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michael89156

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: December 06, 2012, 12:11:58 AM



Memories of Super Bowl still vivid for current Buccaneers players







 2003/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden is doused on the sidelines after the Bucs defeated the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII.




 By ROY CUMMINGS| The Tampa Tribune
Published: December 05, 2012



TAMPA --


All 14-year-old Ahmad Black kept hearing from his Lakeland-area friends that January week in 2003 was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had gotten lucky against the Eagles in the NFC championship game and had no chance of beating the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.
 
Black would not be swayed, though.
 
After watching the Bucs crush the 49ers from a seat in the south end zone of Raymond James Stadium two weeks earlier, he was convinced Tampa Bay would win the Super Bowl, and no one was going to change his mind.
 
"I knew we were going to pull that one out,'' Black, a second-year Tampa Bay safety, said Wednesday as he reminisced about the team's 48-21 Super Bowl triumph. "I didn't think we'd win by as much as we did, but I knew we were going to pull it out.''
 
The team Black believed so strongly in will reunite Sunday as part of a 10t{+h} anniversary celebration during halftime of the Bucs-Eagles game at Raymond James Stadium. Black is among dozens of current players thrilled about the chance to meet the team members they rooted so strongly for a decade ago.
 
"Yeah, it's really going to be cool to see those guys,'' said defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who grew up in Oklahoma but quickly grew into a Bucs fan because of his affinity for under tackle Warren Sapp.
 
"He was the man. He's one of those players that people who are playing now still look up to, and I'm one of them, of course. I still look up to him because he was just so good.''
 
McCoy watched the first half of that Super Bowl at home with his family, but he missed the second half to attend an evening church service. He shrewdly managed to stay abreast of the game's happenings, though.
 
From a pew near the back of the church, McCoy convinced a friend the minister's son to occasionally run back into his father's office, turn on the TV and return with updates.
 
"I didn't want to get in trouble, and he was younger than me, so I kept sending him back to check on the score,'' McCoy said. "Finally he came back and said they won and we were both back there'' dancing in the pews.
 
Linebacker Mason Foster didn't dance the night the Bucs won the Super Bowl. He almost cried. A fan of the Raiders growing up near Oakland, he hated the way the Bucs beat up on Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon.
 
"That was tough on me,'' Foster said. "It was not a great experience. (That Raiders team) had a great run and a great team that year, and to get beat up like that in San Diego, it was tough to watch.''
 
It wasn't tough for Doug Martin. The Bucs rookie running back grew up near Oakland as well, but neither the Raiders' loss nor the Bucs' victory had an effect on him.
 
"I wasn't into football too much then,'' Martin said. "I was into basketball then, so I was probably more concerned about working on my jump shot than I was with who was playing in the Super Bowl.''
 
Martin is clearly in the minority.
 
Though most current Bucs were in their early teens or younger, many were not only football fans but also Bucs fans. Wide receiver Mike Williams grew up in Buffalo, but became a big fan of the Bucs because he was a big fan of receiver Keyshawn Johnson, whose number 19 jersey he wears today.
 
Fellow wideout Tiquan Underwood grew up in New Jersey, but became a Bucs fan when a close friend adopted Tampa Bay as his favorite team. Their loyalty was tested during that title run.
 
"I went to school with a lot of Philadelphia Eagles fans, so that NFC championship game was a great memory for me,'' Underwood said. "It was very tough, because the Bucs didn't have a great record at the old (Veterans Stadium), but they shut the Vet down with that win there."
 
Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown, sealing the victory.
 
"I still remember Ronde running down the sidelines like it was yesterday," Underwood said. "And then to win that game against Oakland in the Super Bowl, I couldn't wait to go to school the next day."
 
Black showed up for school that next day quite bleary eyed, the result of his family driving to Tampa to join the thousands of other fans who packed RJS to welcome the triumphant Bucs home from San Diego.
 
"I'll never forget that," Black said.
 
"That's why I'm so excited about this weekend. It's going to be great to see those guys. I was such a big fan of that team, and I never thought I'd be playing for them. But now, here I am. It's really kind of surreal."

The Anti-Java

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#1 : December 06, 2012, 08:16:35 PM

Time flys.........a 14 year old Ahmad Black digging on the Bucs in the big game.      SMH.


sig pic by chace1986

PewterReportMC....
\\\\\\\"Java, do you understand this a perfect example of why people beg me to suspend or ban you on a daily basis? Are you actually trying to make a point? Seriously what is the reason for even commenting. In fact why do you even bother coming to the boards? What happened to the intelligent poster from years ago?  A real shame. Like the Bucs yesterday, a wasted effort.\\\\\\\"

JavaRay

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#2 : December 07, 2012, 06:42:54 AM

Linebacker Mason Foster didn't dance the night the Bucs won the Super Bowl. He almost cried. A fan of the Raiders growing up near Oakland, he hated the way the Bucs beat up on Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon.
 
"That was tough on me,'' Foster said. "It was not a great experience. (That Raiders team) had a great run and a great team that year, and to get beat up like that in San Diego, it was tough to watch.''

What a traitor.


JavaRay

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#3 : December 07, 2012, 06:43:26 AM

I still have vivid memories of that Super Bowl.


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#4 : December 07, 2012, 09:26:46 AM

I was in high school in Atlanta, annoying the crap out of my Falcons-fan friends. :-)

One of the best nights of my life.

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#5 : December 07, 2012, 10:33:20 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=0Hw8Acw-QUQ&NR=1

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