• Brian L. Barefield

For Tampa Bay, It's All About The C.R.E.A.M (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)

The NFL world was turned upside down on Tuesday with the news that the band was getting back together. Tampa Bay traded a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft for retired tight end Rob Gronkowski to New England. This would reunite quarterback Tom Brady, who signed with the Bucs in the offseason, with one his favorite targets for nine years.

I know the feeling former Patriots fans who are now Buccaneers fans. You know that whole “We follow Tom” thing, right? I too was once where you are when after an eight-year hiatus, my favorite hip hop group, Outkast decided to reunite for about 40 tour dates in 2014.

I digress.

The move to acquire Tom Brady and now Rob Gronkowski has more to do with name and pedigree than it does actual football talent. No, I am not saying that the former Super Bowl Champions (Brady 6, Gronkowski 3) are completely washed up. There will be a very good blend of the past and the future (wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin) down in Tampa. What there will also be, is more fans in the stands, team merchandise sold, television appearances, local appearances, etc.

All the aforementioned revenue generators may be the real reason you see the former dynamic duo of “TB12” and “Gronk” with the Bucs. Last year Tampa Bay was ranked 30th in home attendance with an average of 50,728 fans in Raymond James Stadium. That places them just two spots above Cincinnati (47,179) and the Los Angeles Chargers (25,393).

When Brady was signed to the Bucs last month, the season ticket queue had over 6,000 people waiting to buy tickets. That was two hours after the announcement was made. Ticketmaster had a similar issue on yesterday after news of the Gronkowski trade.

Tampa Bay’s new signal caller has finished in the top three of jersey sales for 18 consecutive seasons and held the top spot until he was uprooted by quarterback Patrick Mahomes from the Kansas City Chiefs. The Buccaneers didn’t have a player on the National Football Players Association (NFLPA) top-50 NFL player sales list from 2019. Which is sad because even their future tight end (Gronkowski) who was retired for a year was number 48.

My way too early Super Bowl prediction does not include Tampa Bay to represent the NFC. I mean if we are being honest. Neither does the 2021 NFC Championship Game. What I do predict is the Glazer family, who owns the Buccaneers to sing the lyrics to one of hip hop’s greatest groups, the Wu-Tang Clan’s song, C.R.E.A.M all season long:

Cash rules everything around me CREAM get the money, dollar dollar bill, y'all.

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