TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – On Jan. 26, 2003, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made history. For the first time ever, Tampa Bay hailed a Lombardi Trophy and was crowned World Champions in Super Bowl XXXVII.
For nearly three decades, die-hard Buccaneers fans watched as their team inched near a Super Bowl debut, but fell just short of reaching the big game. Until 20 years ago today, when the Bucs finally got their taste of dawning a Super Bowl ring.
Known as the “Pirate Bowl,” fans packed Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, to watch their team take on the Oakland Raiders, now known as the Las Vegas Raiders.
By halftime, Tampa Bays’ defense dominated the Raiders by returning three out of five interceptions for touchdowns, shutting down any hope Oakland may have had for a hail-mary comeback.
The Buccaneers ended their historic season with a first-ever NFC Championship win and an NFL Championship. Coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Brad Johnson led the team to a 48-21 victory over the Raiders.
Following the Buccaneers’ triumphant Super Bowl win, the championship drought would continue for another 18 years, until future hall-of-fame quarterback Tom Brady came to town in 2020.
After spending 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, Brady joined the Buccaneers in 2020. In the same season Brady became the starting QB for the Bucs, he led the franchise to a second Super Bowl victory.
The second Lombardi trophy could arguably be as historic as the first one, considering the second win took place right here at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay.