Buccaneers will continue to pay for their Winston mistake

A year ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were upbeat about their future while appearing on the “Hard Knocks’’ show.

As it turned out, the optimism was premature. The team fell to 5-11, raising doubts about their future.

And things got worse when Jameis Winston was suspended for the first three games against the New Orleans Saints, defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers.

If they start off 0-3, the season could be in freefall and the jobs of general manager Jason Licht and coach Dirk Koetter could be in jeopardy.

The Tampa Bay Tribune has already reported that of the last 173 teams to start off 0-3, only five have made the playoffs.

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Rypien’s concussion comments are yet another wakeup call for NFL and football in general

Mark Rypien was obviously a natural at playing golf.

When he came to Washington in 1986, he says he had a 25 handicap and played 75 straight days when it wasn’t raining and got himself down to a 7 handicap.

By 1990, he won the first American Century Celebrity Championship, then won it again in 2014 and will be playing in the tournament in Lake Tahoe the weekend of July 13-15.

Of course, Rypien made a bigger name for himself as an NFL quarterback, winning Super Bowl MVP honors after the 1991 season when the Washington Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills, 37-24.

Unfortunately, like many other former NFL players, Rypien paid a big price for his success in football.

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Bradshaw’s Super Bowl greatness still greatly unappreciated

There have been just three quarterbacks to win four or more Super Bowls.

Two of them, Tom Brady and Joe Montana, are usually considered to be the two best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL.

The third one, Terry Bradshaw, is usually overlooked because he played on the Pittsburgh Steelers teams of the 1970s with eight other Hall of Famers. They were the only team to win four Super Bowls in a six-year span, the only one to win back-to-back twice and were probably the best team ever.

I was reminded of the way Bradshaw doesn’t get his just due when I was reading a recent O-Zone column on the Jacksonville Jaguars website by John Oesher.

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It’s not too early to look ahead to Jaguars’ September revenge match with Patriots

In Myles Jack’s two-year NFL career, his signature moment is a play whistled dead in the AFC title game in New England last January.

Jack is on the cusp of becoming an NFL star, but unless the Jaguars win a Super Bowl, that play might overshadow the rest of his career.

With 13:53 left in the game, Jack knocked the ball out of Dion Lewis’ hands and recovered the fumble.

He got up and seemingly was going to score a touchdown to put the Jacksonville Jaguars up 27-10 when the officials blew the whistle and ruled he was down.

Jack and the Jaguar Nation vehemently disagree, and the phrase “Myles Jack Wasn’t Down” has become a thing in Jacksonville.

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End of the Redskins’ famed ticket waiting list is also a cautionary tale

It has almost been forgotten that the Washington Redskins were once so popular that their success caused Congress to pass a bill forcing the NFL to lift TV blackouts if games were sold out 72 hours before kickoff.

Back in the day, the NFL blacked out home games within a 75-mile radius of the home team even if they were sold out. Even Super Bowls were blacked out in the home city.

That all changed in 1972, when the Redskins hosted two home playoff games and they were blacked out.

Franco Harris’ Immaculate Reception that same year was blacked out in Pittsburgh.

But blacking out a game in Pittsburgh was not like blacking out a game in Washington.

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