players up through the ranks and avoided many of the salary cap pitfalls that have plagued other teams. He has reworked the contracts of our marquee players to keep them with this organization and lured new free agents as well. His efforts have kept the window of opportunity open longer for us to reach our goal of a world championship.
-- Kathleen Tolan, Safety Harbor
Warren Sapp is the image of Bucs' identity? How sick. I will never be a Bucs fan as long as that manchild of a fool gets so much attention and (more bizarre) respect. Even if he deserved it for his play, which he doesn't, your picture of his tongue-wagging childishness shows the real story.
Sapp has not shown that he is intelligent and introspective in his behavior on the field or in his off-field comments. He comes across as an unintelligent, uneducated bully who is selfish and immature. For the coach and other players who act like responsible adults (Jon Gruden and John Lynch) to consider Sapp as a positive image for the team makes me feel sad for them. That so many Bucs fans think the same way makes me wonder if we've forgotten what it means to be a role model. Please stop giving this buffoon attention he does not deserve, and which actually cheapens the image of the team.
-- Lee Martin, Tampa