The turnout for the parade was impressive, especially since nearly 67,000 fans filled Raymond James Stadium the night before to welcome the Buccaneers home from San Diego.
"I thought I had seen it all last night when we rolled over to that stadium," said Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp at parade's end. "We've been talking for the last four or five years about what it would look like when we brought this championship home. I couldn't have imagined anything better than that scene that we just saw. I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Bucs players, coaches and personnel sat in convertibles as the vehicles slowly took them through the streets of downtown Tampa.
The victory parade was led by Bucs head coach Jon Gruden and owner Malcolm Glazer, who both sat together in the lead car, with Gruden holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy in his hand for spectators to see. The Buccaneers players, most of which were sporting their white (away) jerseys, and the rest of the team, followed Glazer and Gruden's lead.
The parade blanketed Bayshore Boulevard and Florida Avenue, and it worked its way to Lykes Gaslight Square, where nearly the entire Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization took the stage to address the fans.
Glazer, general manager Rich McKay and several players took turns at the microphone, thanking the fans for their support and discussing the possibility of a repeat.
"Stay hungry, stay lean," Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson said to the crowd as he addressed them from the stage in Lykes Gaslight Square. "We're coming back for more."
Listed below are some more of the comments made from the stage in Lykes Gaslight Square on Tuesday afternoon.
Bucs General Manager Rich McKay
"We've heard a lot about the Eagles fans and we've heard a lot about the Raiders fans. We've heard a lot about all these fans, but I think we all know who the best fans in the United States of America are, and that's the Buccaneers fans. We haven't been through a lot, we've been through more than a lot, and all of you are the reason we're standing here today. We got to play in the game, Jon got to coach the game, the players got to go out there and have fun with it, but you were the people who made it happen. Don't forget that for a minute."
Bucs Head Coach Jon Gruden
"All I can say is, I love you so much. There's a storm warning out there. We've got a heck of a football team and we're just getting started, so keep in tune with us. I love you."
Tampa Bay Pro Bowl Linebacker Derrick Brooks
"You all are the best fans in the world. Thank God for the World Championship and we hope that we'll be back here doing this again next year."
Bucs Pro Bowl Strong Safety John Lynch
"I want to get one thing straight. A lot was made about me going to my hometown with my team to win this championship. I was raised in San Diego, but my hometown is Tampa. I've been here for 10 years and I've been waiting a long time to do this, so help me out – 'We're Number One!'"
Bucs Pro Bowl Quarterback Brad Johnson
"One moment in my life, I wanted to say that I was part of a World Champion. (Johnson then started 'Tampa – Bay' and 'World – Champ' chants). Stay hungry, stay lean, we're coming back for more."
Bucs Pro Bowl Fullback Mike Alstott
"Hey, Tampa, this is about you, baby. I love you. It's all about you. I'm so happy for you. You've deserved this for such a long time. I love you. Thank you for all your support."
Tampa Bay Wide Receiver Keyshawn Johnson
"All I know is that when I got traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I had an opportunity to go to a whole lot of other places to play. But knowing Warren Sapp and knowing that defense, I knew I was going to get me a World Championship. And it came two years later. Now guess what? As Mike Alstott said, all I know is I'm looking to repeat."
Tampa Bay Free Safety Dexter Jackson
"First of all, I want to say thanks to you guys, the fans. You guys have always been there for us. During the season when we struggled, you guys were the 12th man on the field. We needed that 12th man. I just want to say, 'Eee-yah!'"
Bucs Cornerback Ronde Barber
"I want you all to keep this party alive for 363 days and we'll be right back juicing next year as Super Bowl Champions. Repeat, baby!"
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