A real "Buccaneer man" was honored Sunday at Ray Jay

A real Buccaneer buffoon plays his last card

TAMPA - Sunday was a special day at Ray Jay for me.

Having the opportunity to see former Offensive Tackle Paul Gruber immortalized into the Bucs' Ring of Honor brought back a lot of memories.

Grubs was as accountable a player as the Bucs have ever had.

I remember him walking into the old One Buc complex near the airport mere hours after he was drafted in the first round by the Bucs out of Wisconsin.

He was bright eyed, and a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing.

First round picks are usually reserved for the QB's, RB's or WR's back then. 

But in walks this 6-6 guy with a barrel-chest and hands that would crush rocks.

Yet when he spoke, he didn't have that cocky rhetoric.

In fact, Paul gave off the impression he was somewhat shy, maybe a bit introverted.

Some 14 years later, after his retirement, we shook hands again.

It was almost like déjà vu.

Grubs was a bit overwhelmed by the scene at halftime.

He stood on the 50, near the Bucs sidelines as his name and number was unveiled on the east side of the stadium.

I looked at him, and you could tell it meant the world to him.

Paul spent countless seasons being passed up over and over as a pro-bowler.

We would just shake our heads wondering if he would ever get his just due.

That honor came on Sunday.

A champion in my book. 

He would be considered in this era as the quintessential Buccaneer man.

This honor coming in the wake of yet another stumble by a present Buc who has tripped over his two left feet for years now.

That would be Aqib Talib.

Talib was suspended for four games the day prior for testing positive for Adderall, a prescription drug he obtained without a prescription.

Talib released a statement he obviously didn't write or likely didn't even put together.

Personally I don't really care why he took the drug, how he took the drug, or who he got the drug from.

All I care about is that this is last of Aqib Talib.

This guy has been given more lives than a cat.

When Talib comes off suspension, sometime in the first full week of November, I hope he never sets foot at One Buc Place again.

It is a slap in the face to the players who conduct themselves like men should conduct themselves.

It is a slap in the face to the fans, who could care less about the next chapter in Talib's career.

It's over in my mind, but apparently not for the Bucs.

Head Coach Greg Schiano said today "Talib will be back with the team."  He said, "you've got to trust us on this one."

Without explanation, the jury is out.

Print this article Back to Top