Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Think you're a big Bucs fan? Meet some who endured Bucs-Washington

TAMPA — Cannons fired from the other end of the stadium as Roberto Aguayo's 50-yard field goal sailed through the uprights early in the third quarter of the Bucs' game Wednesday. Young Jackson French was startled by the noise.

Give him a break. It was his first Bucs game, and it was the team's first points of the night against the Redskins.

"What do you say?" his dad, Jack, asked with excitement.

Jackson didn't know what to say. He just pointed to the Bucs logo on his T-shirt and brushed a few strands of his wet hair from his forehead. Jackson, 4, and his dad made the trip through the pouring rain from Brooksville to attend the Bucs' final preseason game of the year, the one in which all the regulars sat out, the one that was moved from Thursday night to Wednesday because of bad weather from what became Hurricane Hermine.

The Frenches were among the 9,457 fans — as counted through the turnstiles by the Tampa Sports Authority — who ignored the weather to attend. (The announced crowd of 42,996 was based on total tickets distributed.)

"Oh, yeah, I watch the weather," Jack French said, "but I wasn't going to disappoint the boy."

Besides, the rain gradually lessened after kickoff to a light drizzle during the second half.

"We're having fun," said Jamie Chauncey, who attended the game with her husband, Dusty.

The two made the ride from Inverness, first stopping at Walmart for a pair of $4 red ponchos.

Ponchos were the outerwear of choice for fans. Some were clear. Others were yellow. Some fans came dressed in rain slickers or waterproof hunting gear. Others wore Bucs jerseys and ball caps.

Donnie Howard wore red shorts, Crocs and a clear poncho. He left his Jameis Winston jersey and favorite Bucs cap at home so they wouldn't get ruined.

Donnie and his wife, Amanda, live a few blocks from Raymond James Stadium. They made the five-minute walk, arriving outside the stadium a few minutes before kickoff and purchased two tickets in the south end zone for $20.

"It's actually better than I thought it would be," Donnie said. "I was expecting to get drenched, but this isn't too bad. I might take off the poncho shortly."

What brought them out of the comfort of their home into a night like that? Easy. "The Bucs," Donnie said. "It's looking kind of sloppy, but I'm spending time with my babes, so that's all that matters."

Football, family and friends. That's what made fans ignore the forecast and turn a blind eye to the weather-radar maps. It's what made them sit through a rainy night to see the home team playing with backups and players soon to be cut slog its way to a 20-13 loss.

It was a date night for the Chaunceys. The tickets were free, so why not? "It got us out of the house," Dusty said.

Not even the threat of severe weather could turn them back.

"We looked at the storm on the radar coming in, and I thought it was going to be just a downpour," Dusty said. "I thought they would cancel the game, but we got here and it was just a light drizzle."

Some wondered why the game was even going to be played as the storm slammed the area late Wednesday afternoon. Streets were flooded. Traffic on the interstates leading to Tampa slowed to a crawl.

The teams warmed up in a heavy rain. Need one word to describe the pregame setting? How about miserable? Still, the fans came.

"It wasn't going to be miserable," Jack French said. "We got to see a football game. It was all good."

   
Comments
Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFLís worst

Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFLís worst

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has key statistics that he puts great value in, finding a close correlation between success in those areas and success on the scoreboard. Winning the takeaway battle is always first among those priorities, but he and his staff...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Bucs journal: Brent Grimes matches Richard Sherman for INTs since 2013

Bucs journal: Brent Grimes matches Richard Sherman for INTs since 2013

TAMPA ó CB Brent Grimes picked up his third interception of the season in Sundayís loss to the Lions, tying him for the Bucsí team lead and with another, more impressive group.Since the start of the 2013 season, Grimes has 20 interceptions, tying him...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Could report of rift relate to Jameis Winstonís damaged brand?

Could report of rift relate to Jameis Winstonís damaged brand?

TAMPA ó What we have at One Buc Place is a game of Clue. The whodunit in this case is the person(s) who put out the information that quarterback Jameis Winstonís relationship with coach Dirk Koetter is on cracked ice.Was it Winston in the weight room...
Published: 12/11/17
Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Another close game that got away

Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Another close game that got away

Greg Auman looks back on the Bucs’ 24-21 loss to the Lions.
Published: 12/11/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

The Bucs guarantee another losing season after turning the ball over five times in a 24-21 loss to the Lions.
Published: 12/11/17
The Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship: It’s complicated

The Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship: It’s complicated

† TAMPA — There are lies, damn lies and statistics, none of which are working in favor of Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter avoiding a split in the near future. Even before the Bucs turned the football over five times and lost to the Detroit Li...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17
Report: Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship ‘is not in a good place’

Report: Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship ‘is not in a good place’

Jameis Winston is displeased with how coach Dirk Koetter has handled Winston's shoulder injury and the Bucs offense, according to an NFL Network report Sunday. “The relationship between quarterback Jameis Winston and Koetter is not in a good p...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17
Jones: Why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter won’t survive this

Jones: Why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter won’t survive this

† TAMPA — Dirk Koetter isn’t going to return as coach of the Bucs next season. That’s not official. No announcement has been made. No press conference is scheduled. It’s not an absolute fact. Not yet. And this isn’t a...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17
NFL Week 14: What we learned

NFL Week 14: What we learned

Aaron Rodgers is ready to return, but is he needed in Green Bay? Backup QB Brett Hundley is 2-0 in OT; Rodgers is 1-7. The Pack has its Mr. Clutch, right? Yeah, right. Its 27-21 OT win at Cleveland keeps it alive for a wild-card spot. Mr. Rodgers, yo...
Published: 12/10/17
Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

TAMPA ó The Bucsí unlikely comeback to erase a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter was capped by the most unlikely of targets. Tampa Bay tied the game when Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard pass to 305-pound Leonard Wester, a backup lineman who lined ...
Published: 12/10/17