Buccaneers: A Valentine’s Day Celebration of Tampa Love
An Evolution of Fandom
A lot of us have our team affiliations tied in with our parents, but my favorite team came about in a different sort of way and you’ll find out I haven’t always been a Bucs fan.
See, my father isn’t really a fan of pro football. He’s a much bigger college fan – THE Ohio State Buckeyes to be exact – and so my allegiance to them goes back to baby picture days. This left a bit of a void in NFL representation though.
When the Carolina Panthers came around in 1995 I hitched my fan-wagon to them because, well, they had the cooler logo of the two expansion teams.
In 1996 my dad and I went to our first pro game, and it was the Tampa Bay Bucs visiting my adopted hometown Denver Broncos. Long story short, my father wasn’t a fan of a certain Broncos legend, so there we are cheering for the Bucs.
So now I have two teams. The Panthers with the cool logo and the Bucs who lost the first live NFL game I ever saw.
Then Tampa drafted my favorite college running back the next year, Mr. Warrick Dunn, and it was over. Never again would I cheer for Carolina and the Kerry Collins jersey disappeared forever.
Nowadays my life is a living “Cats in the Cradle” music video, and watching the Bucs always takes me back to that day in Mile High Stadium’s nosebleeds when I first met the franchise I’ve loved ever since.