I want the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to return to dominance as much as anyone, but I honestly can say I can rest in the grave if they don’t simply because of two great things.
- Buc won the Super Bowl in 2002
- Bucs finally beat the Cowboys in Dallas in 2001
..and I honestly cant say which one is higher on that list, THAT, is how much I hate the Dallas Cowboys.
So you’ll ask, why Niko do you hate Dallas so? Is it the “America’s Team” label? Is it Jerry Jones? Tony Romo? No, those don’t bother me, it was 1980-1990 that destroyed me on any chance to look at the Blue Star and not puke? Growing up as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan, it was all about Doug Williams, Ricky Bell, Jimmie Giles, Kevin House, Batman Wood, Lee Roy Selmon and crew. The Bucs went to the NFC Championship game in 1979, and would have played the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium in that game had Dallas not been upset by the LA Rams. In 1980, the Bucs beat the Rams in week 2, and up on the schedule was Dallas, at Dallas. The Bucs were up 17-7 with 2 minutes to go in the half, and I was convinced..My Bucs were on top of the world. THen Billy Joe Dupree scored a TD before the half, and two more TDs by Dallas squashed my dreams!
Not to worry, Because I may have never been more proud than week 16 in 1981 when the Bucs went up to Detroit and UPSET the Lions who hadnt lost at home all year! The Bucs would play a PLAYOFF game at Dallas, and I could not wait. Dallas Ruined my whole holiday season with their 38-0 win. The steam hadn’t cooled yet when the strike was finally over, and the Bucs resumed football by playing at Dallas. Again, AT DALLAS, always, each game was in that stadium with the hole in the roof.
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The Bucs drove into the Dallas 10 yard line 5 times, but only came away with 9 points. Bucs lost 14-9 when they dominated with 382 to 185 yards from scrimmage. The Bucs would have ANOTHER chance for revenge in the Playoffs, which the Bucs were awesome by gaining a playoff birth by winning 5 of 6 games. Tampa Bay had the lead in the Playoff game 17-16 going into the 4th quarter. Was this finally it?
No. Dallas scored on an interception return and again with 3 minutes to go, as two controversial calls doomed Tampa Bay. To add insult to injury, the next year the Bucs were winless and horrible, yet led Dallas 24-17 with 2 minutes left in the game. The Bucs Cedric Brown intercepted the ball in the end zone to kill a Dallas comeback. Bucs finally win right? NO! Tampa Bay turns the ball over on downs, and Dallas drives in under a minute to tie the game, and wins in overtime. The Bucs went into a tailspin in the franchises history, and wouldnt play Dallas again for years.
In 1990, the schedule came out with TWO games against Dallas because both the Bucs and Cowboys were bad teams, looking to rebuild. The first game in Dallas was the best shot Tampa had to get a win in Irving Texas. Ray Perkins called 4 pass plays for Vinny Testeverde all first half, and the conservative Bucs LOST again in Dallas. But in a few weeks, the Cowboys would come to Tampa finally! And the Bucs had them right were they wanted them, but a final second Troy AIkman to Michael Irvin TD showed me who the real up and coming team was, and it wasnt the Bucs. As a Tampa Bay fan, I was beyond devastated by the Dallas Cowboys.
Of course Tampa Bay became a good team under Tony Dungy, and Beat a lesser Cowboys team in Raymond James, and the next year, the Bucs finally beat Dallas, in Dallas. But it was supposed to be a playoff Bucs team against a horrible Dallas team, yet we only won 10-6.
Final nails in the coffin for my hate for Dallas, in 2008 in what would be the last chance to get a win at Dallas in that old stadium while both the Bucs and Cowboys were a good team, history repeated itself. It was like watching 1982 all over again- The Bucs had trip after trip into the Cowboys red zone, and came away with only 9 points. ANOTHER 14-9 LOSS TO DALLAS! Oh, the Thanksgiving Day game, that was another reason to hate Dallas forever.
So here we go, Dallas at Tampa Bay, the Bucs stink, the Cowboys could be a playoff team, Isnt it time for an upset to go our way??