A tip and heartbreak!
Checking out the Bucs game Sunday (thanks to Steve Ford who gave me a link to watch), I had a very profound case of déjà vu just before halftime. Before I can get into the moment, I have to set up the story.

My Mom’s side of the family is from western Pennyslvania, around Pittsburgh. SO growing up as a kid, I always heard about the Pittsburgh Steelers. I wasn’t into football until later in life, around the age of 13 or 14, and at that time I learned we had a team here in Tampa Bay.

In 1979, it seemed fate had set up the ultimate NICK BOWL; Both Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh were only one win away from playing each other in the Super Bowl. It wasn’t to be, as the Rams beat the Bucs. Then the schedule came out for the next season, and there it was! Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay!

Neither team had the kind of year in ’80 that they did in ’79, but that didn’t matter for me! I was glued to my TV set, to get the chance to rub it in my cousins and uncles that Tampa Bay was better than Pittsburgh!

Game time comes, and the Bucs get a punt blocked for a TD, the Bucs fell behind 10-0. Tampa Bay fought back, and made me so proud, and pulled in within 17-14, and that would have been a great score to go into the locker room. But the Steelers were driving, and ran the ball inside the 20 with 18 seconds left, so I thought, “that’s it, the half is going to run out!

But Bradshaw got them back to the line of scrimmage, and got off a play. The Blond (now bald) Bomber dropped back and lofted a pass towards the front of the endzone where Richard "Batman" Woods jumped and tipped the ball!

I thought. “Interception”! Picked off! OK incompletion at least, but NO! The ball was tipped, right into the waiting arms of Lynn Swann! Touchdown Pittsburgh, 24-14 going into the half! Bucs lost 24-21 on two fluke touchdowns. Sound familiar?

So Sunday I couldn’t help but feel my heart sink when I saw that ball bounce off of Aqib Talib’s hands and into the waiting arms of Mike Wallace! Curse you historical irony!

It would seem history is not done tormenting me. What will the Bengals have in store for us, to pay back for Michael Clayton’s 2006 Week 5 last second lean over the endzone, referee reversal for a TD?

About the writer
Nick is also the editor of Bucstop.com which is a superb website described as a site where you get lost in time watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers video clips from 1977 to 2010. He was selected to the Bucs UK Hall of Fame in 2009 and has joined myself and Phil Jones on the sideline at Buccaneer games in recent seasons as thanks for the lengths he goes to in supporting the Bucs UK. Nick writes regular daily comments on the Bucs and the NFL on the site and it is well worth adding to your list of Buccaneer bookmarks.