Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans have been dreaming of a playoff berth for over a decade. In 2021 they’ll finally get to see the dream come true, and they’ll watch the 7-9 Washington Football Team do the honors of hosting their favorite squad in doing so.
Some have looked at facing the NFC East winners as the best-case scenario. After all, they have a losing record. It’s a dream match-up if ever there was one. Right?
Speaking of dreams. If you’re old enough to you probably remember being at the park, in the yard, on the street, or wherever you were when you were imagining yourself going up against your favorite sports’ greatest players.
Catching a pass from Joe Montana, making a buzzer-beater to help get you and Michael Jordan another championship, a grand-slam off Randy Johnson. If you’re younger you probably didn’t have to dream as much as you could just create yourself and do it thanks to sports video game franchises like Madden, NFL2K (those were the days), and NBA2K.
For NFL rookies, 2020 has been a dream as much as it’s been a nightmare. Going from amateur status to pro is always exciting and is the culmination of a life-long goal to become an NFL player. For a select few, they get to continue the highs as championship contenders in their first playoffs.
Lavonte David, Mike Evans, and many others understand the struggle and frustration of fighting to get in only to be denied, year after year.
Other players, like Tampa Bay’s own Tristan Wirfs and Antoine Winfield Jr. are batting 1.000 when it comes to making the postseason as professional football players. They each appreciate the opportunity the same, but the excitement manifests in different ways sometimes when years of struggle didn’t come before the achievement.
Take Chase Young of the Washington Football Team for example. Coming from one of the better programs in all of college football, the Ohio State Buckeyes star is used to success and big games. But this is different. This is the NFL Playoffs.
So you can’t blame him for being excited as his team closed out their win-and-in contest against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. Their win, no matter how much it was handed to them on a silver platter by the draft position hungry Eagles, secured not only a playoff spot but a division title as well.
Some might say that’s like winning ‘Biggest Loser’, but hey, it gets them to the tournament. That’s what Young - a team captain - wanted for his new year, and for his team. What else does he want?
“Tom Brady! Tom Brady, I’m coming. I want Tom!”
Such a simple statement. One said in the thrill of the moment. And one which will surely end up on the proverbial bulletin board of motivational material for the greatest quarterback of all-time.
If you watched the ESPN documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s then you remember the story of how the NBA’s ‘GOAT’ manifested disrespect and challenge when there was none. At one point, to the demise of a young aspiring player in the league, who likely had nothing but respect for Jordan.
One might think Brady is capable of doing the same. Except he won’t need to. Because Chase Young has called him out. Young will get to live his dream of chasing Brady, and he may even get to him.
The rookie pass rusher isn’t a rookie of the year candidate for nothing, and his seven and a half sacks in fifteen games is a solid performance in his first year.
But Young has already made a couple of mistakes in his first trip to the playoffs. For one, the old cliche, ‘be careful what you ask for’, comes to mind. Giving Brady a full week to motivate off your words isn’t smart.
Secondly, it’s not Young who is coming, but Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are heading to his turf. Not to send Young and his teammates home, but to keep them there. And to slam the door shut on any invitation the Washington Football Team might seek to gain for an invite to Tom’s house, in February.