I know there is some debate in this area about whether fans will or should pull for Josh Freeman as a Minnesota Vikings QB or whether they should hope he fails. I'm not going to get into that because I believe fans have a right to cheer or boo who they please. But for me I hope he does well and here's why.
I was a football fan long before I was a football player, let alone an NFL player. But after I was in the league for a few years I saw things quite differently. I know most fans ate loyal to the team rather than the player in most instances, and that's great. However as a player you see guys come and go all the time and these aren't always just teammates to you, many times they are friends.
As time went on one thing became apparent to me and I am sure most other players as well, and that is no matter gow good you are or how much you do for a particular franchise, if you play long enough you will probably end your career in a different jersey. Even when they keep you around your whole career sometimes it comes to an abrupt and unceremonious end.
Hell I had the honor of playing with the greatest defensive tackle I've ever seen with my own two eyes, a guy who helped bring a championship to a once hapless team and now a first ballot Hall of Famer. And you know what? He ended his career in different jersey too.
I was just "some guy" here in Tampa but i definitely wanted to finish my career in red and pewter, however it just wasn't to be for me either even when I was willing to take less to stay.
But many of those bonds forged over the years of practicing in sweltering heat and then hanging out after work still remain strong to this day. A guy leaving for a new team whether by choice or necessity could do nothing to affect that. And when one of "my guys" would leave as long as they weren't playing the Bucs I would cheer them on as if we were still one unit. For me that part won't ever change.
And so Freeman is now in Minnesota and the circumstances of leaving here were far from optimal. The divorce itself has left a bitter taste in our mouths and no matter what side you come down I think we can agree on the fact that it could have been handled better by all involved. But at the same time I have not forgotten the work Freeman put in as the QB of he Buccaneers. The records he has broken, the hits he has taken behind makeshift offensive lines, the different offenses he had to learn every year, the 10 wins he helped is achieve one season and all that without, up until this year, even a hint of arrogance or bitterness over the good or the bad.
So yeah I hope the kid does great tonight and whether he does or not I will continue to wish him well. Not at all implying anybody else should do the same but I hope you at least understand my point of view now.