Watching the game in Orlando
Melissa Harris, The Orlando Sentinel , published 27 January 2003

Tampa Bay fans across Central Florida erupted in screams, whistles, chants and dances Sunday night as the Buccaneers snared two back-to-back touchdowns during the tense final moments against the Oakland Raiders.

"Hey, hey, hey, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay!" hundreds of football fans shouted at Friday's Front Row Bar & Grill on International Drive as the Bucs nailed their first Super Bowl triumph in the team's 27-year history.

Beer, ribs and chicken wings flowed as television sets blared at bars and house parties throughout the region. At home in Longwood, Chris Romer, 30, a former Tampa resident, said he hadn't had this much reason to celebrate in 10 years, so his party-planning skills were a little rusty.

"We didn't realize you had to reserve a keg in advance for Super Bowl Sunday," Romer said as he watched the game on a 6-inch television next to the keg. "We got the last keg Albertson's had." Romer, who had about 45 friends over for a combination Super Bowl party and chili contest, had to settle for Michelob Light to go with the 14 entries. "I'm a little worried for later," he said before halftime. "We only have two bathrooms, and we've all been eating chili."

But Gators Wings in the Waterford Lakes shopping center was prepared. The eatery ordered 60 extra cases -- or about 60,000 -- of the wings for the day. "On a busy day, we normally sell 12 boxes total, so you can see what how crazy it is," assistant manager Jay Dery said as the take-out line snaked out the door at 4:30 p.m.

Wherever one went it was difficult to escape the hoopla. Shoppers at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on U.S. Highway 192 in Kissimmee heard the game results announced over the loudspeaker. Even at the land of make-believe, Walt Disney World, big-screen TVs were tuned in to the game at the Old Key West Resort, the All Stars Resort food courts and other locations, spokeswoman Rena Callahan said.

Notably absent at many celebrations, however, were Bucs flags, jerseys and other paraphernalia, which apparently aren't easy to find thanks to decades of NFL futility. For the same reason, it was almost as difficult in some quarters to find Tampa Bay loyalists. "We only have one hard-core Bucs fan here," Jason Rosenblat, 21, a marketing student at the University of Central Florida and Oakland Raiders booster, said during his get-together. "Everyone else is just here to