Okay, it wasn’t the night before Christmas, but in Raymond James Stadium, nothing was stirring, not even a Bucs fan.
With the season at a pivotal point and with playoffs at stake, it was surreal. This is the time that Raymond James should be rocking. The stadium should be packed to the rafters and being a 12th man, Drew Brees should have been struggling to hear his helmet mic.
Fans have, in the past, made the reasonable statement that they are reluctant to spend hard-earned money on a losing team. So what gives? Believe it or not, the Buccaneers are in the thick of the wildcard hunt. A win on Sunday against the Saints would have been a step closer to ending the post season drought in Tampa.
Yet it was the travelling New Orleans Saints fans who made their presence felt. The most noise coming from the stands belonged to, “Who dat.” As the lead slipped away, so did the few Bucs fans who turned up to the game. By the end of the game Raymond James stood nearly devoid of Bucs fans, and only the celebration of the Saints clinching the NFC South could be heard.
The next time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play at Raymond James will be the season finale, the curtain call against the Atlanta Falcons on December 30th. By then the Bucs could be dead and buried in the wildcard or needing a win to stand a chance.
What would be better than screaming the team onto victory and turning the home stadium into a fortress?