Richard Kelly held a little party Monday on the anniversary of the Bucs' Super Bowl championship in the 2002 season. Three red balloons and two black ones floated still above a tray of 12 cupcakes. It was 3:30 p.m., and eight cupcakes remained.
"We try to celebrate it every year,'' he said, coming out from around the sales counter at Buccaneer Heaven on N Florida Avenue in Tampa.
Kelly has missed one Bucs game in 33 years. In 1987, he was in an "inventory investigation" lockdown at his old job at Sears and missed the Bucs blowing a 28-3 fourth-quarter lead against the then-St. Louis Cardinals.
The Bucs' Super Bowl win remains his most memorable.
At the store Monday, the last of the merchandise from that Super Bowl was on sale: a vanity license tag for $5, hats for $10 and a stack of Keyshawn Johnson bobbleheads for $5 apiece.
"And there's more of those in the back.''
And while Kelly told one customer he didn't like the way ex-coach Jon Gruden was being "kicked while he's down," Chucky dolls were marked down from $49.99 to $24.88.
John C. Cotey, Times staff writer
Prospects compete in skills challenge
The University of Tampa's Pepin Stadium, a field usually used for soccer, transformed into a football obstacle course Monday, with line markers, tackling dummies and moving targets. The purpose: Top NFL draft prospects taped the annual College All-Star Challenge.
The event, a skills contest that has been held in the Super Bowl host city for 11 years, will be broadcast from 4-6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN. Of 88 college players who have participated, 35 (including Donovan McNabb, Reggie Wayne, Braylon Edwards, Vince Young, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco) were first-round draft picks.
"I don't think any of us have done anything like this, and that's what I like about it," former Missouri QB Chase Daniel said. "We're competing, and we're all on the same ground."
This year's top prospects included Daniel, Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell, North Carolina WR Hakeem Nicks, UConn RB Donald Brown, Ball State QB Nate Davis and Oklahoma WR Juaquin Iglesias.
Students filled the modest grandstand, with one sign saying, "Hey mom, I'm skipping 2 classes for this."
Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer
Let's all stay home on Monday morning
Tired of cutting short your Super Bowl postgame festivities because you have to be up for work Monday morning? Superbowlmonday.com is devoted to making the day after the big game a national holiday, "the first athletic holiday celebrating the competitive spirit."
A petition has more than 17,000 confirmed signatures, and contact information for your congressmen is available. There are $10 T-shirts and $1.50 bumper stickers for sale.
We're thinking if the holiday is granted, superbowltuesday.com will soon follow.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer