Win or lose, the city of Tampa, Raymond James Stadium and the Sports Authority have scheduled a party to welcome home the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs' plane is scheduled to land in Tampa around 9:30 p.m. on Monday, January 27.
Like last week, the Bucs players and coaches will travel from Tampa Airport to Raymond James Stadium. But there have been some changes to the festival.
Last week, approximately 25,000 fans greeted the team outside of Ray-Jay upon their return from Philadelphia. But on Monday, Ray-Jay will open its doors to the public and the event will be free of charge.
Fans will be allowed inside Ray-Jay on a first come, first serve basis. Concessions will be available and restrooms will be open. The stadium holds just over 65,000 fans.
Items such as flags with sticks and Chuckie Dolls will not be allowed inside the stadium. However, video cameras will be permitted, but camera cases will not.
Ray-Jay parking lots will open at 4:30 p.m. Fans will be allowed to enter Ray-Jay through Gates B and C only. Both of those gates will open at 5:30 p.m. ET.
A GOOD OMEN?:
You may or may not be superstitious, but according to recent history, the fact that Tampa Bay wide receiver Keenan McCardell defeated Oakland running back Charlie Garner in the Playstation 2 video game "NFL Game Day" earlier this week might be a sign of things to come.
Sony Playstation 2 and 989 Sports held its annual Super Bowl bash earlier this week at a San Diego hotel for the eighth annual "Game Before the Game". McCardell and Garner were selected to dual in the NFL 2003 video game.
The winner of each of the previous seven video game matchups went on to win the Super Bowl.
McCardell and the Bucs downed Garner and the Raiders in convincing fashion, 28-8. Is this a sign of things to come? Hate to be cliche, but only time will tell.
BUCS WILL SPORT RED AND PEWTER:
Tampa Bay was selected as the home team for Super Bowl XXXVII, which means the Pewter Pirates had to choose what uniform combination they wanted to wear in the Big Dance.
The Bucs will sport red jerseys and pewter pants for its game against the Oakland Raiders, who will wear white jerseys and sliver pants.
Tampa Bay's end zone will also be painted red, just as it was for its home playoff game against San Francisco a few weeks ago.
SUPER BOWL HALFTIME SHOW TO FEATURE NO DOUBT AND SHANIA TWAIN:
Super Bowl XXXVII's halftime show will feature two popular music guests.
Musical superstar Shania Twain and popular rock band No Doubt will perform during the 20-minute halftime special.
WHAT'S THE SPREAD?:
The Oakland Raiders are currently favored by 3.5 points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.
SUPER BOWL XXXVII FORECAST:
According to Weather.com, Sunday's forecast in San Diego is calling for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 70s.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden when asked if he and the Bucs had the rock inside One Buccaneer Place removed and transported to San Diego for the Super Bowl:
"The rock is here. We won't bring the rock out, though, until Sunday. That was a theme Rod Marinelli, our assistant head coach, came up with early in the season. Pound the Rock – it's just a theme that our players understand. We're going to try and crack that rock open and the only way to do that is everybody contributes. But the rock is here and it will be unveiled in the locker room on Sunday."
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