Don’t cry for him, Tampa. Go ahead and put the box of tissues away. They aren’t necessary.
Most of us won’t be crying that the Buccaneers released Martin Gramatica, because if you are one of the few Gramatica fans left (and you know who you are), then you’re not worried.
You know that Gramatica’s replacement, Jay Taylor, will prove that the XFL was worth something. You realize that, like a cat, “automatica” will land on his kicking feet.
Seriously, don’t cry. If one person starts, everyone will.
Our lonely kicker was the type of guy who kept working despite those shanks (seven of them) to the left. He saw more video than a middle-aged Blockbuster manager. He tried to learn physics to find out what was wrong. He begged the cosmos to tell him why every time he lined up against Carolina he couldn’t find the uprights.
Though the Bucs are 4-7, as are six other teams in the NFC, the problem has not been solved. Like Gramatica, the Bucs may never figure it out.
Stop sniffling, Gramatica will eventually figure it out. The little guy from Buenos Aires will find an answer.
Maybe he’ll head to the West Coast after Bruce Allen brings Polish sensation Sebastian Janikowski from Raider nation, who knows just where to party in Tallahassee.
And that kicker, that ex-Seminole from the country we should never forget, may be Gramatica’s replacement next year, but the Bucs cheaply replaced their scapegoat for now.
So we ditched our kicker like an old pair of soccer cleats. Our kicker, who raised money for kids with cancer; our kicker, who had more family established in the Bay Area than the McKays.
Gramatica has more scoring stat-maticas (591 career points, franchise leader) than any other Buccaneer player, and yet he’s being treated worse than Warren Sapp hauling his large behind out of town.
So who’s next to shoulder the blame?
The Bucs are running out of players to blame and soon there will be no one left that’s recognizable. No player left will even have a Super Bowl ring.
Martin will survive. A kicker who has only missed two extra points in his entire career, who holds the NCAA record for the longest field goal, should and will.
Martin, and his brother, Bill, will still be on the sideline at Raymond James this weekend. They’ll just be hanging with their kid brother Santiago, who kicks for the Bulls, when Pittsburgh comes rolling in.
So don’t cry for him.
Cry for his former team.