It has been 16 years since the Buccaneers walked off the field in San Diego hoisting the Lombardi Trophy celebrating their first and only Super Bowl championship after beating the Oakland Raiders 48-21.
With the Super Bowl between the Rams and Patriots set for Sunday evening, we thought we would have some fun and remember where we were back in 2003.
Read our accounts and add yours in the comment section below.
Happy Super Bowl weekend!
PewterReport.com Editor Mark Cook
I was sitting in the same living room(my grandmother’s house, then later mine)where I saw my very first Bucs game in 1977, a win over the Saints, and where I saw the Bucs play their first playoff game in 1979 against the Eagles. Honestly, to me, it felt like the Bucs had already won the Super Bowl the previous week when they closed down the Vet, beating the Eagles in the NFC Championship game. Growing up following the Bucs, through the lean expansion years, to the miserable 1980’s, and much of the 1990’s, the thought they would ever even reach the Super Bowl was basically beyond my comprehension. When Ronde Barber picked off Donovan McNabb on that cold dreary day in Philadelphia, and returned it for a touchdown, all the suffering and misery, all the ridicule for wearing Bucco Bruce gear to school and all of the pain was erased. If you were a Bucs fan and that didn’t get you emotional, you probably need to check your pulse to see if you are alive.
That Super Bowl Sunday I avoided most of the pre-game shows. In fact, I went to church in the morning, then came home and went fishing at my uncle’s orange grove pond to pass the time. My folks came over around 6 p.m. that evening and we had a typical spread of chips, salsa, and drinks. Non-alcoholic of course. I am a Baptist and didn’t want to jinx the extra prayers I had said earlier that morning.
The Dixie Chicks sang the national anthem and before long the it was time for kickoff. Brad Johnson and the Bucs threw an interception early in the game and I was nervous. But from the first snap you could tell Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and the rest of the defense had come to play and weren’t leaving without a win. The game was never really in doubt for me for the most part, however after a long touchdown pass to Jerry Porter was upheld and a blocked punt went for a score in the second half I started to sweat a little. But it wasn’t long before the offense continued to eat clock behind the running of Michael Pittman and the effective passing by Johnson, and the Bucs defense rose to the occasion, particularly the secondary, with interception after interception.
I remember the post game ceremony, Malcolm Glazer accepting the Lombardi Trophy and the players with their young children parading around with their Super Bowl winning swag on. It was certainly one of those, “don’t wake me up from this dream” situations as I finally closed my eyes that night.
And it made all those nights of sleeping in orange and white footie pajamas, even in the summer time(we didn’t even have air conditioning growing up) worth it. It was a night I couldn’t have imagined ever happening, but somehow that one magical January night in San Diego, did in fact, take place.
PewterReport.com Bucs Beat Reporter Trevor Sikkema
I remember it like it was yesterday.
Actually, I don’t. I was 10 years old. But I do have some memory of what was going on and where we were thanks to faded memories and some stories told.
I was actually in Raiders country when the Bucs were crowned champions of the football world. My family is from Florida. We’ve lived in Florida for as long as I’ve been alive. Each year my family likes to go out west to see snow, go skiing and just enjoy the landscape of mountains along with weather we don’t get much back here in the Sunshine State. That year we were in Lake Tahoe, California, a place that has become my family’s go-to each year.
Lake Tahoe is a popular vacation sport for those in the San Francisco and Oakland area. Because of that my family was a band of Buccaneers that weren’t exactly welcome.
My dad’s side of the story is a lot better than mine. Due to me having to miss a week of
Former Bucs QB and Super Bowl Champion Brad Johnson
school to go on the trip, I was doing homework in front of the TV with my mom instead of watching the game with my dad down at a local clubhouse. I watched from the living room of our condo, and though my specific memories of that night are few, I can still picture the room, where I sat on the couch and where the television was.
For my dad, his story was a lot more interesting. On the night before the Super Bowl, my dad went down to one of the casinos on the Nevada/California border to place a bet on the Buccaneers winning it all. As you can imagine, the sports book there was filled with nothing but black and silver. My dad walked into the casino wearing his Buccaneers gear proudly and placed his bet through non-stop trash talk from those around him.
On the night of the Super Bowl, my dad walked to the local clubhouse of the condominium we were staying at to watch the game. From his account, the place was packed, and he was one of about three total people who were wearing red in Tampa’s favor. From what he says, it was a party for him and those three or four people. He said that with every score and every takeaway, he’d celebrate, and said that game and the trash talk wasn’t even as fun as it could have been in the heart of Raider country, as that game was Tampa’s all the way.
I wish I had a greater memory of that night myself, but it’s a cool story that I get to hear my dad tell every time it gets brought up. Hopefully my memories of the next one will be ones I can tell stories about myself forever.
We’ve told our story, now it is time to tell yours in the comment section below.
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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