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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Franchise: Fire Them Cannons!

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Old 07-04-2020, 12:48 AM   #1
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Franchise: Fire Them Cannons!



Tampa Bay Buccaneers Under New Ownership


Less than a year ago, Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-owner Joel Glazer announced in a letter on the team website that the Glazer family planned to put the Buccaneers franchise up for sale after the 2018 season.

"I believe that it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership," Joel Glazer wrote. "Therefore, we will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of this NFL season [2018]. We will not begin the sale process, nor will we entertain any inquiries, until the very last game is played... I hope everyone in this organization, both on and off the field, will be firmly focused on just one mission: to play and win another Super Bowl," Glazer wrote. "While we will no longer be the team owners, Bryan, Edward, and myself, will always be grateful for our time here in Tampa and being a part of this Buccaneers family."

Over the past few months the Glazer family has quietly engaged in conversations with interested parties regarding the Buccaneers franchise. After going through 4 head coaches in 10 years with no playoff births since the 2007 season, the Glazer family felt like it was best to cash in on their assets and move on.

According to sources, Owen Russell has been identified behind the winning bid for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise. The ambitious investor recently finalized the paperwork, which also included selling his 5 percent ownership stake in the Atlanta Falcons. Today, the sale of the franchise to the real estate billionaire becomes official and will be announced on Monday.

Current purchase numbers are unknown, but the Buccaneers have been rumored to be valued at more than $2.4 billion, which would be an NFL record -- quite the increase in value since Malcolm Glazer first bought the franchise for $192 million in 1995. Russell's ability to write a check for the purchase put him ahead of other candidates in the process that began in February.

The Glazer family issued a statement, "We are grateful to the Tampa community for the love and support you have shown your Buccaneers. Your enthusiasm for football and devotion to the team has been a source of strength for us and for everyone who calls Tampa home. We thank all the players who have played during our time here, and we have the highest respect for the men who have worn and will wear the Buccaneers jersey in the future." The Glazers ended their statement wishing Russell "all the best," adding that "the team is in good hands."

Russell now officially takes over the day-to-day operations of the team. Since being unanimously approved by the NFL's owners during the May spring meetings in Atlanta, Russell has met with the coaching staff, team captains and other veteran players, as well as Raymond James Stadium employees on the business side.

Russell, 57, made his fortune in real estate as he began as a property manager then proceeding to work as real estate agent in central Florida. He held other jobs in real estate as an analyst, appraiser, broker, and asset manager. He then worked all over the Southeast as an executive for multiple development organizations before founding Russell Investment Group in Tampa.

Russell also has an interest in the world of golf, co-founding Valley Oaks Golf Club and becoming an early investor of TopGolf.

Those close to him describe him as being a charismatic and inspiring leader. One of the reasons he credits as why he has been so successful is that he always surrounds himself with great people that are highly qualified to do their job.

According to Forbes, Russell has a current net worth of $5.7 billion, which makes him the NFL’s seventh-richest owner.

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MLB: Atlanta Braves
NBA: Miami Heat

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Old 07-04-2020, 12:57 AM   #2
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Re: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Franchise: Fire Them Cannons!



Introductory Press Conference


Russell wore a black Bucs pullover, athletic pants and black Nike tennis shoes. He looked a bit uneasy on a podium for a large press conference, looking out in the audience as questions came in. While others on the podium, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, looked at ease, Russell had an energetic, bouncy tick as if he couldn't wait to get going.

"I am thrilled to begin this new era of Tampa Bay Buccaneers football and am humbled by the overwhelming excitement and support for the team," Russell said in a statement. "On behalf of the fans and myself, I thank the Glazer family for entrusting me with this organization's future. Winning is the most important thing both on the field and in the community, and I am committed to winning a Super Bowl championship together. I look forward to being part of the Buccaneers family and continuing to support this great community."

Russell has always been passionate about football and saw this as a perfect opportunity to make a lifelong dream of owning a major sports franchise a reality. He has been limited in what he could say about the sale, but judging by his business moves in the past, he won't be afraid to make changes.

"Owen will be a good owner," Falcons owner Arthur Blank told ESPN at the league meetings. "I'm excited for him to be a part of the league. He has great passion for the game of football... loves the game. What else can you ask for?"

Asked why he decided to purchase the Buccaneers, Russell reminded that he's been "hanging around" the league for ten years with the Falcons. "This opportunity came up," he said. "It's an awesome place with a fantastic football team. It's a great football area. Good people. Making money is fun, but it's not fulfilling," he said. "We also do a lot of charity around the country, so it's a fantastic platform."

While in Atlanta, he had the opportunity to follow the Atlanta Braves and is familiar with the days of Ted Turner. Russell has said he cares deeply about winning much like Turner did. "The first thing I care about is doing things the right way. The second thing I care about is winning." This supports the notion that he will be an owner that cares more about winning and championships than the number in the revenue column on the spreadsheet. As all new owners do, Russell wants to win and it appears he will spend money as appropriate.

The Buccaneers hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in 2002. But since then, there have been no playoff appearances as crowds have dwindled and the energy at Raymond James Stadium has fizzled. One of the first challenges will be bringing stability and consistency to a franchise that has never really had that. While the Glazer family was able to bring the Bucs franchise their first Super Bowl, the past 10 or so years have been anything but stable or consistent.

Russell re-emphasized what he's said all along -- that the team will remain in Tampa and there are no plans to build a new stadium outside the city. "We are gonna stay the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As far as a new stadium, you're asking me too much. The only thing I have a market on right now is a lack of knowledge."

When asked about the gameday experience, Russell has an expectation for what a fan wants and a zest for enjoying sports. He promised to review the gameday experience at Raymond James Stadium. "We want people to get value, to get entertainment."

As far as inside the building, the question is how the culture will change. "I've had a business for 25 years. I'm a person that believes in equality for everybody," Russell said shortly after being introduced by commissioner Roger Goodell at the spring meetings in May. "Everyone within the organization must work together with the common goal to make the team better. Egos need to be checked at the door. Everyone will know their specific roles and the job they have to do and will be held accountable for that job."

Change as it is inevitable. Russell went on to say that "good teams understand the principal of change and do not rest on their laurels. Successful teams lose coaches and players all the time. That is just the truth. But the teams that win on a consistent basis understand how to adapt and overcome while still holding true to their values and traditions. When the core culture is strong, the organization is better equipped to handle the ebbs and flows throughout the year -- this includes new players, coaches, off the field personnel, etc. A consistent, established culture allows for an organization to have sustainability and continued success."

When asked specifically about the on-the-field product, Russell said there are no plans to make immediate changes to the team. "There's a great team down there right now," Russell said. "Sometimes it's better to do nothing than something. You want to be very careful when you do anything."

As passionate as Russell is, he understands the best owners own, not manage. Russell stated "he will provide the necessary resources to put the best possible team on the field each season." But he also plans to hire the best people off the field to make decisions and let them do their job. "My philosophy is to empower and trust those chosen to do the job at a high level." He did say he will have final say over all decisions though.

Russell finished up by saying he also wants to make his mark on the community and state of Florida. He referenced the Packers organization, "No organization epitomizes this phase in all of sports like the Green Bay Packers. No other team in major professional sports has a setup like the Packers. The fans literally own the team and gladly claim stake in the hallowed club. Players ride local kidsí bikes to practice. The streets are named after Super Bowl heroes, and every game is sold out for years to come. The players are a major part of the community, and the literal lifeblood of the town comes from the Packers organization." Russell went on to mention a few other examples from around the league. "Look at the Patriots -- the entire Northeast claims them as their own. In Pittsburgh, even with popular baseball and hockey teams, locals know itís a football town. The Ravens are the show in Baltimore. The Saints helped rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina."

Successful teams connect with their fanbase and understand that without the fans, the team is non-existent. Winning brings fans to the stadiums of course, but even when these franchises had lean years, the bond with their fans kept them battling for wins.

For Russell, this was the culmination of a dream for somebody who couldn't afford to go to an NFL game as a kid. "This, this is emotional." He was almost giddy after the owners' vote. "Listen, I'm thrilled about this,'' he said. "It's more than fantastic.''

The future of the Buccaneers franchise appears to be in good hands.

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NCAA: Florida State Seminoles
NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
MLB: Atlanta Braves
NBA: Miami Heat

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Old 07-04-2020, 12:57 AM   #3
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Re: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Franchise: Fire Them Cannons!

Now that the stage is set -- A note to viewers:

A little about me... I have been a member of this site for roughly 10 years and visit these boards frequently. I am a huge sports fan and have enjoyed franchises in different sports games over the years. I used to buy all the sports titles and run franchises on them. I also played other non-sports titles as well, but sports games have always been a constant. However, as I have grown older, the time that I have to play has decreased. Now my sports gaming is limited to MLB the Show and Madden.

Beginning in 2014 I was blessed with an opportunity to coach college football. I coached DBs, WRs, and RBs for a couple of Universities from 2014-2018. While it was a great experience, the quality of life and pay was not matching up with what I was wanting. During those 4 years I did not have the time to do much of anything, much less any gaming. Anyways, long story short, I took a job in the private sector with normal hours and decent pay. As a result of that transition, I now have some more time to get back into sports gaming.

Obviously I am huge football fan. The NCAA football series was my game. I always preferred NCAA to the Madden series, but with the discontinuation of the NCAA series I had to turn to Madden for my football fix.

As mentioned above, I am primarily looking for a place to keep all my records and track stats from my seasons. I figured I would just do a dynasty report as well. I will have a few posts about how I have everything set up, how I play, house rules, etc.

I am doing this mainly to enhance the immersion within my franchise for me. I would love for people to follow along and comment, but that is not my driving motivation to do this. I do want to say thank you to anyone that takes their time to read and follow along, and I look forward to this journey!

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NCAA: Florida State Seminoles
NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
MLB: Atlanta Braves
NBA: Miami Heat

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Old 07-04-2020, 01:56 PM   #4
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:15 PM   #5
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:27 PM   #6
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Scheme and Team Info:

Head Coach:
Offensive Scheme:
Defensive Scheme:

Offensive Playbook:
Defensive Playbook:
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NCAA: Florida State Seminoles
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MLB: Atlanta Braves
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:58 PM   #7
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