At a time when it could be argued that the Buccaneers have thrown in the towel on the 2013 season by benching quarterback Josh Freeman and giving Mike Glennon 13 extra 2014 preseason games, the Bucs deftly have changed the subject.
The team has announced that all remaining home games will be televised locally.
It doesn’t mean that enough tickets have been sold to lift the local blackout. It means that the team will buy any tickets necessary to meet the reduced 85-percent minimum necessary to get the games broadcast in the Tampa area.
“In appreciation for the loyal support of our fans throughout the Tampa Bay area, we have committed to televise the remaining seven home games of the 2013 season,” Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer said.
The Bucs bought the extra tickets (which are available to the team at 34 cents on the dollar) in 2009, when some in the media noticed that otherwise sold out games featured huge expanses of empty seats. From 2010 through 2012, the Bucs opted to allow the games to be blacked out — and they routinely were.
Now, as a team that had playoff expectations continues to disintegrate, the Bucs feel compelled to spend the money to strengthen ties with the fan base.
After the season, the fan base may compel the Bucs to spend even more money, in order to buy out some contracts.