His determination to earn his money is charming and refreshing. Dunn signed a six-year, $8.8 million deal and seems intent on keeping track of each of those dollars. "You think his arms are short now," says McKay, "you should see 'em when they bring the dinner check."
Dungy has never seen Dunn so happy as he was the day he came in and announced he had found a place to live. "It's only $31 a day," he declared, "and it includes cable!"
If Dunn is thrifty, it's partly because his mother died when he was a high school senior, and he feels a keen sense of obligation to help provide for his five younger siblings back in New Orleans. Dungy and McKay know this. While they may tease him for being tight with a buck, they are also in awe of the grace with which he has handled so much so early in life.
As an excellent player and person, Dunn was doubly attractive to Dungy. Asked how he turned the Bucs around so fast, Dungy returns, at the risk of becoming tedious (he doesn't care), to this point: If his roster features more than its share of solid citizens, as it does, this is no accident. He wants team guys, unselfish people, family men.
Shortly after Sunday's game, in the anarchy of the winner's locker room, Dungy sent for a reporter. He had a request. Dungy believes his deep faith in God has something to do with Tampa Bay's success. Would the reporter please mention this in his story?
A cynic might point out that the Almighty has better things to do than monitor football games. On Sunday night, a cynic kept his mouth shut. The Buccaneers are on the cusp of an undefeated September. They have left the land of the implausible and are headed for the realm of the miraculous.