It's a short week coming up, and the excitement is in the air of the Bucs returning home to Raymond James Stadium and playing the preseason rival Miami Dolphins. Even though the preseason game has changed alot, this one, Miami vs Tampa Bay, has not. It's as spirited a rivalry since the first seasons they played each other, which got so physical then Dolphins owner Joe Robbie Canceled the Bucs/Dolphins series. His reason? The Bucs played too rough for a practice game.
Back in the 80s, players offseason was exactly that, OFF-season. They came into training camp to train and get in shape. They used preseason games to get into shape too. Today Players are conditioned all year long with OTAs, and preseason games really only amount to over-glorified practices.
So lets take a look at some great Bucs/Dolphins game clips, culminating in game day classic enemy flashback of the best Bucs/Fins game ever; 1985.
Today?1988 and Vinny Testeverde would miss a start against the city that gave him college fame with an injury. In his place? Former Buffalo Great Joe Ferguson who tormented Dolphin fans for years. After making it look easy with a 17-0 lead going into the 4th, Smokin Joe made a game of it with two of these...
Then, 1991, and Vinny led the Bucs to an early score in an somewhat meaningless game, as most of them were that year. Reggie Cobb became the Bucs work-horse back under Sam Wyche.
And finally, who could forget the birth of Pewter Power on the national scene...TNT prime time football! Trent Dilfer had arguably his best game as a pro, and the Bucs who were 3-0 went to 4-0 in a game that was really never close. A message was sent from this game, the tide had changed in Florida. Long the doormats, the Bucs were now the football power between the two teams, with Miami the team with no name players.
Tomorrow we look at 2000 trip to Miami, and 2005 game where we hosted the Fins.