When the smoke and the confetti cleared 10 years ago today, it all seemed worth it.
All of the Johnny Carson jokes, the paper bags covering the heads of fans at Tampa Stadium, the bad trades, the inept draft picks, the Bo Jackson fiasco, the unprecedented 14-year stretch of losing football … all of it.
All was forgiven because on the afternoon of Jan. 26, 2003, in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrated as Super Bowl XXXVII winners after a 48-21 rout of the AFC champion Oakland Raiders.
The next evening, as the team charter circled Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs and head coach Jon Gruden peered down and saw a packed facility awaiting their arrival.
"We parked the buses in the tunnel and walked out,'' recalled Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer. "My father walked first, with Jon, and he was holding the trophy as he came onto the field. It was so loud and deafening, you couldn't hear the cannons going off on the pirate ship.''
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 12-step plan to 2002 glory
Tampa Tribune | Jan 26