Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tickets
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional football team based in Tampa, Florida. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the National Football Conference (NFC) South Division. Popularly known as the Bucs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play their home games at Raymond James Stadium and are owned by the Glazer family. The team’s head coach is Dirk Koetter and Jason Licht serve as their general manager. The Bucs were founded in 1976 as an expansion team and has won one NFL Championship, Super Bowl XXXVII (2002).
In addition, they have won 6 division and 1 conference championships. If you are looking for this season’s tampa bay buccaneers tickets, check them out here.
Unlike other teams in the NFL, that represent their respective cities, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do not represent a city, since Tampa Bay is a region rather than a city. The Tampa Bay region consists of cities Sarasota, Bradenton, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa, and the Bucs represents all of them.Etymology of Buccaneers
The Buccaneers pay homage to Southwest Florida’s pirate legends. The Buccaneers were named as a result of name-the-team contest. The name was initially opposed as favoring Tampa at the expense of the entire Tampa Bay region. The NFL had to step in to resolve the issue in favor of the name.Formative Years
In 1976, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the league they were placed in the American Football Conference (AFC) West. In 1977, they were moved to NFC Central. As with most if not all expansion team, the Bucs had had a less than impressive start in the league. Their debut season was abysmal; they lost all their regular season games. They were made fun of on late-night television comedy shows and were called the worst team in NFL history. However, their 1977 season was slightly better and they won 2 games. Both the losing teams fired their head coaches as a result of their defeat against the Bucs.Changing Fortunes
Things started to take a turn for the better in 1979. The team won their first five games in a row, earning them a place on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The team finished the season with 10-6 record and a place in the playoffs. They advanced in the playoffs, winning their division by defeating the Eagles 24-17. The Bucs however lost to the Rams 0-9 in the NFC Championship game. The team would once again make the playoffs in 1981 and 1982. However, their following seasons till 1997 were rather forgettable.The Tony Dungy Era
Tony Dungy, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator, was hired as the Bucs head coach in 1996. He stayed with the team till 2001 and under his leadership the team consistently made the playoffs with the exception of 1996 and 1998. The Bucs under Dungy became a formidable defensive unit, which would help them win Super Bowl in 2002. The backbone of the team’s defensive unit, namely Warren Sapp, John Lynch and Derrick Brooks also matured under Dungy’s guidance.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers started their 1997 season on a high note and finished the season at 10-6, securing a wild card place in the playoffs. This was their first playoff appearance since 1982. The team defeated the Detroit Lions 20-10 and advanced to their divisional playoffs against the Packers. They however lost at Lambeau Field 21-7. This season however gave them a lot of hope for the upcoming season.
But the 1998 season turned out to be a disappointment and the Bucs finished at 8-8. This was also their first season at Raymond James Stadium. In 1999, the Bucs had a rock solid defense, which was ranked third in the NFL. The Bucs finished the regular season at 11-5 and advanced into the playoffs. They won their third NFC Central Division Championship, however they lost to the St. Louis Rams in the NFC Championship game. The game was marred by a controversial referee call as a result of which the NFL changed its rules regarding what constituted an incomplete pass.
In 2000 and 2001, the Bucs secured a position in the playoffs as a wild card team, however on both occasions they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles on their frigid home ground. The loss also resulted in Dungy getting fired as the Bucs head coach and the hiring of Jon Gruden in 2002.The Jon Gruden Era
In contrast to Dungy, Gruden had an offensive strategy and he completely revamped the Bucs offensive line, while the Bucs defensive line remained as menacing as ever. Gruden’s hard work and Dungy’s defensive legacy did the trick and the Bucs finished their 2002 regular season at 12-4, winning the NFC South. Linebacker Derrick Brooks won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year title.
In the playoffs, they first faced the San Francisco 49ers, whom they defeated 31-6. Their next game was against their nemesis, the Philadelphia Eagles. Needless to say, The Bucs were the underdogs. The Bucs stopped history from repeating itself with a last second interception which was returned for a touchdown. With this upset, the Bucs clinched the NFC Championship and secured a place in Super Bowl XXXVII.“The Pirate Bowl”
Super Bowl XXXVII is also known as “The Pirate Bowl” since both teams, the Bucs and the Raiders have pirate-themed names. The game was played on 26 January, 2003, in which the Bucs routed the Raiders 48-21. An interesting bit of trivia associated with this Super Bowl is that John Gruden was formerly with the Raiders before joining the Bucs and had turned the Raiders’ offense number 1 in the league. It has also been the only Super Bowl so far, in which league’s number 1 offense was pitted against the number 1 defense. The game was played at Qualcomm stadium, San Diego, California, which was packed with Bucs’ fans with Tampa Bay Buccaneers tickets in hand.Present Day Bucs
Since their 2002 victory, the Bucs have been less than impressive. They have made the playoffs only twice as a wild card team. They however finished their 2016 season at 9-7, which gives them hope for a more hopeful 2017 season.