Why people support the Buccaneers
One of the questions we put on the annual Bucs UK questionnaire, involved their original reason for choosing the Buccaneers as "their team". For soccer teams, choice is often hereditary or territorial (unless you are a Manchester United fan of course).
But choosing an NFL team is often different and usually relates to their first contact with the sport. This of course was my reasoning behind becomg a Buc follower, the 1982 airing of Channel 4's coverage of Tampa Bay's encounter with Miami from Monday Night Football. Because the Bucs won, I chose them. This was also the decision of Steve Morley, another very early member of the Bucs UK.
By far the most common reason, is having been to Tampa on holiday and either going to a game whilst there, or following the "local team" when in the Bay area. The dates of these trip vary wildly from Alistair Blackwood in 1981 to Alex Howells in 1998, and is usually the case that irrespective of the result, the home team was chosen as the one to follow.
Lee Bromfield was lucky enough to see one of Leeman Bennett's four victories when he saw the 1986 victory over Buffalo, whilst Ian Costain saw the amazing 42-35 victory over the Bears three years later, a game that was one of the first ever shown on satellite television in the UK on the old Screensport channel.
Having relatives in Tampa was another reason for choosing the Bucs, this being the reason behind both Jason Donald and Graeme Reid becoming Buc fans. Unlike Paul Nippress who began playing one of the original play-by-mail games and was given the Buccaners as "his franchise" so hence he began following them in real life.
|Are you going to Tampa in 2007?|
Yes - 48% - No - 52%
British fans love the underdog and the "losing mentality" and hence the likes of Paul Greenfield and Mike Roberts both picked the Buccaneers because they were so bad. Darren Valet simply chose the Bucs at random, whilst the likes of Chris & Steve Grant, Ian Stevenson and Noel Brain, either lived in the Tampa area or had property out there and hence followed the Bucs.
|Do you subscribe to the Pontel DVD service?|
Yes - 11%
Some of them - 11%
No - 78%
So it is usually an interesting story behind your selection but one thing I have found, is that once you have made your choice, you stick by it. There are people in the Bucs UK for whom the Buccaneers are "their other team", a concept that just seems totally alien to me, but overall, the level of support for the franchise is devoted and passionate.
Paul Stewart, February 2007