The Buccaneers have several events planned for the upcoming season including honoring the 2002 Super Bowl Championship team during halftime of the December 9 matchup against the Eagles. Philadelphia was the team Tampa Bay defeated to advance to the Super Bowl in San Diego.
The Buccaneers and the Eagles will always be linked in the playoff minds of most Tampa Bay fans. The two teams have met four times in the postseason (1979, 2000, 2001, 2002), with each team winning twice.
While a few long time Bucs fans may argue the 1979 contest was the most significant – as it was the first postseason appearance in franchise history – the 2002 NFC Championship matchup was the most memorable. With a 27-10 victory on a cold Sunday evening back in 2002 at Veterans Stadium, Tampa Bay would take their NFC championship to San Diego and win the first Super Bowl in franchise history against the Oakland Raiders.
On Tuesday the Buccaneers announced they will honor that 2002 Super Bowl winning team at halftime on December 9 against – you guessed it – the Philadelphia Eagles.
Earlier this week the Buccaneers also announced that individual-game tickets for their 10 home games in 2012 will go on sale this Friday. Tampa Bay also released its various themes for the season, including the Throwback Game vs. New Orleans, Oct. 21 and the annual Breast Cancer Awareness day against Kansas City on Oct. 14. The 1997 team that broke the franchise's 15-year playoff drought and shut down old Tampa Stadium with a postseason win over Detroit will also be recognized on October 14, when Paul Gruber is inducted into the team's Ring of Honor.
A story on Buccaneers.com talked about the plan to honor the 2002 squad and the memorable season.
The 2002 Buccaneers compiled a franchise-record 12-4 record during the regular season in Gruden's first year at the helm. During its run to the playoffs, Tampa Bay was led by one of the most dominant defenses in NFL history. The Buccaneers finished first in the NFL in both yards and points allowed, as their opponents averaged just 252.8 yards and 12.3 points per game. The pass defense was particularly impenetrable, as the Buccaneers picked off 31 passes and allowed only 10 touchdown throws, holding all opposing quarterbacks to a stunningly low passer rating of 48.4.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year Derrick Brooks led the way with 170 tackles and five interceptions, scoring an amazing four touchdowns of his own on interception and fumble returns. Rice led the pass rush with 15.5 sacks while cornerback Brian Kelly picked off a team-high eight passes. The Buccaneers' defense sent five players to the Pro Bowl that year – Brooks, Rice, safety John Lynch, linebacker Shelton Quarles and defensive tackle Warren Sapp – and had a compelling argument to add Barber and several others.
Barber is the only remaining active player from that game on either club's roster, but he won't be alone when it comes time to celebrate that game in Philly, the win in Super Bowl XXXVII a week later and every part of that unforgettable 2002 season. Much of that championship team will gather to celebrate their title run along with tens of thousands of lucky Buccaneer fans who remember that season just as fondly.
The full Buccaneers.com story can be read here:http://www.buccaneers.com/news/article-1/Celebrating-the-Champs-Dec-9-Philly-Game-to-Feature-02-Reunion/349eb1ce-673f-4cd5-868e-e444e200ecd0
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