Thursday, August 9, 2007

Bucs Alstott Placed on IR, Season and Career Maybe Over

With tears in his eyes, an emotional Mike Alstott announced to fans that he had sustained another injury to his neck, and was being placed on IR. The injury is not the same one that he sustained in 2003 when he had to have his neck fused, but it has to deal with pressure on top of the fusion. Mike went on to say, "As a professional football player, you just can't grasp the situation of not being able to put the helmet on, put a jersey on, and go out there and participate with your teammates."

Mike had sat out the last 3 days from training camp, but the Bucs had been quiet about what happened with Alstott. He said that it was not one individual hit in camp, but was from the banging around in the first 10 days. Alstott went on to say that he was ready to play football this year and camp was going great until his neck was sore. Mike was checked by the Bucs doctors and also by his personal surgeon in Pittsburgh who did his previous surgery. After consulting everyone and his family, he made the decision that it was in his best interest to sit out the rest of the year. He will not have to undergo anymore surgery, which is good, but it is another injury to his neck.

When asked if he was retiring, Mike told reporters that the future was in the future and he would address that later and to please respect his wishes. It was a very emotional announcement for everyone watching and involved. Bruce Allen was visually upset and this was the most upset I have seen him in a press conference. While Mike has not said he is retiring, you got the felling that this was it for the A-Train. He will be around the rest of the year as a leader and will be there for his teammates. Every time reporters asked Mike about his future he kept referring to the team and his teammates. It doesn't surprise me that he wanted to focus on the team as that is how he played the game, a consummate team player.

Neck injuries are not something to mess with and Mike is making the best decision to shut it down. As a fan it hurts to not see Mike out there, but it is the best thing for Mike and his future. While not official, all bets are that he will be retiring later on this year. This is a very sad in day in Tampa Bay. The press conference brought many to tears and seemed surreal for those who are Bucs and Alstott fans. We will miss you Mike and like you said, You are a Buc and you will always be a Buc.

3 comments: said...

What a class act. Alstott, while with Tampa, is still a legend in Chicago due to his days at Joliet Catholic. Every young high school football player in Chicago knows and believes in the Mike Alstott story. Anytime he took the field, he was a sincere threat to any defense, especially linebackers and secondary personnel. He's been the long-standing member of the Bucs and can even remember wearing the old orange and white (which in my opinion were the best jerseys ever in the NFL). Its a shame to see him in this situation, but he's a smart guy who's making the best decision in terms of his health. It will be a tough loss to the NFL to see him go. Of course, everyone retires, but this guy was the definition of how a hard running, put your head down running back should be. Great post.

TampaBaySportsFanatic said...

Mike means so much to this town and community not only on the field, but off of it. He is not only a great player, but a great human being. I think this will all hit fans and myself when we do not see number 40 run out of that tunnel. I think it will hit even more when we get to the goalline and we see Mike on the sideline and not in the backfield. He is beloved in this town and for good reason. He is a great person and player.

I agree, i loved the orange Uni's too! said...

Hopefully, Alstott will remain in a coaching/management role with the Bucs. His understanding of the game is crucial and he could provide a great deal of knowledge to current/future Bucs running backs.

On a side note, I used to have a bright orange Bucs winter parka (Starter) as a kid. Besides being harrassed that it wasn't a Bears parka, there was nothing like being compared to a crossing guard while wearing it. Ahh, the good old days.