Ask Ron Jaworski and the 1979 Eagles if Bucs fan will show up and support their hometown team. Tell the 2002 San Francisco 49ers who were trounced 31-6 in the playoffs at Raymond James Stadium that Tampa Bay fans can’t make it so loud you can’t understand what the person sitting to either of side of you is saying when the Bucs defense was on the field.
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter knows all of this, and wants it to be the way it was when there was a several thousand fan season ticket waiting list in the 90’s, or the way the 72,000-filled-to-capacity original Tampa Stadium used to shake when Lee Roy Selmon took down another quarterback in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
Koetter also knows what the current state of the Bucs is, and the lack of a home field advantage, admitting on Thursday it was up to him and his team to change that. When asked about if the team had an actual home field advantage, Koetter thought for a few seconds before carefully wording his answer.
“Every place is different Every place you play on the road is different, as far as how hard it is to play there and how hard it is to hear there,” Koetter said. “We’re not fooling anybody that some teams travel a lot better than others. Players notice, coaches notice. That’s the truth. And I’m 1,000 percent aware that the more you win, the better it gets.
“But with that said, do we have a home field advantage? That’s our job to create it.”
When you’ve only won three home games since the start of the 2014 season, and with just one winning season since 2008, it is hard to ask fans to continue to come out in droves, as Koetter understands. However, it is frustrating to look out and see more fans jerseys in the stands than home town ones.
“Go take a picture of any of them. Denver, Chicago, Giants. Take a picture, see what you get. We’ve got to take care of the stuff on the field, but some places are harder to play than others.
“When you can’t hear, it’s rough. When you have to do everything silent cadence, everything hand signals, you can’t hear yourself think. Compared to if you’ve got to go to silent cadence in your own stadium.”
Photo by Cliff Welch/PR
The Buccaneers have three straight home games coming up, starting with the Raiders on Sunday, which will give fans and the team itself a lot of answers on the direction of this season. If the Bucs can manage to win two of the three – or even all three – the opposing fans who sit and cheer inside Raymond James Stadium will become less and less moving forward.
Bucs fans want to believe, show up and support their team and Koetter appreciates the ones who are there week in and week out, and said the team feels their energy.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com 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, the beach and family time.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@example.com
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