I'm homeless for the first time in my life.
I'm without an NFL team.
For most people, this wouldn't be the worst thing that's ever happened. It isn't for me either, but it's pretty close.
I grew up loving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Warrick Dunn, Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Keyshawn Johnson (for a brief time), John Lynch, Simeon Rice, Anthony McFarland, Mike Alstott, etc. made me happy every weekend because I knew they were going to come out and play harder than anyone else on the field for 60 minutes. Well, Keyshawn would take some plays off if he didn't get the ball enough, but that's neither here nor there. Alas, here we are: 2012. The Buccaneers are rebuilding, and I'm completely fine with that. I'm completely fine with the fact that they haven't really been competitive since they won the Super Bowl in 2002. I am not fine with the fact that they have hired a despicable human being in Greg Schiano. He isn't a good coach, and he just doesn't coach the game the right way. (See: New York Giants game.) Therefore, I renounce my fandom to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I was also a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals for an extended period of time. I always loved their jerseys when I was younger, and I vaguely remember a man named Ickey Woods. When you're young, that's all you need to be happy. A player with an awesome name, and probably the coolest helmet in pro football. In 2000, they drafted my favorite player out of Florida State: Peter Warrick. I was ecstatic. Warrick's career was derailed by injuries, so we never actually got to see his potential. Very sad. In 2004, the Bengals drafted my best friend, so I became even closer to the franchise. Unfortunately, he had to retire due to injuries in 2009, and since then the franchise has completely flipped their players and I find myself unattached to the franchise. While I'm happy they're successful, I just don't feel any connection to them anymore.
So here we are.
A grown man searching for a home.
The purpose of this is to get out and find a place to call home. So, I'm going to let the very few of you join me in this search. You're welcome.
Before we go any further, I have some guidelines. I will not root for a team who's best player went to the University of Oklahoma, or the University of Florida. I hate them. I also will not root for any team who I consider to be "too good." I'm not in this to become a front runner. Doesn't feel right. I also recognize that some teams aren't really trying to win, and they're just collecting revenue checks; so I won't be going that route either.
I will be evaluating teams on some sets of criteria that are very important to me.
1. History of the Franchise - Players, Success, Coaches
2. Ownership - How dedicated are they to winning? Is the owner good for the franchise?
3. Fanbase - I don't want to follow a team who's fans are complete tools.
4. Current Players - This is tricky because players obviously leave, but you have to feel a connection to who you're supporting, and there are some players that I refuse to support.
5. Coach - See Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I will not support terrible human beings. Also, since my career is coaching, I have to like what they're doing on the field.
That should be it. But I do reserve the right to make additions to my list of requirements. Here's hoping I can find a home.