The Buccaneers made history last February when they won Super Bowl LV, as they became the first team ever to win the Lombardi Trophy in their home stadium. But as huge as it was to blow the Chiefs out of Raymond James Stadium in 31-9 fashion, they didn’t get the full home-field advantage for the game.
With the NFL logo at midfield, “Chiefs” painted in one end zone, no cannon fire and the lack of the usual gameday elements, it was hard to really call Super Bowl LV a “home” game for Tampa Bay. In fact, the Bucs were only designated as the “home team” for the matchup because it just happened to be the NFC’s year to field the home team. Add a COVID-restricted crowd to all of that and it’s fair to say Bucs fans haven’t gotten to experience a true home playoff game in well over a decade.
That will change on Sunday afternoon, as Tom Brady and the Bucs will welcome the Philadelphia Eagles to town for an NFC Wild Card Round contest. It will mark Tampa Bay’s first home game at “Ray Jay” since Jan. 6, 2008, when it lost 24-14 to the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants.
As seen on the Buccaneers’ official social media accounts, the “New Sombrero” (shoutout to Chris Berman) is all set to welcome the Tampa Bay faithful for what is expected to be a windy afternoon. The beloved red end zones are back, as are the Bucs battle flags that became a staple at home playoff games throughout the franchise’s initial golden era.
When the Bucs and Eagles kick off at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, the flags will be waving, the cannons will be firing and a packed house will be on hand to cheer on the team in pewter and white. What a scene it’ll be.
Ready, Bucs Nation?