20 YEARS OF RAYMOND JAMES STADIUMBy David Gillespie for BUCPOWER.COMIs it really two decades since the Pirate Ship and Buccaneer Cove debuted? When a B-52 bomber flew over Tampa and the Buccaneers’ second-ever home opened its doors to fans and players alike? Much has changed since September 20,1998 but the visual image of Raymond James Stadium remains iconic around the NFL. Fire the cannons!The 1998 Bucs played their five pre-season games on the road and their first two regular season games away from Tampa too as workers rushed to finish in time for the official opening. The team still trained at the old One Buc Place where International Plaza now sits and the first home Sunday brought cloudy and wet weather for the arrival of the Chicago Bears to play the 0-2 Buccaneers.There were teething problems such as a few escalators not working which led to a few grumbles to the local media and when the Bucs fell 15-0 down at half-time to a plainly inferior Bears team, there were grumbles aplenty around the new stadium. And then it all turned round. Trent Dilfer threw a pair of touchdown passes including a one-handed grab by Dave Moore, Warrick Dunn scored on a highlight play run and dive and Mike Alstott capped the first 100-yard game in RJS with a score of his own. The final was 27-15 and it was not even that close in the second half. "We had to have this one," Warren Sapp said. "We didn't give the fans much to get off their hands about in the first half. But once we got it going, it was great. It got deafening out there in the second half and that's what you want from your home field. I love this place already." The late Malcolm Glazer had taken part in the official opening ceremony before the game with representatives of the Tampa Sports Authority and this site’s esteemed editor, Paul Stewart, was guest of honor in the front row at the 50-yard line having flown in from London for the game. The Bucs were as splendid in the second half as they had been wretched in the first. Their 192 rushing yards in the second half were a club record. They recorded 18 of their 20 first downs after halftime. And Dilfer went 8-for-9 passing for 109 yards and two TDs. "I did not think it was possible offensively for us to come out and play as poorly as we did in the first half," Dilfer said. "I don't want to sound like a bummer. We won the first game in the new stadium. Great. Hip, hip hooray. Wonderful. But we've got to get better offensively. We can't do these things. We can't fumble the football. We can't drop balls. We can't throw slants on the first third down high. It's everybody."