Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs 2002 Super Bowl team honored at halftime

9

December

Keyshawn Johnson and Jon Gruden hugged. Brad Johnson cried. And Warren Sapp strutted. The old gang was back as the Bucs honored the 2002 Super Bowl championship team at halftime of Sunday’s game with the Eagles.

The group had got together for a reception Saturday night, then scattered – both in suites and on the sidelines – at Raymond James Stadium, wearing their jerseys. Sapp, Derrick Brooks and Brad Johnson were among those as honorary captains for the coin toss.

“It’s a party,” Sapp said. “We told more lies and drank more liquor last night than a little bit – we got that all out of the way. It was great to see all the guys back together, many of us came back and made an effort to get back and be part of something special.
 
"Our fans were tremendous... I just wanted to come back and say thank you for everything they did for us because without them, we wouldn't have had a shot.''
 
And at halftime, all 21 starters were introduced, one-by-one. Simeon Rice, Keyshawn Johnson, Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson. Sapp. John Lynch. Brooks, the team’s leader, was the final player who ran out on the field. CB Ronde Barber, the lone active member of the 2002 team, did not participate in the ceremony, but was also introduced and received a large ovation. Last, but not least, Gruden – hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in the air – joined the group out at midfield, and gave a short speech.
 
“We had a great group of players," Gruden told the crowd. "We had a great team. Please, give this group of Tampa Bay Buccaneers players the same support you gave us, and you'll be back.” 

-- JOE SMITH
 

[Last modified: Sunday, December 9, 2012 4:12pm]

    

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