Bucs practice - 21 October 2011
In the 27 years I have been running the Bucs UK, there have been many special moments. Each time we have found ourselves on the sideline for games, being featured in the media or welcomed to One Buc Place, we have always thought that would be the ultimate highpoint in club history. And every time we find a higher and better peak to scale next.
This was surely the crowing moment. 30 Bucs UK members being invited to watch practice, having their pictures taken with their heroes and being treated like royalty. The looks on everyone's faces were like kids at Christmas. Actually make that Christmas, birthdays and a whole lot more rolled into one.
I really did have to take time to sit back and watch for a while - it made me so proud what the Bucs UK has achieved over these years and how so many friends were able to experience a little of what I have been fortunate enough to do.
LaGarrette Blount and Gerald McCoy both missed practice so spent a long time talking with club members and signing autographs and posing for pictures. Mark Dominik joined us as did Brian Ford.
The main highlight of practice was the offensive goal-line drills being conducted right in front of us. There was some chanting for a favourite player and when he scored, the ball came flying up into the Bucs UK group in celebration to massive cheers from the offense on the field. The fight to catch the ball was pretty spectacular too!
Once practice ended, nearly every player stopped to sign anything and everything. And after Josh Freeman had gone right down the line talking to everyone, he checked with Allen Barrett of the PR team to ask if he should go back down the line again to ensure no-one had missed out. What an incredible person he is.
This was the final day of practice in Surrey and the Bucs moved back to their London hotel location afterwards. I was able to join them there in the evening to have drinks with TJ Rives of the Buccaneer radio crew.
Whilst waiting for him, I got talking with Bryan and Joel Glazer who were delighted to hear how well things went today for everyone and are looking forward to seeing all the people coming on the Houston tour next month. They are going to Old Trafford on Sunday and then getting a helicopter down to Wembley for the Bucs' game.
TJ and I were talking Buc stories for a couple of hours in the lobby whilst being interrupted by the likes of Tanard Jackson, Mark Dominik, Earnest Graham and Josh Freeman. Most of the players had the evening off and I bumped into a lot of new friends walking down Park Lane back to the tube station.