“It’s Basically A Drunkfest”

March 14th, 2011

Joe’s going to preface this Bucs post by saying he grew up as a wide-eyed, NFL-obsessed little tyke collecting football cards and watching a washed up Joe Namath leave the Jets and thinking newcomer running backs Clark Gaines and Kevin Long were surefire Hall of Famers.

Hey, little kids love their teams. And little kids love going to games.

Young Joe never felt it was out of place at Shea Stadium when his uncle and friends didn’t let Joe drink out of “the red Thermos” that smelled funny. And Joe thought it seemed perfectly righteous when chants of “Bullsh*t” and other foul language rang through the crowd as fans bought two and three Budweisers from the beer guy in the fourth quarter to wash away another Jets loss.

Those experiences and more were fond, lasting, almost wholesome memories for Joe. But now it seems a lot of people think a Bucs game — and other NFL games — is no place for a kid.

On today’s Fabulous Sports Babe Show on WHBO-AM 1040, the Sports Babe explained to Tampa Tribune Bucs beat writer Roy Cummings that a caller told her he wouldn’t take a 10-year-old to a Bucs game because of the behavior throughout the drunken crowd. She went on to say subsequent callers agreed and then asked Cummings to give his take.

Cummings was on board with the premise that a Bucs game is no place for a youngster and possibly not even himself, if he were a fan and not an esteemed working journalist.

“That’s America and it’s the same [in other all other cities]. … It’s basically a drunkfest. And when people get drunk and stupid, you know, they do stupid things. No. I’m not sure I would take a 10-year-old to a Buccaneers game, either,” Cummings said.

“In fact, to be honest with you, I’m not sure I would attend a Buccaneers game if I was just a fan. I used to be a Buccaneers season ticket holder back in the day and I gotta say, it’s not the most pleasant of experiences. It’s certainly not for me anyway as pleasant as going to a hockey game or a baseball game. There is something different going on in the crowd [at NFL games] that’s a little bit different than the other sports.

“I think it’s just kind of the culture of what football is. They’re liquored up early. They get liquored up more during the game. They can’t control themselves and things, you know, happen. Fights break out. Beers get thrown around.  Things happen. If you’re willing to accept that and deal with that, go ahead and have a good time at the game. If not, I’d stay away.”

Joe’s saddened to hear all this.

Is it really that bad at a Bucs game? Is it really inappropriate for a 10-year-old?

Full disclosure: Back in 2004, Joe took his then 5-year-old to her first Bucs game and sat two seats away from a guy who screamed the F word at the top of his lungs about 10 times during the game, despite being asked by his girlfriend and others around him to can it since there was a kid nearby.

That said, Joe really doesn’t believe Bucs games are bad for a 10-year-old kid. There’s really not much trouble and most parents should be able to steer their kids away from it, or at least have some teaching dialogue about whatever shenanigans are happening.

Frankly, a Bucs game experience is nothing compared to what most kids are hearing in the hallways and lunchrooms of public school.

Take your kid to a game.

39 Responses to ““It’s Basically A Drunkfest””

  1. nick Says:

    I remember being a kid in the old sombrero when you were allowed to smoke. I used to crave the rainy games.

  2. nick Says:

    Besides, there’s nothing wrong with a kid joining in and getting a little rowdy. I’m not gonna ask a kid to sit down in front of me.

  3. Bob Ross Says:

    I have at least two friends who dropped their season tickets because of the cursing, fighting and all-around drunken rudeness.

    I think it depends on the luck of the draw — our seats were in a polite section, so we only saw fights and ejections from a distance.

    We don’t need more rules, just an emphasis on courtesy and respect.

    You can stop laughing now.

  4. Tuggz Says:

    I literally lol when they think Raymond James is “as bad as it gets.”

    Hey Roy, go step in the Lincoln Financial Field, or the Meadowlands, or the Cleveland Browns stadium.

    These are the same people that try to ban tag in school. Seriously.

  5. Dave Says:

    I took my son to a game when he was 2 1/2, 3 1/2, and 4 1/2. Last fall (5 1/2) we didn’t go. No reason other than cash flow and I used to have season tcikets but didn’t renew.
    Plan on taking him again this fall (assuming they get their heads out of their azzzzzzzzes)

    We never had a problem. I have seen some people very drunk, but it seems few and far between. I have never seen a fight up close, but know there have been some here and there.

    Sounds like the Babe and Cummings are WAAAAAAAAAAAY over estimating the issues in my opinion.

  6. 4mcadam Says:

    My 11-year old has been to quite a few games and loves going. Sure there are some drunks, but my neighbors are great and are always respectful when he is with me. His first regualr season game was a few years back when Spurlock took a kickoff back for a TD against the Falcons, and as the crowd stood up, I picked him up (he couldn’t see anymore) and said ‘Son, you’re watching history’…and I still have those tickets today.

    Buccaneer football is a big father-son thing in my house, and sometimes that means at RJS – it is a ‘special occassion’ event.

  7. Gus Says:

    If you are a person who doesn’t curse in front of your children, then you are probably going to be uncomfortable at any NFL game until your kids are well into high school. When I had Bucs season tickets, individuals owned the tickets and you knew your fellow section mates (There goes Joe Redner with another date.) You behave better when you see people every week. Now, real season ticket holders are few and far between, the tickets end up on Stub Hub and people get blitized without any respect for their neighbors. Plus, in the Bucs case the “pirate” theme seems to make everybody act like its Gasparilla. Just a bummer.

  8. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    It has worsened. I believe bc most of us loyal fans quit going in 2009 and gave our tix to friend who went to party.

    I had people last year who were buying tix at the stadium for $20. I went to the lion game paying less than 1/2 price for club level. This team as presently configured has some potential but it is not attracting community interest. This leads to no shows and a lower quality atmosphere.

  9. Z-Buc fan Says:

    I grew up in NY with Giants tickets, and was at the Jets-Raiders game where they were throwing blow-up dolls around the stands while lighting their seats on fire. While there may be an occasional jerk (usually from the visiting team) at the Bucs game, I’ve never worried about taking my children with me.

    We still have our season tickets (stop laughing at me), haven’t missed a game in 3 years, and will be back when/if they start playing again.

  10. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    disappointing to see Cummings saying that when the Bucs are having such a hard time selling out games….

  11. AC (RIs_Buc) Says:

    Thats too bad – If we cant get support from our local writers where are we going to get it.

    Cummings mightve lost me after that read.

    ..thats aside from the fact that I just dont agree with him. If i were a parent I see it as a great opportunity to teach your child a lesson.

  12. Bucnjim Says:

    Never had a problem taking my 2 boys who are younger then 10 to the games. Of course if the Bucs were playing the Eagles there is no way I’d take them. They are the most classless bunch of fans I’ve ever run into. This isn’t a case of a few ruin it for everyone either! Just go to a Flyers, Eagles, or even a Phillies game and if you haven’t experienced them already you are in for a treat.

  13. McBuc Says:

    Z-Buc…Anyone who laughs at you for staying loyal to your team can go jump in the bay! They are fans like Thomas, by that I mean they are not fans at all.

  14. RastaMon Says:

    I don’t know…you’d have to ask my sons…but starting around 1987-88 I took them in turns to Bucs games in the Ole Sombrero, my tickets have always been in the south EZ…back before the Ole Sombreo had seat backs and the stadium was over ridden with all types of drunken Buc bashing game day vistor fans…there was a cornucopia of parental teaching opportunities…and they turned out just fine

  15. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I took my 6 year old daughter to the Browns game, and we had no problems. Besides the heat, we had a great time and I can’t wait to bring her back next year (say it with me, “if there is a next year”).

    Damn, Thomas, why do you have to do everything you can to bring down this team? You must have a really wonderful life. I know you don’t really believe half the stuff you write. So most of the “loyal fans like you” have stopped going? Really, you are a loyal fan? If you are a loyal fan, then I am an extremely unloyal fan. Besides, when the “loyal fans” (laughing hysterically at you calling yourself a loyal fan) are at the game, typically the stands are even rowdier. But once again, I’m sure it’s Raheem and GMC’s fault, because they only attract low class fans that only come to the game to party.

  16. bucnoleguy22 Says:

    my season tixs are in 343, just around the visitors section so iv seen some fights and some incidents, but for the most part its always a good time w nothing to worry about…

  17. WeNeedDefense Says:

    Why is Roy even allowed to write about the Bucs if he himself claims he doesn’t even like going to the game.

    No frikin WONDER he writes the way he does.

  18. BigMacAttack Says:

    Roy’s statement is a complete misrepresentation of our fan base at the CITS. The majority of our fans are polite and considerate. It is an appropriate place for small children if the parents can deal with them. I will say that a screaming baby is far more annoying than loud passionate fans having a few beers. Where do these people come up with this crap. I have only been going to the games since 1993 do to prior military obligations. When people get out of line, other fans quickly call them down. Anything beyond that and Hillsborough’s Finest are Johnny on the Spot, and they are not to be challenged. I will personally Commend all of the Police that work the games. They are vigilant, cool, and do an outstanding job, while giving fans enough latitude to have a good time. Thanks guys. Great Job.

  19. eric Says:

    Drunks I can deal with. Drunks cheering for the Skins and Giants at the last two bucs home playoff games totally pissed me off.

    Never been more sick to my stomach in my life.

    I can imagine how it was with the dang Steelers last year.

    I deeply hate when that happens.

  20. thomas 2.1 Says:


    I like how you take up the argument re: me as a “loyal fan” but avoid the second half of the argument that included “have stopped going.”

    Yes about 30,000 loyal fans (mostly season tix holders stopped going last year – even with the 10 win record. Sure the economy is a contributor but so also is a lack of belief in this regime, the belief that the record is inflated, the distaste for the Glazers, the lack of identity for this team outside of freeman. Yes Williams and Blount were nice additions but they were no-brainers b/c they came so cheap b/c the rest of the league passed on them b/c they are suspensions-in-waiting. I hope they prove me wrong,

    This team (all teams) need a veteran and star presence or the public (not the passionate fan) but the public will not get interested about a bunch of undrafted free agents and 4th to 7th round draft picks that are nice stories but are a dime a dozen. Sorry it is true. The Saints brought in Brees (FA) Vilma (FA) Shockey (trade or fa) Sharper (FA) drafted Bush, Meachem, Hendereson etc and lit up the Big EAsy.

    We need to sign some value free agent vets to go with the cheap young talent for the community. They dont have to be 35, there are 26-29 y.o players that will make this team much better (especially defensively) but the trick is they cost money. MAnu doesnt allow for that kind of player anymore and it pisses me off.

    Ask yourself: how many wins with out Freeman (if he gets hurt) 1, maybe 2? That means the team stinks otherwise. The Pats had a winning record when BRady went down.

  21. Weneeddefense Says:

    The NFL needs a league revenue sharing program set up like baseball… that way the Glazers could drop the ticket prices down to the Bay area’s economic profile.

    Either that or the Glazers should drop the prices to raise attendance, re-create demand and then raise them incrementally while maintaining the demand.

    Mrs. Faine aka ‘the only commenter to get a thread closed on JBF’

    Even the infamous Jim Buc couldn’t pull that one off! 🙂

  22. Hunter Says:

    Still have my season tickets too. It’s a shame when you look at the stands and they’re empty. You just know that those people missing out are missing out big time. The Bucs are one of the best teams in the league right now, and thousands of “fans” in the area don’t know about them………YET.

  23. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I’m not avoiding anything you said, because it is all BS. You don’t have a clue why fans are not coming to the game, because your head is so far up your arse. I love how you always discount the economy, because you haven’t been affected.

    Williams and Blount were no-brainers? Are you serious? I can’t believe I choose to even argue with your dumb arse when you make ridiculous comments like that. I don’t remember you screaming for us to pick them up, and as far as I can tell you have no brain. So now if you get a good player in late rounds (or an undrafted player), you don’t get credit because they are cheap? Since they were passed up by other teams, we don’t get credit for making the pick? No wonder Joe had an entire post addressing your stupidity.

    As for getting 26 year old free agents, apparently you don’t understand the NFL. Players are restricted until their 6th year in the league, which puts them at about 28. However, most of the good players get re-signed after year 4. There are exceptions obviously, but it’s not like there are tons of unrestricted free agents running around in their mid-20s. The ones that are usually have some baggage, which you would of course complain about. You think I’m wrong, go ahead and name some big-time free agents in that age range that haven’t been tendered.

    If Freeman gets hurt, I agree it would be bad. Not 1 or 2 games bad, but bad. What’s your point? He’s a franchise QB, and one of the best in the league, of course there is going to be a drop off. Yes, the Pats had a winning record without Brady, but how did they do in the playoffs? Oh yeah, they didn’t go. If all you want is winning records, you should have been happy last year. But of course you are not, because we have a coach that doesn’t pass the “Thomass test”. You need to really get a grip of yourself.

  24. BamBamBuc Says:

    Have to agree with eric here. I live in Colorado, and do what I can to travel to Tampa for an occasional game. I have had a great time at each game I’ve attended, however, the Philly game a few years ago had a ridiculous amount of Eagles fans, most were drunk from Friday through Sunday, and made the whole weekend less than what it could have been. Regardless, I’d still love to live in the area and go to every game. Of course, I have no children so that is not an issue with me.

  25. below me Says:

    no broads or kids.

  26. syrabucfan Says:

    I have brought my family to a game the last 4 years, from out of town. I have never experienced any of this type of behavior.

  27. BigMacAttack Says:

    I am sure there are some exceptions to the rule, and I saw 3 fights and one set of Big Juggs flapping in the breeze at most likely (the same) Phili Game. I was in 310 and that was about the worst I’ve seen it in 15 years., besides the cops handled it very quickly. So 1 game out of 300 does not qualify for a Bull-anket S#!t statement like the esteemed Mr. Cummings made. People listen to that guy and he does have an influence on some people’s decisions. Surely not any of us idiots but the average Joe(npi) that want’s to take his kid may think twice next time, and that is not helping our team and our cause. Not every drinker is a drunk, and not every drunk is unruly.

    And the Steelers Game was beyond embarrassing. I felt bad for our players, and that was before they got spanked. That game should not have been blacked out, no way Jose.

  28. Joe Says:


    Mrs. Faine aka ‘the only commenter to get a thread closed on JBF’

    Wrong again.

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    The average Joe-Public cares not about who coaches or plays on a team. They care about one thing, and that’s the “W”. Nothing else matters, not money, age, draft status, color, creed or religion. Get the WIN and everyone will love you, except about 3 airheads on this site, and Faine’s B!tch.

  30. Joe Says:


    Get the WIN and everyone will love you, except about 3 airheads on this site, and Faine’s B!tch.


  31. Matt Says:

    Just as a point of reference, my daughter is 4. I’d feel more comfortable taking her to a Rays or Lightning game because of this…but it probably wouldn’t stop me.

  32. thomas 2.1 Says:


    Drew Brees was a 26 y.o free agent coming off a pro bowl season in 2004 with no baggage when he signed with the saints as a free agent after the 05 season i believe. Hence the reason I used the saints as an example of improving your team quickly with vets and stars.

    However, I didnt mean to exclude trading for vets who may be restricted in some form but are available, i.e. Winslow.

    Yes, the bulk of 26 year olds are restricted, but the bulk of 29 year olds are past their first deal and the restricted period. Hence why I provided a range of ages 26-29.

    Namecalling weakens your positions. A winning record but missing the playoffs is not bad -IF YOUR FRANCHISE QB GOES DOWN AND YOU ARE FORCED TO PLAY WITH A SECOND STRINGER. Quite different than the bucs false 10 win season with their franchise qb this year.

  33. oar Says:

    When I go to the games, it makes me feel like a kid, again!
    Unfortunately, I haven’t been able in a couple of years, but my inner-child is eager to get there again!
    There will always be exceptions, I mean come on, thousands of people in one place!? For the most part, and times I went when I was kid, it was nothing new (that I hadn’t heard in school or the park/playground, even the fights) and was always a GREAT TIME!

  34. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Another thought about the drunkfest theory:

    In 2009, the fans thought that the team actually looked competitive and like they belonged on the field through beer-goggles. That same theory applied to the Saints, Steelers and Lions games last year.

  35. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Okay, but you still didn’t name anyone. Who should we go after Mr. Expert? You bring up Drew Brees, but you forget to mention that Philip Rivers was waiting as a backup, and Brees had major surgery on his throwing shoulder. There were MAJOR questions about him at the time, so the Saints definitely took a chance. It worked out for them, but it’s not like it was a LeBron James situation.

    Again, there just aren’t a lot of 29 year old great players available through free agency. Typically, the only way to get them is to give up high picks, or they have question marks. The way this regime drafts, I don’t think it’s a good idea to do that. You have to cater to your strengths.

    I also find it funny that you have stipulations when it comes to missing the playoffs. Talk about being a hypocrite! So it makes no difference that nearly half of your starters are on the IR and you still have a winning record, it’s only impressive if your QB goes down. It doesn’t matter that the majority of your team has only 1 or 2 years NFL experience, that means nothing. Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?

  36. Bucamaniac40 Says:

    Roy Cummings an esteemed working journalist. ?! more like a negative nelly who rides coat tails. Not to mention, one of the most arrogant twits on that fish wrap.

  37. Buzzsaw Says:

    Who is the Boy Scout in the photo with all the merit badges?

  38. Matt B Says:

    Thomas 2.2 Says:
    “I believe bc most of us loyal fans quit going in 2009 and gave our tix to friend…”

    That is called an oxymoron…Moron. To put that on a level you can understand, loyal fans don’t quit when the going gets tough. Don’t use loyal and quit in the same sentence – it degrades both words.

  39. espo Says:

    I’ve been going to Bucs games my whole life and I turned out just fine, if I do say so myself.