Bush league? The Buccaneers?
That was the charge the Panthers pinned on the Bucs twice in the wake of Tampa Bay’s exciting season-ending 17-16 at Raymond James Stadium two weeks ago, but the NFL disagreed.
“The NFL found no evidence the Tampa Bay Buccaneers broke league rules with their use of the videoboards at Raymond James Stadium,’’ Joe Person wrote today in the Charlotte Observer.
The charges stemmed from two instances in the game. The first was brought by Panthers coach Ron Rivera, who said it was “bush league’’ of the Bucs to show two replays of an unflagged hit that linebacker Thomas Davis laid on wide receiver Russell Shepard.
“I think that’s bush league to show that play up on the screen,” Rivera said after the Jan. 1 game. “What are we trying to incite here? Let’s don’t do that. That’s got no place in the NFL as far as I’m concerned.”
The other charge was issued by kicker Graham Gano, who missed three of four field-goal tries in the game. Gano said the Bucs showed live video feeds of the game while he kicked but showed a Bucs logo against a solid red background whenever Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo kicked.
Gano said he’s experienced the same issue before while playing in Tampa and that the league had reprimanded the Bucs for their actions previously. However, league officials found no wrongdoing by the Bucs in either instance this time around, according to the Observer.
The league also did not find anything wrong with Davis’ hit on Shepard. Davis was not fined for the hit, but you can bet these instances will not be forgotten and will only help to renew the rivalry between the two teams.
After losing six straight to the Panthers dating back to 2013, the Bucs beat the defending NFC Champions both times this past season, so that rivalry just might be growing again and with the Bucs seemingly improving we could see more debates like these in the future.