Looking ahead to the 2004 season OFF the field
American visitors to this site are going to have to excuse much of this piece - you guys can simply flick on your TV and watch the Bucs from the comfort of your own home if you are not a Raymond James Stadium season ticket holder. But for Buc fans on this side of the Atlantic, well we have come a long way in the 20 years of the Bucs UK. But there are still ways to improve your enjoyment of the Buccaneers further than you probably think. The aim of this editorial is to show you how to do this.

In 2003, Buc games were not available over the internet apart from the odd weekend when we found an opposing team's broadcast via another station. But for 2004, you can once again listen to Gene Deckerhoff and Scot Brantley call every game just like I did for the pre-season opener against the Bengals. The NFL Field Pass is $29.95. This gives you access to every game broadcast and tons of video clips including great ones for James Wilder and Ricky Bell. So for less than 15, you can get every Buccaneer game over the internet.

NASN is now pretty much an essential subscription for American sports fans in the UK. They will never get regular or post-season NFL games, but their peripheral coverage of the NFL is simply superb right now. From 4pm Sunday you have NFL Countdown with Chris Berman and the gang in a two-hour preview of that day's games. There are daily half-hour NFL shows with Trey Wingo and then the excellent Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption shows each night. It's 9.99 per month and all the details can be found by clicking on the logo on the left.

For BUCPOWER.COM, I am very aware that we now have two target audiences with this site. Many Buc fans come here as I amalgamate all the best stories on the Buccaneers on this site, whilst others love the comprehensive history sections and features. For the 2004 season, I will strive to keep both markets happy, but guaranteed it will always be free to visit this site without any hidden screens, subscription services or pop-ups.

We will have regular competitions of both a trivia and prediction contest basis throughout the next few months. We would also love to hear your comments and views on the Buccaneers or BUCPOWER.COM in general.

During Buc games, we will post details of the First Down forum chatroom too. This was really popular during 2003 especially the week when the Bucs UK simply took over the room from the other fans there. And the week we abused Graeme Reid about Scotland's 6-1 loss to Holland was pretty funny too.

Of course though, you could always just rely on reading Worst Down every week - apparently that jealous prat Andy Colvin has a great story about a 5th stringer in New England once having been to a NFL Europe game and sharing a beer with him.

Paul Stewart, August 2004