In a season of of anthem protests, 4-8 records and on the field disappointments, the Buccaneers in the community are Super Bowl champions.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Mark Cook/PR
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Mark Cook/PR

On Monday night 50 local youths from the Boys and girls Club of Tampa had the opportunity to go shopping with their heroes, as wide receiver DeSean Jackson hosted his Shop with a Jock program at a local Tampa Walmart. In addition to Jackson, quarterback Jameis Winston came out to support his teammate, along with Mike Evans, Donovan Smith, Bobo Wilson, Robert McClain, T.J. Ward, Robert McClain and Freddie Martino.

Each kid received $100 to shop with and the Bucs players spent an hour walking around with the children helping them pick out gifts for the holidays.

Jackson spoke with the media, including, halfway through the event.

“The Boys & Girls Clubs, in my neck of the woods, was a way to be able to stay out of the streets and really have brotherhood, unity and come together to play sports and spend those hours during the day to keep you from walking down the street where anything could happen,” Jackson said.

Jackson talked about being part of the Tampa Bay community.

“Obviously, on the field it’s tough,” Jackson told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “We work so hard on the field to try to do well and win as many games as possible. It’s not happening right now, but you’ve still got to live life and do things in the community. You’ve got to be a professional about it. Just because you’re losing in one aspect of life, you can’t be a loser all the way around the board. We’re going to keep fighting, but you have to be a winner with the community and fans.”

The kids walked through Walmart who also sponsored the event along with Chick-fil-A, and filled their carts. Jackson noted sometimes the kids weren’t thinking of themselves, instead mentioning some of the gifts were for relatives, which warmed his heart. Jackson also had a message for the kids – at his teammates expense.

“The biggest thing I love about it is some of them want PlayStation or some of them want TVs and these are like $500,” Jackson said. “And you’re like, ‘You’ve only got $100.’ And they’re like, ‘You’re in the NFL, you’ve got the money.’ It puts a smile on your face. I tell the kids to make sure they go over so my teammates can pay for it.”

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]