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CyberDilemma

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#45 : December 03, 2010, 10:31:07 PM

At the time we played at N.O. last season, they didn't have home field advantage locked up for the playoffs, so I seriously doubt if they were taking that game too lightly.

JDouble

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#46 : December 04, 2010, 01:12:43 AM

They needed that win for home field advantage. They played thier starters the entire time. We had some luck that day, but in the end we were just the better team that week. Trying to dismiss it as something other than a good win for the Bucs is weak sauce.


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#47 : December 04, 2010, 08:12:02 AM

I have been 100% confident all week that we will win this game. Now that everyone and their mom is picking the Bucs to win I am nervous as hell!!!

And so many of the players saying this is a "must win" puts more pressure on them - we'll see........if anything this game will give them a valuable learning experience for future seasons - after all, this is still a  rebuilding season. .   

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#48 : December 04, 2010, 08:45:28 AM

ATL Falcons have really done well for themselves after the Vick, Jim Mora, and Bobby Petrino fiasco.  Picking Matt Ryan, hiring Mike Smith, signing Michael Turner and Tony Gonzales - unloading Keith Brooking. 

Does Rich McKay get any credit for the quick turn around of the Falcons after what they've been through a few seasons ago?

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#49 : December 04, 2010, 07:25:38 PM



TAMPA - As the story goes, John McKay, already an icon as football coach at the University of Southern California, was dining with his buddy, Alabama's Paul "Bear" Bryant. They were at Chasen's, then the ultimate see-and-be-seen spot in Beverly Hills.

The waiter approached.

"Coach McKay," he said, "Mr. Sinatra has a table in back and wants you to stop by."

McKay, unflinching: "You tell him to come up and see us."

A few minutes later, there was Frank Sinatra, paying homage.

Yes, John McKay absolutely did it his way. At USC, where his steady stream of one-liners played well with the Hollywood set, he won four national championships. McKay was the king.

Then he gave it all away to join an NFL expansion franchise. Fans in Los Angeles thought he was crazy. McKay probably agreed when his Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their first 26 games.

But McKay's plan worked. The Bucs went from worst to first, coming within 10 points of a Super Bowl appearance in 1979, just two years after the 0-and-26 nightmare. In turn, McKay added to his legacy, showing a level of determination that wasn't required when overseeing a college-football dynasty.

McKay will be posthumously inducted into the Bucs' Ring of Honor (joining his former defensive end, Lee Roy Selmon, the Pro Football Hall of Famer) at halftime in today's game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium.

"Coach McKay's name belongs up on that wall," former Bucs linebacker David Lewis said. "He took a lot of abuse because we couldn't win a game for a while. But he never wavered. He believed in us.

"And we believed in him."

* * * * *
McKay, who died June 10, 2001, at age 77, was hilarious. He was more Johnny Carson than Knute Rockne.

Asked what he thought about the execution of his team, McKay famously replied, "I'm in favor of it."

Asked if he made any adjustments at halftime of a close game, he smirked and said, "Yes, I tightened my belt. My pants were hanging a little low."

He could be gruff. He once ended a news conference by saying, "Let me tell you people something and I want you to listen to me. None of you know anything about football," before leaving the room.

He was perceived as arrogant, but passed his distance off as "being shy." He had no use for gossip, idle conversation or hypocrites. After retirement from the Bucs, he was constantly approached by the networks for NFL analyst jobs. He turned them all down, remaining fraternal, saying it wasn't appropriate for him criticize other coaches.

He did not suffer fools very well.

"People said he was a complicated man," former Bucs linebacker Richard Wood said. "I think he was actually pretty simple."

McKay stuck to his beliefs, even when ridiculed for his use of the I-formation or 3-4 defense. He relished a good debate, particularly in world affairs or politics. He read four or five books a week, all types. He loved to fire up a cigar, relax and watch one of his beloved Western movies.

"The only time I saw my father cry was the night John Wayne died," said Falcons President Rich McKay, the former Bucs' general manager and the coach's youngest son, who will participate in today's halftime tribute.

When the coach was done, he was done. After retirement, there was never a thought of returning to the sideline, no pangs at all. McKay made rare public appearances, but was genuinely touched when he heard cheers or saw his former players at alumni functions.

McKay was initially against his son Rich, a lawyer, joining the Bucs' front office. But he was gratified when the franchise finally became a contender again. He was haunted by the 1999 Bucs' defeat in the NFC Championship Game, an outcome all but assured after a late controversial call.

He didn't live to see Tampa Bay's championship in Super Bowl XXXVII.

"But you know what, Coach McKay had as much to do with the success of the Bucs as anyone," Selmon said. "He laid the cornerstone. He put us all on the path.

"When we went through all the losing, it might've been easy to crack under that kind of pressure. Coach McKay was a pretty tough guy."

* * * * *
In 1976, McKay learned this wouldn't be easy. There was no NFL free-agency, no extra draft picks for expansion teams.

"There was only Lee Roy Selmon and the chance to take a bunch of guys from other teams that nobody else wanted, like me," said former Bucs receiver J.K. McKay, the coach's oldest son, now an associate athletic director at USC. "It was difficult. The team was horrible and I was on the fringe of even being able to play in the league. I was the coach's kid. Those first few years were really tough on the entire family."

Rich McKay arrived in Tampa as a high school senior and initially wanted a return to California. He realized, though, that he was needed, if only to support his father.

"We were all in a state of shock," Rich McKay said. "The last few years in L.A., there was no shortage of people around to pump up my father's ego. To go from that to the absolute depths, that was an adjustment. I was really having trouble seeing it turn around. My father always believed it would work."

His way.

Even when that way included employing many of his old USC players (nine former Trojans were on Tampa Bay's roster at one time). Better than anyone, they knew what McKay was all about.

Lewis, a second-round pick in 1977, was jubilant when agreeing to his initial contract. What would the linebacker purchase first? The signing-bonus check was immediately confiscated by his mother. Coach McKay called her and cautioned about the perils of coming into sudden big money.

"I was so mad, but Coach McKay was over there smiling, puffing on that cigar," Lewis said. "I came to understand it later. He was looking out for me. He never wanted to be our best friend, but he cared about us.

"Now if you weren't doing the job, he'd ship you right out of here. If he liked you, you had the world. If he didn't, it was miserable. Some guys didn't like him. Some were scared of him. It didn't matter. He wasn't changing the way he did things."

There were scattered cackles when the college coach endured 26 consecutive winless Sundays. These days, no coach could hope to survive 0-and-26. But McKay not only survived, he thrived. He guided three playoff teams in four seasons. On his watch, orange was cool.

Today, those memories will shower down on McKay's family members and former players.

"It was a rocky beginning, but this honor sort of validates my father's decision to leave USC for pro football," J.K. McKay said. "It makes for a nice ending to the story."

The theme was consistent.

McKay did it his way with a twirl of his Tampa-made cigar, a smirk, a quip and teams that provided some enduring glory. That's a legacy worth remembering and honoring.

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/dec/04/041845/remembering-coach-mckays-winning-ways/sports-bucs/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tbo%2Fbucs+%28TBO+%3E+Bucs%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo

Morgan

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#50 : December 04, 2010, 07:36:51 PM

Anyone remember the Throw McKay in the Bay banners which were flown above the Sombrero during the Buc's losing seasons?

: December 04, 2010, 07:38:52 PM morgan
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