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michael89156

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« : July 09, 2011, 09:18:04 PM »

Greatest point ever: Ronde Barber's NFC title game interception tops list of Tampa Bay Bucs' greatest scoring plays
By Rick Stroud, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Sunday, July 10, 2011




All Eagles players and fans can do is watch as Ronde Barber goes 92 yards for a touchdown in the ’03 NFC title game. 
 [Getty Images (2003)]





[Associated Press (2003)]
Ronde Barber burns his name into the memory of Eagles fans throughout Veterans Stadium as he heads for the end zone with a 92-yard interception return for a score that vaults the Bucs into the Super Bowl. “You couldn’t hear a sound,” then-Bucs safety John Lynch said. “The stadium noise stopped. There was that sweet silence. There was nothing to say.”



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Special report: Greatest point ever

 

Nearly nine years have passed since Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber returned an interception 92 yards for a touchdown in the freezing cold at Veterans Stadium to clinch a win in the NFC Championship Game over the Eagles.

But rarely a week goes by without Barber being asked about that signature play, he says.

"It comes up every four or five days, especially if I'm with somebody I don't know," Barber said.

"I love hearing stories about what people were doing at the time."

Stunned silence

What's still interesting nearly a decade later is that the loudest play in Bucs history was made in stunned silence.

The interception, with 3 minutes, 12 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of what became a 27-10 win, sent the Bucs to their first (and so far only) Super Bowl, in which they defeated the Raiders 48-21.

As Barber ran untouched toward the end zone, a hush fell over the stadium. It was somehow appropriate because the play also quieted concerns about whether the Bucs could win in the cold, could beat the Eagles in a postseason game and could emerge triumphant from the hostile confines of the Vet, which had become the Bucs' house of horrors.

Philadelphia had won the previous four meetings between the teams, including knocking Tampa Bay out of the playoffs in 2000 and 2001, the latter prompting the dismissal of coach Tony Dungy.

In both games, the Bucs were no match for the cold, the Eagles or Philadelphia's rabid crowd.

Barber silenced it all.

"You couldn't hear a sound," then-Bucs safety John Lynch said. "The stadium noise stopped. There was that sweet silence. There was nothing to say."

Monster game

What time has dulled is that Barber, who is entering his 15th season and is the only remaining active player from that team, had a monster game all around. He also had three tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and four passes defensed.

"That's like hitting for the cycle a couple times," Barber said. "The sack/fumble, a bunch of open-field tackles, beating blocks, and I factored in every statistical category except a fumble recovery.

"The interception gets earmarked, and rightfully so, because it was such a big play. But the entirety of the game is what I will always remember."

The play

The Bucs led 20-10 when quarterback Donovan McNabb drove the Eagles from their 18-yard line to a first and goal at the Tampa Bay 10.

With the Eagles in their two-minute offense, Barber was playing the slot receiver, where he always has been most dangerous as a pass rusher and defender. Before the snap, he walked up to the line of scrimmage in a blitz position before peeling back into coverage.

"I was just trying to bait (McNabb) a little bit," Barber said. "It's best to show blitz and to blitz in hurry-up situations when you can tell when the snap count is going to be. In that situation, you just move around, you don't want to give them a static look.

"Over the years, I kind of got a feel for it. (McNabb) fell for it. I don't know why. Maybe it was because he just had a great play and thought I was going to blitz. But either way, he believed I was coming and threw it right to me."

The aftermath

Barber knew immediately that his touchdown could lead to a Super Bowl championship.

"We thought the best team in football was the Philadelphia Eagles," he said.

As he reached the end zone, Barber held the football in his right hand and pointed to the name on the back on his jersey with his left, a gesture he has repeated many times in his career.

"I had never done it before that touchdown," Barber said. "I did it against San Francisco the week before (after scoring), but (the touchdown) got called back because (then-Bucs defensive end) Simeon (Rice) had a penalty. The first time on film was that Philly game."

Send your memories of the play to sports@tampabay.com.



. fast facts

Rick Stroud's top five

St. Petersburg Times staff writer Rick Stroud ranks the five greatest scores in Bucs history:

1. CB Ronde Barber intercepts Eagles QB Donovan McNabb and goes 92 yards for a touchdown in the 2003 NFC Championship Game, clinching a spot in Super Bowl XXXVII.

2. LB Derrick Brooks' 44-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Super Bowl XXXVII victory over the Raiders.

3. QB Doug Williams' clinching 9-yard TD pass to tight end Jimmie Giles in the 1979 NFC division playoff vs. the Eagles.

4. RB Warrick Dunn's 1-yard touchdown hurdle with 48 seconds left for a 38-35 win vs. Rams on Monday Night Football in 2000.

5. K Neil O'Donoghue's 19-yard field goal against the Chiefs to clinch the 1979 NFC Central title.



The St. Petersburg Times is ranking the top scoring plays in the history of the area pro teams and college football programs:

. Today: Bucs

Monday: Rays

Tuesday: Lightning

Wednesday: USF

Thursday: Florida

Friday: Florida State
« : July 09, 2011, 09:20:15 PM michael89156 »

ONEBIGDADDY

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« #1 : July 09, 2011, 09:28:20 PM »

Wow I would have thought the Joe Jurevious play would have been up there...OBD


dbucfan

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« #2 : July 09, 2011, 09:31:20 PM »

Not a scoring play OBD.  Great play, that changed the entire game - but JJ didn't get into the end zone. 

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant

ONEBIGDADDY

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« #3 : July 09, 2011, 09:34:54 PM »

Not a scoring play OBD.  Great play, that changed the entire game - but JJ didn't get into the end zone.
Yeah but I could here the entire stadium on the Buc's side ride him about the loss of his son Michael and then he pulls that pass off right in front of the middle linebacker...I thought that was a tremendous play for 71 yards...I will have to go back and review it again...OBD ;D


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« #4 : July 09, 2011, 09:35:39 PM »

Wow I would have thought the Joe Jurevious play would have been up there...OBD

Not a scoring play but after that one i just knew we had em..

CyberDilemma

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« #5 : July 09, 2011, 09:44:15 PM »



. fast facts

Rick Stroud's top five

St. Petersburg Times staff writer Rick Stroud ranks the five greatest scores in Bucs history:

1. CB Ronde Barber intercepts Eagles QB Donovan McNabb and goes 92 yards for a touchdown in the 2003 NFC Championship Game, clinching a spot in Super Bowl XXXVII.

2. LB Derrick Brooks' 44-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Super Bowl XXXVII victory over the Raiders.

3. QB Doug Williams' clinching 9-yard TD pass to tight end Jimmie Giles in the 1979 NFC division playoff vs. the Eagles.

4. RB Warrick Dunn's 1-yard touchdown hurdle with 48 seconds left for a 38-35 win vs. Rams on Monday Night Football in 2000.

5. K Neil O'Donoghue's 19-yard field goal against the Chiefs to clinch the 1979 NFC Central title.





How could this play not make the top 5?



Gene Deckerhoff, "Run, Michael; run, Michale; run, Michale, run!"

Detrimental

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« #6 : July 09, 2011, 09:46:46 PM »

Sheppard TD catch vs the Redskins in 2005. Ooops my bad, HORRIBLE CALL!!!

JavaRay

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« #7 : July 09, 2011, 09:50:02 PM »

That Lars Tate flip over the top and run for TD was a great one.



dbucfan

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« #8 : July 09, 2011, 10:01:08 PM »

I recall that one as well Java - that was a long time ago - left so many wondering about the how's and why's

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant

Detrimental

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« #9 : July 09, 2011, 10:02:53 PM »

Freeman to Mike Williams in 2012 in the SB.

JavaRay

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« #10 : July 09, 2011, 10:05:13 PM »

I recall that one as well Java - that was a long time ago - left so many wondering about the how's and why's


I was at that game.   The reaction from the crowd was interesting.   At first we weren't sure what to think, but when we realized it was a good TD, the place went nuts.    A lot of laughter and high fives.   Good times.


dbucfan

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« #11 : July 09, 2011, 10:07:40 PM »

Absolutely - so many wonder how it could be - and laughing as they found out why

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant

JavaRay

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« #12 : July 09, 2011, 10:12:31 PM »

I'll never forget this play.   Bucs went to Detroit to play the Lions the final week of the season.   The winner of the game wins the division and goes to the playoffs.    The Lions hadn't lost at home all year so the Bucs were underdogs.    Of all the plays in Bucs history, I was never more excited than when watching this TD.

http://www.bucpower.com/house-det81a.wmv


Beatles123

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« #13 : July 09, 2011, 10:54:09 PM »

How about Matt Bryant's 62 yard FG?



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« #14 : July 09, 2011, 11:15:43 PM »

Actually, that field goal was a bad thing.   It resulted in the Bucs picking a slot lower and getting Gaines Adams instead of Megatron or Joe Thomas.   

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