No. Ten – THE FUTURE
Game #10 has yet to happen. This is a place holder for future greatness or future blunder.
No. Nine – THE SNOW
Buccaneers 0 Packers 21
December 1st, 1985
The winter curse begins. A foot of snow on the ground at kickoff, then another 4 inches fell during the complete schooling we received from the Packers. I remember as a kid watching this game with the house windows open letting in the Florida sunshine, wearing a Bucs t-shirt, and feeling the breeze from the ceiling fan that was working overtime. Watching the tropical worn athletes fight with the winter elements in their all white unis and forgetting about the Pack was painful. Packers racked up 516 yards of total offense while the Bucs had a measly 65.
The first honorable game mention in this list is the 1979 game vs. KC to clinch the NFC North. A torrential downpour added to the complexity of the Bucs needing to win to clinch they’re first ever playoff berth. Only one successfully FG was all Tampa needed to sealed the victory, 3-0.
No. Eight – The Kick
Eagles 21 Buccaneers 23
October 22nd, 2006
The Bucs had no business winning this game. But somehow, someway, Gruden orchestrated some plays and by the power of Matt Bryant’s foot I can still recall making a spectacle of myself in the local saloon as all Iggle fans became instantly devastated by what they just witnessed. Bucs win the old fashion way… With a 62 yard field goal as time expires!
No. Seven – The Throwback
Packers 28 Buccaneers 38
November 8th, 2009
Regardless of the fact that the Bucs were 0-7 and not enjoying their place in the cellar, this game marked the first official throwback game in Buccaneer history. It was hip to wear orange again. Sporting the vintage old school 1976 home jersey and Bucco Bruce on the helmet, the rookie QB, Josh Freeman, made his debut and threw for 3 TDs, sealing the victory with a 4th and goal TD strike in the back of the end zone. When the Bucs wear the orange they are a force to be reckoned with at home, winning the last 5 games when Bucco Bruce is present. In addition, this game marked the opening of the Bucs Ring of Honor, honoring #63, Lee Roy Selmon, who’s name will forever live on the walls of RayJay and who’s number will never be worn again. Viva Bucco Bruce.
No. Six – The Return
Falcons 3 Buccaneers 37
December 16th, 2007
Regardless of the fact that the Bucs clinched the NFC South Division title with this win, this game marked the first Buccaneer kickoff returned for a touchdown. That’s right. The first one. It took 32 seasons, 1,865 attempts, and 140 different return “specialists”. Finally, in the first quarter, Bucs leading 7-3, Michael Spurlock, #17, takes the kick at the 10 yard line and proceeds 90 yards untouched into the record books.
No. Five – The Let Down
Rams 9 Buccaneers 0
January 6th, 1980
As a kid I didn’t realize the impact this game would have. A 4-year old team making it to 1 game away from the Super Bowl. It wasn’t until many years later, after several dismal seasons, did I realize how hard it is to make it into the playoffs, let alone, the Championship game. The defense kept the Rams out of the end zone but the Bucs failed to make it into pay dirt. One week later the Rams loose to the Steelers in the big show. A very small parting gift for us Buc faithful.
No. Four – The Hope
Packers 10 Buccaneers 13 (Overtime)
December 10th, 1995
This overtime win guaranteed the Bucs would not have a 10-game loosing season. The first one in 13 years. Whew. At that time the Bucs were actually still in the playoff race. Thanks to cable television and ESPN Sunday Night Football, I was able to witness Trent Dilfer’s arm and Michael Husted’s foot beat Bret Favre and the Packers…to keep the Bucs playoff hopes alive.
No. Three – The Summit – Super Bowl XXXVII
Raiders 21 Buccaneers 48
January 26th, 2003
The Bucs reach the summit
After a 27 year journey, the Bucs defeat the Oakland Raiders, 48-21, in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego behind a suffocating defense, setting Super Bowl records with five interceptions and three interception returns for touchdowns. S Dexter Jackson is named the game’s MVP as the Bucs’ top-ranked defense stifles the Raiders and the league’s number one ranked offense. Tampa Bay limits Oakland to just 62 total yards in the first half, the second-fewest in Super Bowl history, and finishes the game surrendering just 269 total yards and 11 first downs. RB Michael Pittman runs for a season-high 125 yards and WR Keenan McCardell scores two touchdowns. LB Derrick Brooks seals the victory with a late fourth quarter pick-6 and CB Dwight Smith sets a Super Bowl record by returning a pair of second-half interceptions for touchdowns.
You know your defense is something special when they name an entire scheme after your team, and the Tampa 2 scheme that coordinator Monte Kiffin developed in Tampa Bay is still used throughout the league to this day. Though the Bucs had been a great defense for several years under Kiffin and Tony Dungy , it wasn’t until Jon Gruden replaced Dungy as head coach in 2002 that the Bucs could field an offense good enough to win a championship.
Still, it was the defense that was dominant for these Bucs. Led by stars such as Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, Shelton Quarles, Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber, and John Lynch, the Buccaneers led the league in points, yards, yards per play and turnovers. They were especially dominant against the pass, giving up only 10 touchdown passes while collecting 31 interceptions, both tops in the league.
Led by that defense, the Buccaneers went 12-4 and won the NFC South. They opened their playoff run with a 31-6 beatdown of San Francisco, then traveled to Philadelphia to beat the Eagles 27-10 in the conference championship before crushing the Raiders. In the process, they limited Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and then-MVP Rich Gannon to a combined 54 percent completion rate, with two touchdowns and nine interceptions. Those two touchdowns both came with the Bucs up by at least three scores in the second half of the Super Bowl.
No. Two – The Revenge
Buccaneers 27 Eagles 10
January 19th, 2003
The last game ever played in Philadelphia’s Veteran’s Stadium. After 2 consecutive playoff losses played at the Vet, I was not happy about another winter game yet again among the Iggle crowd. After a quick score by the birds, a Joe Jerivicious 71-yard reception showed everyone the Bucs meant business. Gruden called a hellofa game with plenty of misdirection, runs, and short passes. Ronde Barber’s interception for a touchdown late in the game became the absolute best play in franchise history which made me fall back in my chair and utter the words “We Win.”
The second honorable game mention is the follow-up contest between these two teams which had the Bucs visiting Philadelphia yet again to help Philly open up their new and improved stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, Sept. 8th, 2003. Fresh off a Super Bowl victory, the NFL showed no respect to the Bucs and made their first game of the following season on the road. Like typical Iggle fans, they have yet to learn from their mistakes. The Bucs clobbered the birds in their new house on Monday Night Football 17-0.Inaugural Game in Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field
Buccaneers 17 Eagles 0
No. One – The Win
Buccaneers 33 Saints 14
December 11th, 1977
Finally. 0-26 before kickoff. 1-0 after the final horn. The first win in team history. After several attempts to look like a professional football team, the Bucs finally put together 60 minutes of great defensive football recording 3 sacks and 5 interceptions. Archie Manning said loosing to the Bucs would be a “disgrace”. This was all the motivation the team needed. Final score: Bucs 33 Saints 14. Hank Stram, head coach for the Saints, was fired at season’s end.
Third honorable game mention is the team’s 2nd victory one week later vs. the Cardinals. The team’s first ever winning streak.
Bucs Fan For Life – Christmas 1980
College Dorm Necessities – 1991
Christmas Present – 1992
8AM Tailgater – 4PM Kickoff
With Dad – Tampa Bay 2002
First Date with Lindsay – Washington D.C. 2004
New York 2005
Watching Live 1st Kickoff Returned For TD 2007
Tampa Bay 2008
With Family & Friends – Baltimore 2010
With Lindsay – Baltimore 2010
New York 2012
With Lindsay – Tampa Bay 2012
With Lindsay – Tampa Bay 2014
Washington D.C. 2014
With Lindsay – Washington D.C. 2014
With Lindsay – Tampa Bay 2015
With Lindsay, Joe, Dana, Bill, Tom, Bob, Kyle, and Tyler – Philadelphia 2015
With Gehrman – Tampa 2016
With Filippoli – Tampa 2017