TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — For just the second time in franchise history, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are heading to the Super Bowl. And this time, they have the unique advantage of playing the big game at home.
The Buccaneers will be the first team ever to play a Super Bowl on their home field when they take the field against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium.
It will also be just the second time ever a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team has played in a Super Bowl. The last time the Bucs made it to the big game was in 2003 when then-head coach Jon Gruden led his team to Super Bowl XXXVII at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego against the Oakland Raiders.
Super Bowl XXXVII: Jan. 26, 2003
The Buccaneers defense helped lead the team to a 48-21 win over the Raiders, recording five interceptions and three interceptions returned for touchdowns. The Bucs defense was able to hold the Raiders to just 269 total yards while the Tampa Bay offense recorded 365 yards.
Tampa Bay quarterback Brad Johnson threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Wide receiver Keenan McCardell scored two touchdowns while running back Mike Alstott tallied one.
Cornerback Dwight Smith returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the second half of the game and then linebacker Derrick Brooks secured the Bucs’ win in the fourth quarter with the team’s third interception returned for a touchdown.
Bucs safety Dexter Jackson was named Super Bowl MVP.
Celebrations in Tampa: Jan. 28, 2003
The Buccaneers returned home from San Diego after the big game and paraded through Tampa on Jan. 28, just two days after the win.
According to the Bucs, more than 150,000 fans flooded downtown Tampa and crowded office buildings in the city to celebrate the champions.
It was the first championship for the city’s major professional sports teams. The Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League won the Stanley Cup Championship for the first time one year later, in 2004.