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Diary of a Football Dad: The Freeman Bandwagon

This week, the Football Dad watched the debut of the Josh Freeman era at the local Beef O’Brady’s with my brother. The waitress found our afro wigs odd, and intrusive, but that did not stem our excitement for our new franchise quarterback. I can tell my brother has his own throwback move today: the old I-forgot-my-wallet-you’ll-have-to-pay-and-while-I’m-at-it-give-me-some-extra-blue-cheese-with-my-wings trick. I haven’t seen this since the creamsicles went away. Ahhh, good times. What happened during the game? Did our wings arrive in time? Follow along after the jump…

1:00PM: I’m extremely excited about today’s game. We haven’t drafted a quarterback in the first round since grunge was in style. The new franchise and the creamsicles make me nostalgic for the ‘90s. So, I’m going to try and keep an "Even Flow" to my thoughts. Now, I simply don’t know what to expect from Freeman, but I do know that I want to see some "WOW" plays. You know, the type of plays where you think "I‘m glad he‘s on my team". I’m hopeful.

1:28PM: We are giddy. Our first "WOW" play of the day. On third and ten from the Buccaneer 37 yard line, the Packers blitz the A gap. Freeman eludes two blitzers with a deft slide to his right and floats a pass with perfect touch to Derrick Ward that gains 37 yards. So far, Freeman consistently scrambles, buys time, but keeps his eyes down field. Also, he is accurate on the run, hitting his receivers in stride, allowing them to run after the catch. Quite a departure from Garcia’s three-yards-behind-his-receiver passes. We have decided to keep the afro wigs for the duration of the Freeman era. This agreement is consecrated with some blue cheese and a medium spice buffalo wing.

1:34PM: At this point, we are about to try out high school field goal kickers. Another missed field goal? I feel for Raheem on this one. Although, Matt Bryant does currently kick for a semi-pro team named after an elephant tooth, so he does have options.

2:25PM: Freeman finishes the half with a nice field goal drive. Now we know our scoring range. The Buccaneers must advance to the 18 yard line to be in field goal range. No pressure. Any field goals outside of that range are like a "Black Hole Sun".

3:12PM: Nice pressure up front, but the referee was texting his girlfriend and does not give the Buccaneers the safety they very much deserve. I’m torn. I want Ndamakong Suh with the first draft pick, but I would like to go home happy today. Suh….victory…….Suh…..victory. I’m going to flip this fried mozzarella stick. Cheese side up means root for the win……YES! Go Bucs.

3:44PM: The comeback begins as all of our comebacks did last year, a Clifton Smith return. Welcome to 2009 Clifton, we missed you. Have you ever noticed that kick returners are dynamic for two seasons, tops, then they fade away? Remember Dante Hall? Devin Hester? Let’s hope Clifton is the Brian Mitchell of the 21st century.

3:56PM: BEAUTIFUL! Josh Freeman pumps, draws the cornerback, and drills a beautiful pass to Sammie Stroughter. Perfect play call, perfect execution, amazing catch, and finally, a well deserved lead. Is it just me or did the players have an extra something special today. Special teams plays to swing momentum? Check. Big defensive stand? Check. Quarterback making plays with his feet and arms? Check. Great adjustments from receivers? Check. We did everything, up and down the roster, to win today. I couldn’t be happier. We decide to stay for a few beers. Some Packers fans are here and they have that "let’s burn this place down" look about them. Perhaps we’ll offer some Lienenkugels just to stay on their good side.

Overall, you have to be excited about Josh Freeman. Yes, he needs to improve his completion percentage. But, he was mostly accurate, especially on the move. He drove the team to two fourth quarter touchdowns. Most of all, he did what no other Buccaneer quarterback did prior to today: lead the team to victory. I like his poise, his ability to buy time, and the way his teammates respond to him. He reminds me of Ben Rothlisberger. Regardless of what else happens this year, my brother and I have first class seats on the Freeman bandwagon. Join us, we have plenty of room. "Come As You Are"!