On Sunday, we pointed out that the beginning of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' much-anticipated 2011 season was just one week – and now, six days – away. If that gets you pumped up for Sunday's season opener against the Detroit Lions, know this: The team is just excited as you are to get this 2011 campaign kicked off.
That's why, in addition to preparing for the Lions on the practice field, the Buccaneers are going to spend the next five days celebrating Kickoff Week with their fans at a series of special events located all around the Bay area. You can be involved in many of these events, and you can also take part in the NFL's "Back to Football" promotion and win prizes for your school or your office.
Here's a look at where the Buccaneers will be all week as they celebrate the beginning of the 2011 season:
On Tuesday, September 6 at 11:00 a.m., Buccaneers cheerleaders, staff and Captain Fear will visit Skycrest Elementary School (10 North Corona Ave, Clearwater, FL) to host a pep rally for students and promote the NFL's "Back to Football Friday" program. The campaign encourages fans to demonstrate their commitment to the Buccaneers and their excitement for the upcoming season by planning a unique "Back to Football Friday" event in their community, at the workplace or at school, designed to support youth health and wellness. The Buccaneers cheerleaders, staff and mascot will lead students in cheers, participate in a question and answer session, and encourage the students to participate in the campaign. Then at 1:15 p.m., the Buccaneers group will visit B.C. Graham Elementary School (2915 Massachusetts Ave, Tampa, FL) to host a similar rally to excite Tampa students about the start of regular season and promote "Back to Football Friday."
As part of the "Back to Football Friday" campaign, school administrators can register their school for a chance to win a $10,000 NFL PLAY 60 youth health and wellness grant* and an NFL team celebration. Schools will be asked to display their NFL spirit, along with great health and wellness habits, by completing two essays and submitting photos of their in-school "Back to Football Friday" celebration. For more information, including official contest rules, visit www.NFLRUSH.com/backtofootball.
On Wednesday, September 7 at 12:00 noon, City of Tampa Chief of Staff Santiago Corrada,Buccaneers alumni, Buccaneers cheerleaders and Captain Fear will host a pep rally in the Lykes Gaslight Park (corner of N. Tampa St. and Madison St. in downtown Tampa) for City of Tampa employees and United Way of Tampa Bay representatives. The event will promote "Back to Football Friday" and the kickoff of the United Way campaign throughout Tampa. Employees will be encouraged to showcase their Buccaneers spirit on September 9 by sporting Buccaneers gear or planning a special office event to celebrate the return of football season. Working with United Way, the NFL is offering companies the chance to show their NFL passion and win a "Back to Football" office prize. Companies can register to take part at United Way's special "Back to Football" web site and find out more about the official rules and various opportunities of the program at www.UnitedWay.org/BackToFootball.
On Thursday, September 8 at 12:00 noon, the Clearwater Regional, St. Petersburg and Greater Tampa Chambers of Commerce will come together to celebrate the 2011 NFL season with the annual Chalk Talk with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers luncheon. Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer, General Manager Mark Dominik, Head Coach Raheem Morris, RB LeGarrette Blount, DE Adrian Claybornand WR Mike Williams, as well asTampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard and St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, will gather with fans to discuss the excitement surrounding the upcoming season. The event, which will include a question-and-answer session with the Buccaneers representatives, will take place at the Hyatt Regency Tampa (211 N. Tampa Street). To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit www.tampachamber.com.
On Friday, September 9, the Buccaneers invite fans to Jannus Live (1st Ave N. and 2nd St. N. in downtown St. Petersburg) for the Official Season Kickoff Party presented by Miller Lite. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a fun-filled evening that will include appearances by Buccaneers players and Head Coach Raheem Morris, performances by the Buccaneers cheerleaders as well as entertainment from Captain Fear. The event will culminate with a concert by hit band nonpoint and a performance by DJ Z-Trip. The evening-long celebration, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 pm. For more information about the Kickoff Party here on Buccaneers.com, click here.
On Saturday, September 10, kids and families visiting the Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa (110 West Gasparilla Plaza) will enjoy football-themed events and programs as part of "Team Spirit Saturday." Activities will include face painting, football drills, Buccaneer-themed arts and crafts, and more. Buccaneers cheerleaders and Captain Fear will greet visitors from 2:00-3:00 p.m., and throughout the day fans will have the opportunity to win tickets to the Buccaneers' season opener on September 11. The museum will offer $1 off admission for all visitors wearing Buccaneers apparel. For more information, visit www.glazermuseum.org.