Here’s a switch. The Christmas lights are up. The air has gotten quite cooler, even here in Tampa Bay. Where winters never last more than a few days at a time and are separated by picnics at the beach. The final four games of the NFL season begin this afternoon and the Buccaneers are still competing.
Competing to continue the cultural shift that may finally return the team to a time of late 20th century glory when the pewter pirates were feared by all. Coach Bruce Arians, Byron Leftwich, and Todd Bowles continue to implement schemes, motivate players, and right the ship for many holidays to come. A true Christmas blessing.
Tailgates of Christmas Pasts
The entire Kennedy family would pack into a 3-4 car caravan and be heading across the Howard Franklin bridge before the sun peaked over the city of Tampa skyline.
After arriving at the stadium parking lot we would jump onto the dew covered grass, slightly crisp air all around. While the adults set up the Coleman grills, tables, tent, and chairs, the young “Bucs” would start tossing the pigskin. Imitating our favorite Buccaneers while running endlessly in a parking lot that would remain empty for an hour or so.
Like Nowhere Else
There is something about the smell of bacon frying and beers popping in the tailgate breakfast that reminds one that you are indeed at a ballgame. And this is THE only place you were meant to be at that moment in the universe. Call it soul inspiring.
The Buccaneers have won 2 in a row and begin the final 4 game stretch today against the Indianapolis Colts. There will be diehards, newbies, and first time guests at Raymond James today. It may be their first, or hundredth tailgate. They will all share in one common truth.
Not that the Buccaneers will win. That too. But the truth that tailgating at a football game is the only place in the world you can eat bacon and drink beer at 10:00am in the morning.
Yes, Virginia. There is a Santa Claus.
Photo credit: buccaneers.com