Prior to this season, the Buccaneers hadn’t been to the Super Bowl since 2002, when Jon Gruden was serving his first year as the team’s head coach — a drought of nearly two decades. That changed this season with Tom Brady as the Bucs’ quarterback. Given the lack of Tampa Bay’s success, it’s not a surprise that Bucs fans are ecstatic about returning for Super Bowl LV.
The Bucs’ strong finish to the regular season
The Bucs were 7-5 after Week 12, above .500 but not an overly impressive record. Then they had a late bye in Week 13, which seemed to rejuvenate the team. They won their final four regular-season games, ending the season on a high note. Their winning streak continued into the playoffs, with road victories against Washington and the Saints. Enter the NFC Championship game.
The defense played a big part in the run, giving the Bucs a good unit on both sides of the ball. In two of their last four games, Tampa Bay gave up 14 points to the Vikings and just seven to the Lions. Offensively, the Bucs have a strong receiving corps around Brady. Wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin serve alongside Brady’s longtime Patriots teammate and tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Another road game for the title
The NFC title game wasn’t going to be an easy one for Brady and the Bucs. They traveled to Green Bay to take on the conference’s top-seeded Packers. Some controversy occurred regarding the Packers’ play-calling and a controversial pass interference penalty against the home team. But the Bucs held on to beat Aaron Rodgers and the Pack, 31-26, giving Tampa Bay at least 30 points in each playoff game so far this season.
Winning a conference championship isn’t new to Brady. But it’s the first time he did it in the NFC. According to The Spun, Brady “walked off the field to embrace his son” after the game-clinching first down. NESN tells us head coach Bruce Arians responded with joy, describing moments when he felt he wouldn’t lead a team to a Super Bowl. This included a cancer scare that made him to sit out a year.
Bucs fans couldn’t be happier
Brady and Arians were clearly happy about leading the Bucs to just their second Super Bowl. But neither of them has been with the team for more than two years. Tampa Bay’s long-suffering fans have cheered for the team since its 1976 inception. And they couldn’t be happier about how Brady’s first season in Tampa has gone.
To get proof of that, you need to look no farther than social media, including the official Buccaneers subreddit, where fans have posted heartwarming reactions. One Reddit user posted a picture of himself with his dad and former Buc Lee Roy Selmon at a game in 2009.
A fan shared a rather emotional video of his reaction to the Super Bowl berth, in which he called Brady “the GOAT,” and another shared footage of him crying. As you can tell, this Super Bowl appearance means a lot to the fans, as it should. The team has been around for more than 40 years and this is just the second time the Bucs are in the Super Bowl.
This has also been the team’s first playoff appearance since the 2007 season, and it’s the first time the team won a postseason game since that Super Bowl victory. Making it even sweeter is the fact that Super Bowl LV is at Raymond James Stadium, so the Bucs are making history as the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium.