Worth waiting for
Tampa Bay’s 13-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans this past Sunday was a long time coming.
A LOOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG TIME!!
Seriously, it is the first time the Buccaneers have defeated the Titans (formerly known as the Houston Oilers) since November 27, 1983.
Way back when Ronald Reagan was still in his first presidential term and the number one film was Terms of Endearment, the Buccaneers battled the Oilers in what was billed as the original REPUS Bowl (REPUS is SUPER spelled backward).
The final score was 33-24 and the Buccaneers behind “Throwin’ Samoan” Jack Thompson scored five offensive touchdowns in one game, a Tampa Bay record at the time. Of course, Bill Capece missed two extra points (this was shortly before Capece became kaput!). What did you expect of a game featuring two 1-11 teams?
With 24 years between victories, this was the longest such drought in the history of the Buccaneers. The team that now owns the longest reign over the Buccaneers is the New York Jets, a team Tampa has not defeated since the season finale of 1984. This was the infamous “Buccaneer Flop” game.
The Bucs won’t have a chance to play the Jets again until the 2009 season, which means the Jets reign over the Bucs will be even longer than the Oilers/Titans. By 2009, it will be a quarter century since the Bucs beat the Jets.
As far as dominance, the Oilers/Titans all-time record against the Bucs stood at 7-1, which is the same record the San Diego Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks have against Tampa Bay. Those darn Jets hold an 8-1 record against the Bucs, which is the most lopsided series in Tampa Bay history.
This season the Buccaneers get a chance to end a drought that has existed for more than a decade: The Jacksonville Jaguars have not been beaten by the Buccaneers since 1995 (the Jags first season). Since that 17-16 victory, the Bucs have lost to the Jaguars twice in Jacksonville (1998 and 2003).
The game on the 28th of October will be big for the Bucs for many reasons, but it will also be big for fans that would like to end twelve years of coming up short to that Johnny-Come-Lately franchise in the northeast corner of the Sunshine State. Evening the series against Jacksonville would also go a long ways towards getting the Buccaneers into an unexpected (by me at least) playoff push.
History may not be on the Bucs side, but the law of averages may!
Denis Crawford, October 2007