It’s a Bucs life.
It’s not just a catchy slogan used by the franchise for marketing; it’s a way for Bucs fans to describe what it’s like to be a fan of this team. It’s really the only way to describe it. It’s the only way to explain the strange happenings that go on with and around this Buccaneers’ football team. It’s how we express our frustration with this team, and It’s how we express our disappointment with this team. It’s how we express our heartbreak from this team. It is what it is; it’s a Bucs life.
The Buccaneers’ franchise began in 1976, and with that came 26 straight losses. In the franchise’s 44 years, they’ve only had 12 winning seasons and 10 playoff appearances. They’ve had 13 head coaches, 7 general managers, and they’ve had 23 starting quarterbacks. But they’ve also have had one Super Bowl win; 12 teams can’t say that. Hell, there are 4 teams that have never even been to one.
I’ve been a Bucs fan for as long as I can remember. I’ve sat on those hot, hard, high school-style bleachers in the old Tampa Stadium. I miss the orange creamsicle uniforms of the Bucco Bruce days. I was one of those that was on the original waiting list for season tickets at the new Raymond James Stadium. I remember the 1999 NFC Championship game in St. Louis, where the Bucs got robbed by the Bert Emmanuel “no catch” call. As a matter of fact, I was part of the group that waited outside of Raymond James Stadium for the team to return so we could welcome them home. We’ve been through 4-12 seasons, we’ve endured 3-13 seasons, and we’ve even survived a 2-14 season. This team has the worst winning percentage in NFL history at 38.9%, that’s worse than the Lions, worse than the Browns, and worse than the Cardinals. In fact, if it wasn’t for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets 38.8%, the Bucs would have the worst winning percentage in all team sports. They are historically bad losers and have been for a while.
We’ve been through kicking curses, coaching curses, quarterback curses, free agent curses, MRSA outbreaks, and just about anything else you can think of, and yet, we’re still here.
So what makes us keep coming back? What makes us continue to torture ourselves each and every football season? Why do we keep cheering for this team that consistently breaks our hearts?
We’re Tampa Bay sports fans. There’s not many of us, which is evident by the attendance at both Rays and Bucs home games, but we are here. We are scattered among the hoards of snowbird-transplants from up north, who come into our stadiums sporting Patriots, Giants, Steelers, Yankees, and Redsox gear. We may be nearing extinction, but for now, we’re still around.
Some of us have been around for a while, and we’ve seen some really bad teams, and we’ve sat through really rough seasons, but some are new to this Bucs life and aren’t quite used to the losing yet. Just give it some time, you get accustomed to it eventually. It never stops hurting; it just doesn’t hurt as long or as deep. I used to spend days sulking over a Bucs loss, but these days, I’m over it within a couple of hours. That’s how you have to be with this team because They’re THAT disappointing.
It’s been nearly a full calendar year since we walked out of Raymond James Stadium after a win. You have to go all the way back to Dec. 2nd of 2018 when the Bucs beat the Panthers. After that, they lost their final four games, including two at home to the Saints and Falcons. That means they’ve now lost 10 of their last 12 games. It’s hard to keep cheering for a team like that, but we do it. We rep them every day, we won’t stop, and We can’t stop because that’s how we roll. That’s how we live. We live that Bucs life!
We just hope that one day all the agony and stress will be worth it. We hope that one day this team will be a perennial powerhouse instead of a lackluster loser. It would be nice if they could give us a little taste of this on Sunday. A win against the Cardinals in front of the home crowd is not only desired, but it’s also deserved. It’s not only wanted, but it’s also needed. It has to happen, and not for a playoff push or a better record, and not to save anyone’s job or position, but for the fans sanity.
This year was supposed to be different.
Bruce Arians was supposed to exorcise the loser demons out of this team and resurrect a winning culture here in Tampa Bay, but so far, that hasn’t happened, and Bucs fans are getting rabid over it. We need this win, better yet, they owe us this win. If they lose to the Cardinals on Sunday, there may very well be a mutiny on this ship. Let’s hope for the best and expect the worst. That’s our way. That’s the Bucs way and that’s a Bucs life!
Until then, as always, GO BUCS!!!