The Buccaneers are coming off of two straight impressive victories and now come home to play the Seattle Seahawks. It’s time for Buccaneer fans to fill up Raymond James and make a difference on Sunday.
Over the last decade or so, fans of the Buccaneers have had a contentious relationship with the team they root for. Together the fans and organization have suffered through countless losing seasons, blown leads, excruciating heat, and overall some of the worst football imaginable. Some in the media have tabbed Raymond James the “Den of Depression”.
As a result, the home field advantage in Tampa has been mostly lost since the golden age of the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Head coach Dirk Koetter took notice earlier in the season and pleaded with Buccaneer fans to show up and drown out the visiting Raider fans. At the time, I rolled my eyes. The Bucs had yet to get a truly singature win and had recently choked away a loss to the Rams. They looked to be exactly the same team that they were last season under Lovie Smith. What reason other than blind hope did Buccaneer fans have to show up?
Fast forward a few weeks and things have changed. The Bucs have strung together two straight impressive victories, one that broke a home losing streak, and one that came in hostile territory against a 7-2 opponent. Their record now sits at 5-5 and they are playing the best Buccaneer ball we’ve seen in quite some time. The Bucs have held up their end of the bargain and earned a sell-out crowd this week against the Seattle Seahawks. It’s time for Buccaneer fans to respond in turn.
Trusting in or buying into the Bucs is dangerous business. If you combined both presidential candidates from this year into one single entity, it’d still be more trustworthy than what the Bucs have been in recent seasons. With that said, there’s no better time than right now to invest some money in a Sunday with the team.
At the moment they’re clicking in all phases of the game. Jameis Winston and the offense are making spectacular plays a weekly occurrence, while Chris Conte (yes, Chris Conte) and the defense are flying around creating turnovers. Best of all, rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo has found his stride!
Buccaneer fans can make a significant difference this week against the Seahawks and their well-traveled fans. A sea of blue looms on the horizon and threatens to flood the halls of Raymond James if the people of Tampa Bay don’t fight back. Buccaneer players will no doubt be looking to see if the fans have responded to last weeks victory, and you can be sure it will positively or negatively affect their morale. Quarterback Jameis Winston took notice of an impressive turnout two weeks ago and was caught on mic telling a teammate: “Look what they (the crowd) are capable of…look what we’re capable of”.
A raucous crowd can not only invigorate the Bucs players, but can also disrupt the Seahawks, who are typically a lesser team on the road (their only two losses this season have come on the road). The crowd can make 3rd downs difficult and at their peak can even trigger false starts and procedure penalties.
Something that has held a lot of Buccaneer fans back from buying tickets is a perceived lack of effort from some players on the roster. The Michael Johnson‘s, the Anthony Collins‘, the Donald Penn‘s, the Mike Williams‘. The list goes on and on. Fans don’t want to pay to see players that aren’t going to give it their all. However, thanks in large part to Jameis Winston, the current Bucs locker room is a laser-focused family, intent on making a run at the playoffs. That promise of effort combined with good play is worth spending money on.
There’s no guarantee that the Bucs will upset Seattle if fans show up in droves. The Bucs showed last week in Kansas City that crowd noise can only do so much, even when it’s as loud and disruptive as the Chiefs are. However for the Bucs to establish a true home field advantage there first needs to be an approximately 60$ leap of faith from the fans. This week can be a critical step in the right direction.