It's not football season yet, but this is the time of year when I'm suffering the worst from withdrawal. It's also the time of year I'm full of such optimism. After all, we're undefeated now, right?
People often ask, "Why did you become a Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan?" I think the subtle translation to their question is, "Are you insane, why not pick a real football team!?!"
The truth be told, when the Bucs came to be, nobody really paid much attention to them. A football team in Tampa? Seriously? Tampa Bay would do anything to get a following in those days. Buccaneer clothes were on sale at K-mart for some ridiculous price...so Mom stocked up. I was a kid. I had no choice. Mom put a Buc shirt on me everyday...the whole "Buccaneer fan" thing kind of fell into place after that. Fortunately, I was too young to appreciate how bad they were when they started.
Now before you start laughing hysterically at these early '90 pictures of me, please understand what these pictures represent. This is Steve DeBerg and Vinny Testaverde! That means that we were right in the heart of a fifteen-year losing streak. Vinny is color blind and there was a green billboard on Dale Mabry, right outside the stadium. All it said on the billboard was, "Vinny thinks this is orange." Dang! Where's the love?
You have to have thick skin being a Buccaneer fan. We've come a long way and even managed to win a Super Bowl, but the stigma of the past nips at our heels. I'm not going to lie. There are times that my patience is pushed to the limit. For example, they had a contest to name the new mascot. I submitted the name, "Gasparillo Sam". I thought it was kind of a take on Yosemite Sam, but with a Tampa flare. Alas, I was shot down...and in favor of what? Captain Fear. Captain Fear is better than Gasparillo Sam??? uggg So yes, my patience is tested. Last year was quite a test. But this is my team. For better or for worse. I am a Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan.
Bring on football!