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Galloway Conspiracy Theories (GASP!!)

First of all, let me say that I don't believe 9-11 was an inside job.

But I was talking with some rather suspicious fans this past weekend who were awfully surprised that Joey Galloway didn't find his way into the game on Sunday against the Seahawks. They were saying how there's no way that it could take so long to recover from a strained foot.

Maybe Galloway was in Gruden's dog house for one reason or another. Maybe Galloway was caught leering at the cheerleaders. Maybe Galloway mentioned the Gruden's wife was hitting the Double-Stuff Oreos. Anything other than what the Times and the Trib are force-feeding us.

Now I didn't think too much about it at the time, but wouldn't it be funny if there was more to the Galloway injury than meets the eye?

I don't know what  a "foot strain" is. It actually doesn't sound too painful. I don't think I ever suffered from one. If I did, I ignored it and eventually it went away. I'm sure if it lasted five weeks, I might have gone to the doctor and said, "My foot has been hurting for five weeks, Doc."

How bad can a foot strain be? Seriously. Five weeks worth of injury? Terrell Owens broke his leg and came back in the same amount of time.

So I did what most Americans would do when faced with a medical crisis. I went to WebMD. WebMD says that "most muscle strains (pulled muscles) are caused by overstretching muscles. Strains may be minor or severe, such as a torn muscle or tendon."

So is it a "strain" (a pulled foot muscle) or is it a "tear" (an actual rip in the fiber or tendon)? We don't know. We're going by the injury report which has more lies in it than Roger Clements' Congressional Hearing.

We would assume if it was a tear, it would require surgery. And if surgery occurred, some big mouth would get word to the press. THAT I am sure of, especially in this sick-o camera-phone society.  

I'll come out and just say it and do away with all the implications. What kind of foot strain takes almost two months to heal? That doesn't sound right at all. Broken bones heal faster than Joey's foot.

Something stinks here, and it's not Chris Hovan's socks after a 1:00pm game.

How can something as minor as a foot strain keep an athlete on the shelf for two months?

All I've heard since Galloway's arrival in Tampa Bay is the torture he puts himself through to keep himself in peak condition. I've read several times that he doesn't tell anyone what his routine is because it's what has preserved his speed all these years. Okay fine.

But I would think that someone who keeps themselves in top physical form would have some muscles that would recover a little better than Joey's foot.

Seriously, how bad could it have been? I've watched every SECOND of Buccaneer football this year and I didn't even notice Galloway going out of the game. It's not like they had to get the cart for him. He was able to WALK when the injury was at it's worst.

So what is it? Why are we holding Galloway out?

Well, for a moment, let's get completely illogical. Let's throw the burden of proof to the wind and just peel back the layers of this grotesque onion we call the Buccaneers.

How's this for a theory? Jon Gruden knows how fragile Galloway is so he purposely holds him out for the first half of the season. Four home games, three semi-winnable away games. Three games against the NFC South (which the Bucs went 5-1 against last season). Green Bay without Brett Favre and an injury-riddled Seattle team. Do the Bucs really need to subject Galloway to a catastrophic injury for a weak part of the schedule?

Remember, Gruden benched all his starters at the end of last season once the Bucs clinched a playoff spot. As it turned out, it bit him in the rear-end when the Bucs looked rusty in the Wild Card Round against the Giants... and they were without Galloway and Ike Hilliard as well.

So what if you rest your stars early in the season? Hey, Jeff Garcia got a three-and-a-half game vacation. Garcia was also one of the guys who was "rested" at the end of last year (and he has the paycheck to prove it).

So let's say you "shorten" the season... shave a couple of games off the beginning of the year. Let your stars play 11 to 13 games plus 3 playoff games. That's 16 total. Hey, that's like missing the playoffs, right? That's one full NFL regular season.

Could it be that Galloway is being held out because the Bucs know that they are going to need all their weapons in the playoffs? Look at the Patriots. Did they really NEED Tom Brady to beat the Chiefs? Not really. And their season is suffering as a result. But I don't fault the Pats. There's no way they could have seen that coming.

But does Gruden (who has been labeled as "stubborn" for YEARS by Tampa Bay fans) still believe that playing LESS games may keep his players fresher? He seemed to de-reail their momentum at the end of the season last year. Is this year just an adjustment to the timing of the rest he gives his vets?  Does it matter which 16 games your stars play as long as it's not 19 or 20 games that are required to win a Super Bowl?

So Gruden shaves a few games off the beginning of the season for Garcia and Galloway. He trumps up some stupid story about a foot strain that nobody saw during the Atlanta game (as if the Bucs needed him with Monte Kiffen turning the dogs loose on the Falcons..... um.... is it too soon for a "dog/Falcon" reference?). Galloway plays 16 games en route to a Super Bowl in Tampa and he's healthy the whole time. Thank goodness the Bucs were able to hold the fort for the first 7 games of the year without their #1 wide receiver.

Then again, maybe Galloway sprained his foot.