When the Saints marched into Raymond James Stadium last Sunday, so did a lot of celebrities.
The Bucs game against New Orleans brought out the most celebs all season, from crooner Harry Connick Jr. to basketball legend Dick Vitale.
As always, the Bucs did their best to welcome the stars by taking their picture and, in some cases, showing their face on the big screens.
"When we catch wind of celebrities planning to attend a game, we certainly will announce their presence, should they wish,'' said Bucs spokesman Jonathan Grella.
Many times, the Glazers invite the celebs to the owner's suite, as was the case with Vitale, who greeted the crowd during the game. Other times, stars just buy a ticket and show up, like Connick. Depending on the celeb, he or she may interact with fans.
Connick's appearance should come as no surprise. He's been in town filming Dolphin Tale, in which he plays the director of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of the famed dolphin, Winter. He's also a native of New Orleans and a big Saints fan, as most of his admirers know.
Other celebrities in Sunday's crowd of red and pewter were Janet Dacal, who's playing the leading role of Alice in the Broadway production of Wonderland — A New Alice, and Darren Ritchie, who plays Jack. The Bucs paid a special tribute to Joe Maddon and the Tampa Bay Rays during the third quarter, and former baseball star Gary Sheffield cheered from the suite.
Of course, every game draws a bunch of former Bucs players, including Scot Brantley, Jimmy DuBose, David Lewis, Steve Wilson and Richard "Batman'' Wood whose pictures from Sunday's game were posted on the Bucs' website, Buccaneers.com.
American Idol's Big Mike Lynche, who grew up in St. Petersburg, attended the home opener against the Cleveland Browns. Several Orlando Magic basketball players attended the Pittsburgh Steelers game.
The Bucs usually find out late in the week who might be coming to the game. So far the celebrity roster for Sunday's matchup with the St. Louis Rams includes former Bucs players Dave Green, Sean Farrell, Kevin House, David Gibson and Mark Royals. No Hollywood stars yet, but you never know.