What's New is What's Old and...What's New Again?
Or...One Team's trash wins a Sundby Cup for another Team.
By "Hardy Young"
- At the beginning of the season everyone in Tampa Bay were scratching their heads...why was the Brass signing guys like Nickles and White? In a spot where all the other teams are looking at the young guys they can 'discover' and grab off the waiver wire to develop, the Tampa head office was grabbing has-beens.
Wait, has-beens like Nickles and White? You mean, White, the guy who was cut by the genius brain-trust in Buffalo. The guy who had over 6500 yards and 55 touchdowns for that franchise and it's fans. The same has-been who was given another chance by Tampa Bay and had 80% of the production of the young guy who replaced him. The young guy who used to be on Tampa's squad but left for the money. The young guy who cost six times as much as the veteran! Oh yeah, White had that production as Tampa's #3 wide receiver. 'Too slow, they said! No place for him with Wilkins in town.' remarked GM Brown. 'Let me tell you a little something about Buffalo...there's a little too much cheese in that town. To cut a guy so dedicated to the fans, so unceremoniously, is ridiculous. I couldn't predict matching up against Buffalo for the Sundby but I can't think of a better way for White to end his career. Thank you, Buffalo!'
And then there was Nickles. Remember back in 2248, the year after Tampa Bay won the Sundby in the stunning overtime win over Cincinatti? There was this young kid drafted at the end of the first round that had GM Addam Brown wondering how ALL the other owners let this talent slip by. They drafted three running backs in the first two rounds that year and Nickles was the only one who lived up to his talent. Unfortunately they traded Nickles away in an attempt to rebuild in 2251 and he went on to rack up four Sundby rings for Minnesota. When Cincinatti cut him in the off season GM Brown decided to reach out to Otis, 'I told him we couldn't offer much. And there'd be no guaranteed playing time. He told us he needed a thumb ring. We couldn't have asked for anything more.'
In a year where home grown talent like Oscar Brooks and Bob Sewell showed they could still bring the heat, while talented veterans like Eric Ward joined with Nickles to bring leadership to the all aspects of the Special Teams play, it's no wonder this was one of the best years in Tampa Bay of all time.