Lovie Smith said today that things would have to change. One of those key things to change would be the (lack of) home field advantage the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have enjoyed over the past decade.
I don't know how to best say this, but the Bucs have always been bad at home. Over their existence, they're 146-160-1 at home. Sicne winning the Super Bowl, they're 42-50 at home. Since firing Jon Gruden, they're 14-28 at home. 13-28! They haven't even won one in three home games since 2009. The lone redeeming split: since 1995, when the Glazers bought the team, they're 90-69 at home. Oh joy.
In fact, the Bucs are actually slightly better away than at home: they're 14-27 on the road since 2009, half a game better than their performance at home over the same span. They'll get a good chance to make up that difference in the next two weeks when they head to Pittsburgh and New Orleans. Can't wait for that!
It's no big surprise that the Bucs have been bad at home in recent years: they've just been bad, period. But there's been no home field advantage whatsoever, even in 2010 when they went 10-6. Being a season ticket holder hasn't exactly been rewarding in recent years, which should make it no surprise that actually sold out games are still rare -- even though the Bucs have taken to buying up tickets to prevent blackouts.
This has to change at some point. A win is a win is a win, but they're easier to come by at home. If you want to do well, you'd better start by winning your home games. It's not like the Bucs don't have an advantage in being used to the heat and lightning storms, either.
Sadly, the remaining home schedule this year isn't overly encouraging: the Ravens, Vikings, Falcons, Bengals, Packers and Saints are coming up. Good luck with that.