By Rob Kriete

First of all, and I will start EVERY article with this paragraph, sports pales in comparison with what is occurring with the Coronavirus. Hopefully, the columns that I, and the rest of our correspondents, provide you is a momentary escape from the trials and tribulations that Americans, and the rest of the world’s population, are experiencing. The COVID-19 is not a video game that you can press reset and get a new life. This is real and dangerous so, above all, be prudent and stay safe.

As you have seen by observing the byline, our daily Its Sports Magazine column is penned by someone other than myself. Let me take a moment to briefly introduce you to the author.

Rob Kriete came to the University of South Florida from New York and immediately became a Buccaneers fan while attending games at The Big Sombrero.  Yeah, he’s been around the block.

Upon graduation, he chose to remain in good old Tampa and entered the field of education as a Language Arts teacher with the School District of Hillsborough County.  Also, during that time frame, he was able to publish an article or two to keep his literary skills sharp.

Rob now serves as the President of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association.  Hopefully, I can persuade him to also become a part of the Its Sports Magazine staff.

As you will see when you read below, Rob brings a unique insight as a 20-plus years follower of the Pewter Pirates.  He also is the consummate wordsmith as you will discover when you read his column.

Welcome aboard, Rob.  Here’s hoping this is the first of many articles on the Bucs.

Freshly signed, Hall-of-Fame bound quarterback, Tom Brady, was recently interviewed by the self- proclaimed King of all Media, Howard Stern. During a time wherein no sports of any kind are being played, the super private superstar athlete being interviewed by an iconic radio broadcaster got the attention of sports pundits nationwide. Would Stern hyperfocus on Brady’s supermodel wife? Ask about the relationship with his previous coach? Delve into the circus of “Deflategate?” Stern, to his credit, allows his interviews to become organic conversations.

On this morning, Tom Brady and Howard Stern discussed how one becomes commonly known as one of the greatest NFL players of all time without seemingly being the greatest athlete. Tom admitted during the conversation that he has never been the fastest or strongest player on any team he was a part of. He was, however, able to make the most of his opportunities by focusing on the things he could control. Instead of lamenting the 3 or 5 reps he was getting from the coaches in practice, he focused on how he could use those 3 or 5 to get 8 or 10 repetitions, from there to 15 – 20 snaps. Tom focused on his preparation for the few reps he would get and would do so tirelessly. Tom was clear that what he lacked in speed and strength could be overcome through his thorough preparation, his work ethic, and ultimately, his diet. His maintaining focus on the things he could control has led him to become the most prolific Super Bowl quarterback of all time, with the chance to add to his legend with a potential home Super Bowl game this season in Tampa with the Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers seemingly could not control the number of turnovers Jameis Winston committed in the five seasons he played in Tampa Bay. Yet, the Bucs could control who would be under center for the ensuing season. Weighing their options between Tom Brady and Jameis Winston (and reportedly at least a few others), the Buccaneers chose to give Tom Brady control over their dynamic offense for the next two seasons. The veteran quarterback, after having control over where he would bring his leadership skills, is gearing up, already living on Davis Island, and ready to start his next NFL chapter with the Pewter and Red (and Orange from time to time). So, will the choices made by Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs produce the success they are both pining for in the upcoming season?

Or, should the Bucs now focus their control on a potential offer for Leonard Fournette?