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The Return: A Buccaneers record

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Breaking 32 seasons of ineptitude.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

We are continuing SB Nation’s theme week with another look at another Tampa Bay record. On Tuesday, Perry Kostidakis looked at the team’s historic losing streak. Today, we take a more positive spin.

Do you remember where you were when Michael Spurlock burst down the sideline for the Buccaneers first kickoff return for a touchdown? Did you stare in disbelief? Did you ask someone to pinch you just in case you were still dreaming?

I was sitting next to my dad and we just went quieT for a full :30 seconds after Spurlock crossed the goal line. No way that happened, right? It felt as if Bucs weren’t allowed to score on a kickoff return and it would never happen. Such was the life of A Bucs fans for 32 seasons before that fateful return. And then, like magic, it happened and it was glorious.

The dictionary defines ineptitude as a lack of skill or ability. I can’t think of a better word to describe watching the Bucs on kickoffs from the early 80’s right up until that fateful day in 2007. When the Bucs were in the midst of their record games for kickoffs without a touchdown streak, commentators would inevitably mention it before or during the broadcast as a cruel reminder of just how inept Tampa had been when it came to the return game. Think about how unlucky/bad a team has to be to play 512 games, have 1,092 tries and never return a kickoff for a touchdown in 32 seasons. It honestly felt like a hex was hovering over the Buccaneers kickoff return unit.

Since that record breaker by Spurlock, the Bucs have had three additional kickoffs returned for touchdowns, yet still are dead last in the league with four and haven't had one since the 2010 season. Will the 2018 season produce another pinch yourself moment?

“Run Michael run Michael run!”