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[Fan Feature] More Than Football

It's been only 48 hours since our Bucs clinched their second Super Bowl berth in franchise history; as a fan who has followed them since birth(1988) and was lucky enough to remember 2003, this feels different to me. I mean of course it is different given the year, players, and location but in a year of uncertainty, this one just has a humbling feeling to it.

How is it humbling? Well it's simple, it's about thinking back to the first time we made the Super Bowl and the memories made that were made that forever hold a special place. For many fans, their love for the game, well let's just say "roots run deep". As a child growing up playing the game from pee-wee to freshman year in high school, the dream was simple, I wanted to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Why the Bucs though? Well my grandfather and father showed me the way of Bucco Bruce. My first game in '96, I'll never forget going with my grandfather and seeing Warren Moon and his Vikings take on what was an up-and-coming defense. The final year my grandparent's lived down here in Florida, I remember getting to share the Bucs Super Bowl berth and eventual victory with them. It was the first taste of our had of a championship and man was it sweet. Watching Ronde Barber go coast-to-coast to seal the NFC title and Derrick Brooks mimicked it to seal the Lombardi, it was such an amazing feeling getting to share those memories with those who introduced me to the team in the first place.

Here was stand, 18 yearsw2 later and the Bucs have not only won their first playoff game but also returning to where their last postseason win happened, the Super Bowl. In a year, much less a football season that had so many questions surrounding it after the COVID-19 pandemic struck forcing every sport to halt. Lucky for the NFL, it was their off-season. That didn't mean things were going to be easy as they walked into free-agency with restrictions on travel made it difficult for teams and players to meet face-to-face.

Enter Tom Brady, who won his first of six Super Bowl's the year before the Bucs captured their title. The man has definitely been the talk and hate of the league for two decades while winning championships what seems like almost every other year. Now a mere 22 weeks later, here we are with a Super Bowl berth. Again that excitement feeling is there. Crazy how much of a difference 18 years makes as I will be creating memories with my daughters while missing part of the foundation to my Bucs roots. This time around, I unfortunately wont have the opportunity to celebrate the Lombardi with my grandparents after losing my grandfather to COVID back in October(what was unfortunately the Bucs invasion of Las Vegas).

If the Bucs are fortunate enough to capture their 2nd Super Bowl in 2 decades, this will undoubtedly be one of the greatest sports years in the history of the Tampa Bay area. This is #morethanfootball -- this is about cherishing and living for the moment.

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