A few Sunday’s ago, we had the chance to throw on our Bucs gear, throw back some beers and watch Josh Freeman throw some touchdown passes as we took in our first Bucs game of the season. Now I will admit, I am an Eagles fan through and through, (I know what you’re thinking– really? They’re still letting Vick start?) but being down in Tampa now I have to adjust.
On a Sunday morning we all met up and made our own game plan. First, the essentials for tailgating- beer and food. We unfortunately didn’t have a grill (first order of business for the Bucs/Birds tailgate) so we made some sandwiches and stocked our cooler. Next would be the car situation- since the parking cost $25 we decided to cram all 6 of us into our friend’s CRV. Luckily, we only live about 5 minutes from the stadium so it wasn’t complete torture for the person in the back. Once we got there we set up our tailgate.
Here are a few things we will know for next time:
1) Bring a grill- while our sandwiches were fine it definitely didn’t feel the same without downing some burgers and dogs,
2)Bring chairs- hanging out of the back of your trunk is fine if you have a truck (or one of those station wagons where two people could sit and look out the back window. I don’t know how that passed safety tests, not too mention the fact that drinking beer and driving backwards cannot make for a great combination- dont drink & drive). so bring some chairs for comfort.
3)Bring trash bags- we had the good fortune of someones blowing over to us, we waited for someone to claim it but they never did- Score! Free trash bag!
4)Bring a football, or an extra table or something to entertain yourselves- we resorted to a card game on an iPhone. (not as much fun as having the honor of kicking your friend’s asses in a good ol’ fashion game of flip cup)
(If you have any other tailgating tips that you wanna share with the class, feel free to do so below 🙂 )
After we had a successful buzz on, we were ready to make our way into the stadium. I have only been in the stadium once when I had the good fortune of volunteering at the Super Bowl during my junior year of college, but had never attended a Bucs game, so I was pretty pumped. On our way to the stadium we stopped by the “Zone Bar” bus and grabbed some free bars (they definitely came in handy later) After waiting in line, getting our bags and bodies checked, we were ready for some football!
First things first, drinks- no one wants to get to their seats and make the 5 people on the end get up only to make them get up 5 minutes later after kickoff when you realize you’re gonna need some delicious treats to make it to halftime. After we grabbed a few brews we made our way to our seats. Just to rub it in a little- here was our view:
After we settled into our seats we took in the atmosphere and couldn’t believe how packed the stadium was (it did not look like a team that gets blacked out every Sunday- not literally). Today they would be taking on their NFC South rivals the New Orleans Saints (1-4 coming into the game). The Bucs came in with 2-3 record so we knew we were in for good game. We spent the first half at our seats but got a little antsy (and hungry) during the second half so we began our trek towards the ship. It took us the entire halftime to get from one end of the stadium to the other, but along the way we ran into tons of people we knew and got a chance see more of the stadium.
Once we got to the ship we grabbed some snacks and made our way back towards the field. This is a great place to watch the game, especially if you want to get up and stretch your legs. We stayed down by the ship for the remainder of the game. The game was close the entire time but at the end the Bucs couldn’t pull off the win 😦 Despite the loss we had such a good time supporting them and I for one cannot wait to get back to Ray Jay to see the Bucs take on my Eagles, and this time- we’ll be ready!