Earlier today the Bucstop.com piece was about the last time the Bucs beat the Saints in Tampa,FL. It was 2011 and something struck me and reminded me of a statement I made back in the days of Buccaneer blackouts and double digit losing seasons! That statement was a simple observation; “You will know when the Bucs fans are behind the team again, they’ll stop wearing jerseys of players who are retired”!
Take a look above pic, and youll see a few jerseys, most of which are players from yesteryear. A throwback Lynch jersey, Derrick Brooks, and of course, a top you will see for the next twenty years..Mike Alstott! May there never be a day you dont see a #40 at RayJay somewhere!
Thats it…One Josh Freeman representation. It was just like that back then, you saw Sapp, Brooks, Rice, all the Heroes of the Super Bowl era Bucs, but nothing new, because the fans hadn’t adopted any of the new players yet. No LeGarrette Blount, Mike Williams, Tanard Jackson, nothing of the sort…just more Lynch and Alstott!
Sunday night Bucs fans were screaming louder than they have in over a decade, there is no doubt. Take a look;
You still have some old school spread around, a Joe Jurevicious (or Dave Moore), another Alstott (Amen brother) and a Jeff Garcia/Martin Gramatica sighting! But there are strong concentrations of Mike Evans, Jameis Winston, Doug Martin all over the stadium, as the Bucs are starting to get some name recognition for their players, especially on offense.
The threat of blackouts are gone for now, but the reason the Bucs suffer from foreign visitors (Other teams fans!!) is lack of season ticket sales. The 1997-2008 Bucs games never had that problem, as the stadium season ticket sales were all sold out for years in advance with no hope of Bears, Packers, or Steelers fans being able to buy seats; you can’t buy whats not for sale.
Next year you can be sure Season Ticket sales will be up and we’ll see less wrong color uniforms in the lower bowl. Whether the season ticket holders will wear Mike Evans or Keyshawn Johnson, its ok, as long as its not Jordy Nelson!