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! 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. 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

Bucs PR Fantasy Draft Brad Johnson

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.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

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, 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
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2 years ago

I guess SR doesn’t have a memory

2 years ago

In August of 2002, I had just returned from Kuwait after a 6-month deployment with the Army, where I was positioned with my unit on the border of Iraq doing military training exercises, preparing for whatever might come. We came back to Fort Benning, Georgia, knowing that we might be told to return in the coming months because of the imminent threat the Iraq regime posed. Shortly before the NFC Divisional Playoff game with the 49er’s I learned that, indeed, I would be returning to Kuwait for a deployment with an unknown return date. I was able to attend the… Read more »

Buc-in-Philly Fan
Reply to  hammerlaw14
2 years ago

Thank you for your Service!

God Bless America!!

2 years ago

I grew up a military brat so my family was in Japan when the bucs won the Super Bowl. I was a freshmen in high school and being in Japan with the time zone difference,my father let me skip school that day cause when it’s morning in Japan it’s night in the U.S. I wish I could have been over here for the celebration though, but it’s all I am back here in Tampa!

2 years ago

I will add that the following year for a preseason game the bucs and the jets faced off in Tokyo, I got to go to the game and got to meet a lot of the players..barber was super nice and signed my fathers hat along with a couple of other bucs..Chris Simms wouldn’t sign or talk to any fans after the when he snubbed all of us my fathers friend who was an Oklahoma state fan yelled “Texas sucks! Okalahoma state all the way!” Which was petty funny..Jon Gruden was hyped and even jumped on the bus we were… Read more »

2 years ago

I wish I had a better memory of the game and that season in general. I was 13, admittedly had just kind of gotten into the NFL and hopped on the Bucs bandwagon. I mean, I was in Saskatchewan, Canada so there weren’t any figurative wagons around me but I watched the game in my basement with my dad and as excited as I was… it didn’t mean as much to me as it did most of you. The Bucs were so good that winning the game was almost a foregone conclusion to 13 year old me and being a… Read more »

2 years ago

At the start of the 2002 season, I had a feeling that the Bucs’ Defense, with a bit of Gruden Offense, could actually get to the Super Bowl. Of course, I often had illogical hope. I said, “This is the year” every year. That November, my wife broke her ankle and was still in a walking boot. When Ronde made “The Pick” I screamed, “Pack it up, we’re going to the Super Bowl!” There was no way I was missing it. That year the game was the following Sunday instead of the two week break. We had to scramble to… Read more »

Reply to  scubog
2 years ago

the super bowl ticket and a pics of the scoreboard are my prized possessions !

2 years ago

I was at the game watching the bucs win …I kept taking pictures of the scoreboard hoping the bucs could hold the lead. The defense was kicking butt !!!

2 years ago

I was 19 and I was watching us win the Super Bowl with a bunch of friends who are also Bucs fans. It was such an awesome moment!!

2 years ago

was working, but I was watching it on a big screen TV

2 years ago

Was living in the Ukraine I believe it was early in the morning a bar with a lot of Americans went to opened up for the game I remember walking outside it was like 30 degrees below zero it was a very nice 4 to 5 hours break from life in the Ukraine

2 years ago

My friend fortunately had a big screen tv that was HD with 5.1 surround, not common at the time. I felt like I was at the game. I did watch the pregames and they were all over the Raiders. No one gave us a chance to win in my opinion. I was so confident that we were going to win and you could see it with the players. Like the NFC Championship game, a little adversity with the pick on the first series but we were in the driver’s seat the rest of the way. My bro-in law was in… Read more »

2 years ago

I was in Basic Training at Fort Jackson, someone smuggled a radio in and we got to listen to bits and pieces of the game.

2 years ago

On my couch. Lol. Good times. Have the DVD of course. Went to all home games including playoffs that year. Went to Super Bowl at Ray Jay the year Dilfer beat the Giants. Ouch. Only Super Bowl I’ve gone too. Lol. Played golf with Gruden and lot players couple years after the Super Bowl won in Tournament in North Florida. Got some cool photos and signed balls etc. I was paired with Center John Wade. Wade was cool. Not good golfer but he could drink some beer! Was down to earth guy said wife was teacher local I think. After… Read more »

2 years ago

I was attending USF at the time and still lived at Home so I was at my parents house… I remember my Dad telling me so many stories growing up of the hardship of the Bucs. I was born in ‘81 so most of the memories I have growing up were listening to the games on the radio while helping my parents in the yard… My first Bucs game that I went to was against the Packers where we were leading by 1 with the clock ticking down… I was only 5 or 6 and I barely knew what was… Read more »

2 years ago

In my friends apartment in West Palm Beach, watching with friends… I started my playoff beard the day that the regular season ended and I felt like Billy Gibbons from ZZ top, when all was said and done. The most interesting part of the whole run for me was the Eagles game… As Ronde was running back that 92 year interception, the first thing I thought was “We’re going to the Superbowl and we are going to win… Period.”

2 years ago

I was 19 years old and went over to my Uncle’s place to watch the game with family. I sat there listening to my uncle explain to me how Gannon was gonna carve us up and questioning “why are you a Bucs fan?” Truth be told, I grew up in a household where my dad was a big time Jets fan…still is to this day. As a young boy playing Madden, I was looking for a team to use OTHER THAN the Jets. That’s when I came across a team with a red and black uniform (my favorite colors) and… Read more »

2 years ago

I started following the bucs about the age of 10 or so. I like the bucs because my older brother was a bucs fan. His said he was a bucs fan because all his friends were dolphin fans and he didnt want to jump on the bandwagon. I was 13 when the bucs made that amazing super bowl run. I lived in Florida for the majority of my childhood but I was living in New England at the time. I remember it all like it was yesterday. Going into the Eagles game nobody gave the bucs a chance because of… Read more »

2 years ago

I was at home for half the game, and rescuing my sister-in-law from a woman’s shelter the other half. I wanted to beat the living crap out of my soon-to-be ex-brother-in-law as much for making me miss half the game as well as for chasing my sister-in-law out of her house.

2 years ago

As a former resident of Tampa, I lived through the inaugural early years of Buccaneer history going to many games in the Big Sombrero. In the late 70’s I moved to Phoenix to be there for mom and dad as his health was declining. After he had successful heart surgery and regained his health, I later accepted a business promotion and moved to California in the mid-80’s and have been here ever since. Fast forward to the incredible 2002 Buccaneer season… Though I was living only 60 miles away from Qualcomm Stadium where the Super Bowl was played and could… Read more »