What a great time! We had a packed house for a long tailgate and boy was there fun to be had. You probably saw the live videos during the event but you have not heard the final tally yet. We will be doing the formal check presentation for the first two events but you guys rocked the HOUSE for 1Voice and Paul’s Project as well as for our efforts for Hurricane Irma and Maria (impacting so many of our neighbors both here and in Puerto Rico).
We want to thank all of our regulars for trusting us for another year. This was our 90th consecutive tailgate. We have learned a great deal over that time but our mission and vision remain unchanged. We foster fellowship, sportsmanship, and fun with a backdrop of purpose. We all get to eat, drink, meet great people, dance and celebrate our team while also making a very real difference in our community.
We want to welcome our newcomers as well. We know that our model may seem a bit strange at times and a few of you have even asked why we allow visiting team fans into a Bucs tailgate. Well, it is quite simple. The players play. We all use that game to escape the very real stress that exists for all of us. To come together under a unified banner and have fun with good guys and bad guys. We are all just folks having a good time for a good cause and to be honest, over the twelve years we have been around and the 90 tailgates, we have made amazing friendships in almost every other NFL city. We are proud to say we have family everywhere and once you are part of this, you will too. So those Giants fans that you may not have known now know they can come to Tampa and have a great time, spend their money, help a great cause, go take an ass whipping and still have a shoulder to cry on. I want to point out one in particular who, when a Bucs fan offered $50.00 to the charity for any Giants fan willing to take a pie to the face IN THEIR GEAR for the cause, stepped up. None of us knew this guy, but I know we won’t ever forget him.
I bet he won’t forget us either.
Listen, I am as passionate a fan as you will find. I wear the emotion of the peaks and valleys of this team on my sleeve the way many of you do. The thing I also do is I travel. Many of us do. And while good-natured ribbing is part of the game and some shit-talking is par for the course, when we travel, we want to rep our squad, have some fun, learn about the new place, make some friends, have a blast and hopefully get to serve up some humble pie to the loudmouth locals. When home, we want to be the kind of loudmouth locals that know how to win as well as how to lose. I believe we have a core of that here in Tampa. I am PROUD of our core group here. There are 40,000 fans on Sundays here that I would put against any NFL city in the country. We just need more.
The growth and excitement that the #StickCarriers have brought has been palpable. Extending the Tailgate to the in-game experience is no easy task. That “Walk” continues to grow and get more dramatic. Watching concessions people cheer as we chanted through the concourse and folks videoing was incredible. Watching Bucs fans from all across the state, country and world, unite whether they are independent, WTB, Stick Carriers, Buccaneers Invasion, Buccahiolics or any other group has been invigorating!
For those of you from far away who made your comments about how much Blue there was or how quiet the stadium was, you can be part of the solution. It requires you not being elsewhere. We are there. We made noise and will continue to make more.
Will you help?
See you all Thursday. Next up, the Patriots.