Postcard from camp: Buccaneers
In 1964, several dummy corporations began buying acres by the thousand in central Florida. The mouse-eared brains behind the corporations had two goals. They hoped to someday lure a 38-year-old, Mississippi-bred quarterback to their yet unbuilt sports complex for training camp. They also hoped to open a theme park. One out of two ain't bad.
Disney's Wide World of Sports complex -- soon to be rechristened with some sort of ESPN branding (
1. Despite their very public dalliance with
Garcia, 38, understands the NFL is a business. Even though he is one of the league's lowest paid starting quarterbacks despite leading Tampa Bay to an NFC South title in 2007, and even though the team's decision to rest him the final two weeks of last season cost him a seven-figure bonus, Garcia is scheduled to make $2 million in base pay for working the next five months. Not too shabby. If Garcia's ego still hurts, he can take a deep breath and repeat the following sentence. "I still have my job, and I'm married to the
2. That said, Garcia's teammates have his back. Fellow quarterback
3. If Allen did make the conciliatory phone call to Garcia, here's hoping it went better than his first meeting with the media Thursday morning. Allen, the brother of a former U.S. senator, looked like a politician squirming to avoid giving a straight answer about the Favre non-deal. As a result, his words were interpreted as "We didn't try to get Brett Favre."
After reading the transcript, Allen realized how he sounded and elected to meet with media members again to clarify his answers. The session turned into an episode of CSI: Lake Buena Vista as beat reporters tried to coax an accurate timeline of the Bucs' role in the Favre saga out of Allen.
Here's the short version of that timeline, according to Allen. Yes, Tampa Bay was interested, and yes, the Bucs did receive permission to talk to Favre, but Packers officials never would tell Allen what they wanted in return for Favre. This, Allen surmised, was because the Packers were trying to exhaust all their AFC options before negotiating with a conference colleague they're scheduled to play Sept. 28.
On the first day teams could sign free agents, the Bucs handed
The Bucs will learn almost immediately how well equipped they are to repeat as NFC South champs. They open the season by visiting
Garcia on Wednesday, as all the Favre rumors swirled, walked past a pair of
• Rookie cornerback
• Speedy rookie receiver
• It's pure joy to watch Bucs defensive coordinator
• Earlier I wrote that Garcia should appreciate that he has his job. One Bucs teammate certainly appreciates his role.