So, it’s been just over a week since Super Bowl LV was played at Raymond James Stadium, and the Bucs are still World Champions!
It has sunk in here. Not sure if it has with you yet. But I’ve had an incredibly happy week, to say the least!
I live in Plant City, a small town about 25 miles east of Tampa. So I do live in the Tampa Bay area. And it feels really, really, great to be a Bucs fan, as well as a Rays & Lightning fan!
Now that Tampa Bay has it’s second Vince Lombardi Trophy, let’s take a look at just how big this victory actually is compared to other sports milestones in the state of Florida’s relatively short sports history.
I think this is bigger than the 1972 Undefeated Miami Dolphins winning Super Bowl VII, then going back-to-back winning Super Bowl VIII. It’s bigger because of how hard it was for every NFL team this 2020 season due to the Covid situation.
I think this is bigger than the Florida Marlins winning two World Series in a span of seven seasons (in their first eleven seasons).
They came into MLB in 1993 and won their first title in 1997, then again in 2003, taking down the mighty New York Yankees. That was a shock because the Boston Red Sox and Chicago’s Cubs & White Sox hadn’t won a World Series championship in 80+ years. Even though the Marlins are still viewed as sellouts, they still have earned two World Series rings.
It’s bigger than the Miami Hurricanes five National Championships (1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, 2001, the Florida Gators three (1996, 2006, 2008), and the Florida State Seminoles three (1993, 1999, 2013), combined!
As far as Gainesville, Florida goes. The Gators won the NCAA Basketball Title in 2005-06, then won the NCAA Football Title in 2006, then won the NCAA Title as back-to-back hoops champions in 2006-07 then they won the NCAA Football Title again in 2008. That’s one hell of a run in a span of four sports seasons for sure!
With so many great college football teams inside Florida, it seems the college game will always be the king of Sunshine State football, but the pro game is more intense, to say the least!
Basically, unless you live in the Jacksonville area, you are not a Jaguars fan. The rest of Florida is either a Bucs or Dolphins fan. So, the intensity includes more fans of each team, per se.
Besides the Don Shula-guided Dolphins’ accomplishments, in the early 1970s, they did go to the Super Bowl after the 1982 and 1984 seasons only to lose to the Redskins and 49ers, respectively. In-between those years, in 1983, the Hurricanes won their first National Championship. I lived in South Florida at the time, and it was super fun to be a part of that!
Of course, Dolphins fans thought with QB Dan Marino at the helm, they’d go back to several Super Bowls but never did with him as their signal-caller. Miami hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since the 1984 season.
In 2002, the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl. In 2003, the Marlins won the World Series. In 2004, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the NHL Stanley Cup. In 2005, the Miami Heat won the NBA Title. That was a great span of great teams during those early 2000’s seasons.
So, here we are now. The Bucs winning the Super Bowl. The Lightning is the defending Stanley Cup Champions. And the Tampa Bay Rays are the defending American League Champions.
The 2020-2021 seasons for our beloved Bucs, Bolts & Rays have been truly legendary. This is big. This is bigger than anything that’s ever happened to sports inside Florida.
Tom Brady came to Tampa Bay to win his 7th Super Bowl ring, and he brought along the Bucs for the ride across the NFL ocean of superiority and has put Tampa Bay on the sports map as a pillar of extraordinary success in three of the four major USA team sports. Go, friggin’ figure folks!!
So, cherish these moments. They won’t last forever.