Thu. Oct 29th, 2020

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The Tampa Legacy Gerald McCoy Leaves Behind

4 min read

Negativity and haters are aplenty!

In the weeks, and months leading up to Gerald McCoy’s release from the Buccaneers. Bucs Social Media sites, and groups had plenty to say about #93’s future in the Bay Area, most of it negative. “Trade the bum”, “See ya”, “kick rocks”, “none too soon”, “don’t let the door hit you in, etc., etc.” – You get the idea. Most of the comments were due to his lack of production on the field over the last few years. Many were just pure hater stuff, that would almost make you cringe. One wonders where that kind of contempt for a loyal player comes from.

Times have changed.

Because say what you will, McCoy was all Buccaneer. He was dedicated and was a leader by example in practice, and on Game Day. Years ago I think it was commonplace to think well of people. People just thought differently then. In this day and age, I believe a huge percentage of people automatically gravitate to thinking negatively, and hatefully. I don’t know exactly the reason or cause for this change, but it’s real, and it’s here. I think some of it can be attributed to ignorance. Whatever the excuse, it’s a troubling trend.

McCoy’s place in all of Tampa’s Bucs Lives.

Gerald McCoy may not be bound for Hall of Fame Glory (his numbers are low compared to most hall inductees) He never had a season of double-digit sacks. He may not even follow those Buc Giants like Brooks, Alstott, Sapp, Barber, and Lynch into the ring of honor. Like many of those members though, he was just as big of a community treasure off the field. It’s got to be hard for a man that has done so much for the underprivileged, and less fortunate. A man that has donated so much of his time and money helping others in the Bay Area. To be spoken of with so much disrespect, and contempt as his time in Tampa draws to a close.

As he leaves Tampa.

I’m sure he knows that there are plenty in Tampa who are grateful, and that was touched in some way by his generosity, that will always hold him in high esteem. So hopefully as men move his things into a big truck bound for wherever he is next employed, he will grasp to the positive that he has produced in this community. If he doesn’t he could very easily leave here with a bitter taste in his mouth. Here’s hoping he will do the former because that is what he deserves from Bucs Fans. A smile, not a scowl as he looks in the rearview mirror.

The following is a description/accounting of some of the bigger things McCoy was involved with. Credits to Carmen Vitali, a staff writer of Buccaneers.com for what follows.

“McCoy’s most recent community endeavor was his involvement with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Social Justice Board. The Social Justice Initiative is a player-led program that aims to create real change in the Tampa Bay community and Gerald was one of the first to volunteer to serve on the board. He participated in the program’s inaugural event at the Tampa Police Citizens Training Academy, where he led a candid, and at times uncomfortable, discussion with law enforcement about issues facing society today. For his efforts in 2018, McCoy was the Buccaneers Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee.”

“Additionally, McCoy had many repeat efforts in place. He led the Buccaneers’ “Cut for a Cure” fundraising team and rallied the support of teammates to raise over $140,000 for the cause this past year, personally contributing $12,895. He also continued to support a section of the Community Ticket Program and has done so since 2010. By the end of this season, he will have invited over 2,086 community members to Buccaneers home games.”

“He hosted a free screening of Avengers: Endgame movie for members of the non-profit community to join him and his family. He had done the same thing for each new Avengers movie, as well. Since 2012, he’s led the entire defensive line’s involvement in their “D-Line Delivers Christmas” holiday event that provides hundreds of families with holiday gifts and experiences. Additionally, McCoy implemented his “McCoy Family Christmas” annual event in 2013 where he and his family give back to underserved communities.”

“Since its inception, McCoy has been a spokesman for the Buccaneers’ Vision Mobile, an effort to bring eye care to underserved youth through the Glazer Family Foundation. Himself a glasses-wearer, he was there for the unveiling of the Vision Mobile RV as well as when the Foundation gave out its 5,000th pair of glasses.”

“Launched this past season, his repeat efforts blossomed into the formation of his own charity called the Patricia Diane Foundation after his mother and aims to support single-parent households, a cornerstone cause of all McCoy’s community efforts.” 

Closing out.

While it remains to be seen how well he will play with another NFL Team in these the latter years of his career. It is clear that nowhere else will his off the field community involvement make more of a difference, than what it did in the Bay Area. He may not have been Warren Sapp, but he was and is Gerald McCoy. For all that he did for Tampa beyond his football job that should be enough for him to hold his head high. Oh, and by the way, he was a pretty good football player as well. Thanks, Gerald, and good luck.

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