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Why I’m a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Why are you a fan?

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the refreshed Bucs Nation! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we're sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you'd like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card [contest rules]. We're collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!

All of SB Nation’s team blogs are getting a refresh, including Bucs Nation, and as a part of that we’re writing about why we became a fan in the first place. For some that’s a simple part of growing up in a specific place or with specific family members. For me it’s a little more complicated.

So this is why I’m a fan: the pirate ship in the stadium.

Yes, I know, it sounds juvenile. But when I started following the NFL, I needed a team to support. You can’t watch sports properly without rooting for someone, and as a weirdo European I had no local affiliations whatsoever. So instead, I decided to go through it ‘rationally’ and choose a team by certain criteria.

No bandwagoning (buzz off, Patriots). No teams without any history (bye Texans). No teams whose history was just pure suffering (hi Browns), and then selecting a team that had something that really spoke to me.

For me, the Bucs had everything. They had a long history of failure, a series of hilarious but touching stories, but also a recent Super Bowl win, a reputation as a team with dynamic defenses, and the potential to win (alas....).

What put the Bucs over the top for me: the pirate ship in the stadium. How could you not love that? Which other team has something as cool as that in the stadium, something to local history and myth, something that goes ‘boom’ multiple times per game, and something that just plain looks awesome?

Once you’re a fan, though, you’re obliged to sit through all of the bad years. And there were a lot of bad years. Just heaps of them. It was sad. Finally, though, that seems to be paying off. The Bucs went 9-7 last year and are poised to get to the playoffs for the first time since the 2007 season, if everything goes right.

And despite all those years and all those stadium upgrades, that pirate ship is still right there, and is still unique in the NFL.

Why are you a fan? Hit the FanPosts and let us know why.

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