TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Team stores are gearing up and getting excited for football season– especially the Bucs home opener this weekend.
Tampa Bay is taking on the Chicago Bears at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“I’m actually going on Sunday,” Bucs Fan Kasen Jones said. “A buddy hit me up, he had free tickets, so I couldn’t turn that down.”
Jones is a die-hard Bucs fan, unlike Antonio Paul, the other football fan we talked to.
“I might get backlash on this,” Paul said. “I was way, way, way back in the day. But my girlfriend is so I kind of have to play devil’s advocate on that.”
Although a Saints fan, Paul said he’s going to see the Bucs season through.
“I actually want the Bucs to prove everyone wrong and go back to the Super Bowl,” Paul said. “Just to kind of shut all of the naysayers up.”
It sounded like it’s possible Paul will find himself buying Bucs gear at the start of next season. Nearby team stores like Heads and Tails said there is always a rush before a Bucs home game.
“Even last week with our first away game,” Heads and Tails owner Adam Snyder said. “There’s something about this year and the unknown of how we’re going to do that I think fans are excited about.”
After losing Tom Brady, many Bucs fans didn’t know who they would trust as quarterback. Baker Mayfield led the Bucs to a win over the Vikings last week and fans seemed to like what they saw.
“I was a doubter, but after watching Sunday’s game he turned me into a believer,” Jones said. “The heart, the leadership, the grit, I love that.”
Jones said he would know after this week if he should invest in a Mayfield jersey.
The team store in the stadium opens at 9:30 a.m. Sunday if fans need any last-minute gear.
Parking lots also open at 9:30 a.m. Gates to Raymond James stadium open at 11:30 a.m.