It’s 2:38 in the morning on a Tuesday and here I sit. The wind howling outside with what sounds like a “nor’easter”. My ten year old moved out to the couch to finish her evening slumber. There are easy excuses as to why the sandman eludes me this night. But just what is the real culprit? Maybe the Buccaneers Super Bowl is on my mind.
Dreams of a Championship
In 2003 the Buccaneers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles then traveled across the country to San Diego to win XXXVII. Because the NFL had decided two years earlier to move opening day weekend until after Labor Day, this was to be the last season with only one week between the championship games and the Super Bowl.
As a result of the game being played on the other side of the country, the team plane barely made a touch-and-go at Tampa International Airport, before whisking the NFC Champions on to California. Before Buccaneers fans could even get a grasp of the team playing for the Lombardi, the fireworks around Qualcomm Stadium were popping off. But there were still sleepless nights.
There’s No Place Like Home
Fire them cannons for both teams! Hang from the ship like an overcrowded, Gasparilla flotilla. Build a canoe in the south end-zone and adorn it with arrowheads. It’s not going to matter. The Buccaneers defense. That once-in-a-decade receiving corps. That Hall of Fame quarterback flicking them biscuits. Even the thunder and lightning backfield of Ronald Jones II, and Leonard Fournette. They will be ready come Sunday.
This 2020 Buccaneers squad may have made their playoff mark as “road warriors”, but they will finish this legendary season within the confines of Raymond James stadium. Surrounded by the Buccaneers Ring of Honor. Displaying names such as John McKay, Lee Roy Selmon, Warren Sapp, and Malcolm Glazer. Doug Williams, Jimmy Giles, Mike Alstott, and Jon Gruden. Paul Gruber, Jimmy Giles, Derrick Brooks, and Tony Dungy. Future Hall of Fame member Ronde as well as future Ring of Honor member, Monte Kiffin.
On Sunday night there will be the 2020 NFC Champion Buccaneers playing the first true home game in the modern Super Bowl era. There are members of this 2020 Buccaneers squad that will someday, add their names to the Ring of Honor. This moment is both historic and exciting. A once-in-a-lifetime moment for Tampa Bay fans.
The mid-week lack of sleep has very little to do with the howling wind outside, or my daughter snuggling up next to me on the couch. The Buccaneers are in the Super Bowl and this is an exciting, albeit restless week.