TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A B-1 bomber is now on display at MacDill Air Force Base after arriving Thursday afternoon from Texas for a visit; a visit triggered by Super Bowl LV.
The pilot, Major Patrick Burke, will not be flying that bomber over Raymond James Stadium on Sunday but he will be attending the game as a representative for his fellow service members.
“What they do is a lot more important, a lot more valuable, for our country than what we do,” said Martin Gramatica, a former NFL kicker who won the Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003.
Gramatica actually received a tour of that B-1 bomber from Burke.
“We complain on an airplane when we get the middle seat,” said Gramatica with a laugh, “but there is not much comfort on these fighter jets and these guys never complain so it gives you a nice perspective and we thank them for everything they do.”
The NFL, along with a handful of Buccaneers representatives, went to the base to deliver that message of gratitude.
Gramatica explained why he is extremely thankful for the service of Burke and his team.
“I grew up in Argentina,” he said, “and I came here when I was 9, so I know what it is like to not have freedoms, or at least my family does back home back in Argentina. So I thank the military every day for our freedoms here because this is why we have the best country in the world for men and women.”
When he was asked about the success of his former team this season, Gramatica beamed with pride.
“It has been a long time,” he said. “It has been a hard road for us to get back to the Super Bowl. For us to play it at home, it is just amazing for our fans and our organization.”
Gramatica is still connected to the organization as a broadcaster on the official Spanish flagship radio station, WTMP-FM 96.1 and WMGG-AM 1470, so he will also be at the game.
“It is amazing to be able to, not only watch my team in the Super Bowl, but to be able to work and call it so I cannot wait,” he said. “I am so excited for that.”
He did not share any predictions but he feels confident in the coaches and in the talent on the Buccaneers’ roster.
“Our goal was not just to get to the Super Bowl,” said Gramatica, “but it is to win it, so we have one more step to make history and, hopefully, we can do that on Sunday.”