Road, Sweet Road

December 19th, 2014

packers girls

Oh, once the NFL released the schedule this past April revealing the Bucs were going to host the Packers the weekend prior to Christmas, Joe knew the cheeseheads would flock to the Den of Depression.

The game didn’t take long to sell out, as just about every Packers fan, both tranplanted locally or residing north of I-80, seemed ready to celebrate Christmas on the west coast of the east coast with their beloved Packers.

How many? Well, it could be half the stadium.

Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette puts fingers to keyboard and remembers back in 1997, the last season of the Sombrero, which also was a playoff season for the Bucs. There were so many Packers backers at the game Brett Farve had to raise his hands for the Packers fans to quiet down, so he could call plays at the line of scrimmage.

Sunday, Dougherty writes, could be a repeat 17 years later.

But this week has the makings of another ’97, and maybe even more. Is it out of the question that half the crowd (about 33,000) will be Packers fans? Maybe even more?

On a purely practical level, it’s hard to know how much of a difference that kind of crowd mix would make on the game’s outcome. Maybe quarterback Aaron Rodgers would be able to use mostly voice signals calling the no-huddle offense, which he usually can’t on the road.

More importantly, Rodgers might not have to use a silent count as much as usual on the road, which would negate one of the home field’s greatest advantages. If it’s quiet enough for Rodgers to use a voice cadence, his linemen can anticipate the snap and get a split-second head start on pass rushers. With the silent count, the blockers often have to watch the ball, so there’s no head start.

Just to get an idea of how the Packers and their fans are treating this game like a spring break trip, a homecoming and company retreat all in one, the official Packers fan club is having rallies Saturday at Ferg’s Sports Bar and Grill in St. Petersburg and at the Varsity Club in Clearwater. Packers alumni, Packers radio voice Wayne Larrivee and Packers president Mark Murphy will make appearances and speak to the throngs.

Think about that for a second.

Could you imagine the Bucs playing in Green Bay and at some sports bar in, say, De Pere, WI, Bucs fans would gather to mingle with Gene Deckerhoff, Brad Johnson, Jimmie Giles, Scot Brantley, Derrick Brooks and, yes, Team Glazer?

As Packers coach Mike McCarthy suggested in his teleconference call this week to the Tampa Bay pen and mic club, if one ever experienced a December in northeast Wisconsin, they would understand why cheeseheads are invading the area and attending Sunday’s game.

12 Responses to “Road, Sweet Road”

  1. INDYbucsfan Says:

    Man I really really hope we don’t play up to their standard and win this game. Even though it would be sooo sweet.

  2. SAMCRO Says:

    This is a sad commentary for a Bucs team that has now been in existence for 39 years. I bet out of 18,000 of those cheesehead fans that only half of them actually lived in Wisconsin.

  3. bucrightoff Says:

    McCown starts and gets hurt, Glennon comes in and leads them to victory and becomes ever more hated on here than he already is if that were even possible.

  4. rayjay1122 Says:

    I am certainly not a Packers fan, however we need to stay the course and shoot for that #1 pick. So, I am happy we get the Packers this week coming off their loss and needing to win for a playoff position. Also a bunch of cheeseheads staying in the area for a few days will be a little boost to our economy along with the Outback Bowl, local businesses should benefit. Lastly, I have found in past experience that most Packer fans are passionate about their team but also respectful of their opponents fans. I am glad it is not the Eagles and Philly fans invading our home.

  5. Fort Myers Dave Says:

    Half the stadium Joe? I was thinking more of a 70/30 split with the Cheeseheads in the majority: ala a Boston/Rays game at the Trop when the Bosux are relevant….

  6. RachelWatson'sthong Says:

    The Bucs have brought the attendance issue on themselves. Deal with it.

  7. lightningbuc Says:

    Funny how Ferg’s made such a big stink about the Rays possibly leaving St. Pete, but they are hosting a Packers shindig. Guess the $$$ are more important than community loyalty.

  8. ShutTheBucUp Says:

    Just lose baby!

  9. biff barker Says:

    Nice pic above Joe.

    You managed to capture 3 of the 6 skinny chicks from Green Bay!

  10. biff barker Says:

    RachelWatson’sthong Says:

    “The Bucs have brought the attendance issue on themselves. Deal with it.”

    ^ Fact.

    Don’t worry. Coach says football only started last month and that “we are on the verge”.

    Meanwhile, two of our top three hand picked FA’s have been collecting splinters from riding the pine.

    No worries, 38% think we’ll be fine.

  11. Buccfan37 Says:

    You pasty white Packer backers better enjoy your little vacation in Florida. Then return to the cold and shiver when your lousy Packers get ousted early in the playoffs. This battle of the bays is meaningless. I hope the Lions win that division.

  12. OB Says:

    I just want to see what McCown will do to lose this game that is different from all the others WTF moments he has given us, a new one just about every game.

    Remember a loss only drops our winning percentage from 14.29% to 13.33% hardly a difference to worry about. If we are lucky we wind up at 12.5% for the year. So like everyone else, we will have a double digit winning percentage.