If the Bucs continue their winning ways, you’ll be seeing more players out in the community – whether doing commercial endorsements or showing the flag at various fund-raising events. It’s all part of earning a high-profile living – and just living – in this community.
But special plaudits to a trio of Bucs who took time on their only day off (Tuesdays) recently to travel to decidedly unglamorous, PR-challenged Bartow to visit with about 200 incarcerated juveniles. Kudos to punter Josh Bidwell, safety Will Allen and backup quarterback Luke McCown for leveraging their relative fame for a low-profile cause that’s easy to ignore.
Their message, religious in nature, was that a productive life outside the Polk County Boot Camp, detention center and halfway house still awaited these young men. Bidwell chronicled the process of overcoming testicular cancer, while Allen and McCown talked of making good choices and jettisoning bad influences.
The Bucs’ bandwagon will remain subject to wins and losses. That’s the nature of the games athletes play and the fans who follow them. By all accounts, Bidwell, Allen and McCown have added a different kind of fan base. Not all bandwagons are the same.