Sunday, September 23, 2018
Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers-San Diego Chargers: Remembering the 'Yuck-aneers' game

The Bucs play in San Diego on Sunday, a trip to one of the true cradles in franchise history.

They also won the Super Bowl there.

Yeah, there was that.

But first let's remember and salute the 20th anniversary of one of the great moments in Bucs history:

The "Yucks" game.

Our story takes place on Nov. 17, 1996, in a San Diego hotel room occupied by two future Bucs Hall of Famers, Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp. They roomed together. Imagine. Brooks and Sapp.

The Bucs are 2-8, struggling under first-year coach Tony Dungy.

It's game day. They're playing the Chargers.

Here's how Brooks and Sapp remember it:

They're in the room, doing their usual deal. Sapp, having done his studying, is watching TV. Brooks, who could never study enough, is hard at work with his highlighter. Sapp is respecting his quiet.

"Him going through the playbook, going over the game plan, highlighting every line," Sapp once told me. "That's Brooks all over."

Anyway, that TV is on. Sapp is watching ESPN. Chris Berman is on the screen, talking about the Bucs, about Trent Dilfer's lousy quarterback rating, talking about the … Yuck-aneers.

"Are you kidding me?" Sapp says, turning to Brooks, who nods.

"We got to do something about this," Brooks says.

"Got to," Sapp says.

The Bucs win that day in San Diego, 25-17, and a lot of days and seasons after.

A lot of old Bucs point to the Yucks game in San Diego as a turning point.

Maybe someone on TV will say something snippy about these Bucs on Sunday.

The lads could use it.

Stay tuned.

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