The Bucs in season openers
The Bucs will play their 34th season opener today against the Dallas Cowboys but only the fourth time in the 12 years that they have begun their campaign at home. But how many of those previous 33 debuts have been successful, disastrous or just plain memorable?

The good
1979 - Detroit - John McKay's team began their surprising run to the NFC Championship game by handling the heavily-favoured Lions 31-16 at the Old Sombrero - Doug Williams threw a touchdown pass to TE Jim Obradovich from the seat of his pants.
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1981 - Minnesota - a game that was played on a Saturday night because it was allegedly too hot to open the season at home on the Sunday like the rest of the NFL. SS Neal Colzie scored on an interception return with the Vikings driving for the winning score. The Bucs won 21-13 and went to the playoffs again that season.
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1987 - Atlanta - it was only 48-10. Ray Perkins' first game in charge and almost half the roster were new from the Leeman Bennett era. Steve DeBerg threw five touchdown passes and the Bucs romped to success.
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1995 - Philadelphia - The Bucs won 21-6 in the Vet and the Eagles had some kid offensive co-ordinator calling the plays for the first time in his career. Errict Rhett and Horace Copeland had key touchdowns and the orange-clad Bucs began Sam Wyche's final season with a bang.
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2003 - Philadelphia - Monday Night Football and the Bucs began the defense of their Super Bowl title by opening the Eagles' new stadium. Rocky was there, all the former Eagle greats were there. So was the Buc defense and they shut out Philly for a 17-0 statement victory.
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The bad
1983 - Detroit - The Bucs had gone 4-0 in pre-season without Doug Williams so Tampa fans were pretty hopeful of the combination of Jerry Golsteyn and Jack Thompson behind center. So was Lions' DE William Gay who had 5.5 sacks in a single game as the Bucs were shut out 11-0.
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1986 - San Francisco - Lee Roy Selmon had announced his retirement and a half-time ceremony was planned to honour him. Steve DeBerg had surprisingly beaten out Steve Young for the starter's job and celebrated by throwing a team-record seven interceptions in the 31-7 loss. Ironically the Bucs' score came when Scot Brantley picked off Joe Montana and took it to the house. Click here for more details on that game

1988 - Philadelphia - Vinny was installed as the starter and Ray Perkins had high hopes for his young offense entering his second season. It was 34-0 Eagles at half-time. The Bucs did mount a second-half comeback in the 41-14 loss but all the Philly starters were long on the bench by then.
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1999 - NY Giants - The Bucs ended up in the NFC Championship game at the end of the season but it started terribly when the Giants were held to four first downs and just over 100 yards. But Tampa Bay had Trent Dilfer playing QB and thanks to interceptions and fumbles, the Giants had all the offense they would need.
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2006 - Baltimore - Coming off a play-off appearance the previous year, Jon Gruden's future was so bright that he had to wear shades. Chris Simms stunk the joint out at quarterback and the Ravens romped to a 27-0 shutout victory at Raymond James Stadium.
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The memorable
1976 - Houston - - The day it all began for the franchise. OK so they lost their first game. The problem was that they lost the 25 that followed too.
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1985 - Chicago - Opening on the road against what would become the greatest single-season defense most of us have ever seen, the mighty Chicago Bears and their 46-system. The Bucs led 28-17 at the half, the most points the Bears conceeded all year. Unfortunately they turned up in the second half.
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1993 - Kansas City - Officially the hottest game in franchise history. It was also Joe Montana's first game in a Chiefs' uniform and he casually led them to an easy 27-3 victory.
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1996 - Green Bay - The local tax vote on a new Buccaneer stadium was due the following week and everyone wanted an impressive start in Tony Dungy's first game to help sway things their way. It was 34-3 Packers by the end.
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1997 - San Francisco - A year later, and the debut of the new uniforms against the NFL powerhouse 49ers. Steve Young and Jerry Rice went out injured and the new-look Bucs began their march to a first winning season since 1983.
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Paul Stewart, TBO.com, 12 September 2009