In 1997, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers unveiled hard-hitting new uniforms and team colors. In 1998, Raymond James Stadium, "The Crown Jewel of the NFL," opened its doors to Buccaneer fans. In August of 2006, the Bucs moved into new headquarters, the finest training facility in all of sports.
Now, as the 2006 season dawns, the Buccaneers are breaking new ground again.
In their efforts to upgrade every facet of the team and its operations, the Buccaneers have taken an old and declining tradition – the game program – and given it new life. The desire to provide game-goers with something different has produced a new and exciting feature for game day at Raymond James Stadium: Buccaneers Review.
Add this to your game day to-do list: You need a game program.
In case you're reluctant to believe us, we're going to make it easy for you. Every ticket holder entering the stadium on Sunday for the Bucs' season opener against the Baltimore Ravens will be handed a complimentary copy of Buccaneers Review. We think you will love it. We think you will want to make it a part of your game day experience for every home contest.
Buccaneers Review takes the old game program formula – rosters and depth charts surrounded by repeated bios and head shots – and turns it on its head. The new program is more of an in-depth magazine devoted to the Buccaneers, their opponent and the upcoming game.
Buccaneers Review made its debut in the preseason opener against the New York Jets, featuring such items as an exclusive interview with Mike Alstott, a feature story on training camp long shots, a Q&A with Jets standout Jonathan Vilma, an off-kilter look at strange moments in Jets history, a revealing look at some contentious moments in the all-time Bucs-Jets series and much more. The following weekend, Buccaneers Review looked at the Dolphins game and included such items as a countdown of the five greatest Buc games of the last decade, a surprisingly detailed look at the construction of the team's new practice fields, an entertaining Ask the Bucs page – sample: "Jessica Alba or Jessica Simpson" – and again, much more.
You can check out those first two issues of Buccaneers Review by clicking here.
Each issue of the Review starts with the real thoughts of Head Coach Jon Gruden, who takes a weekly look at the state of his team and the strengths of the opposition. These are truly Gruden's own words, shared exclusively with Buccaneers Review.
Each issue also includes recaps of previous games and a notes-intensive look at the upcoming contest. "Showdown in the Sunshine State," for instance, compared the rookie seasons of former Auburn teammates Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown.
Former Buccaneer Pro Bowl linebacker and current radio commentator for the team Hardy Nickerson contributes a column to each issue. Nickerson takes a studious approach to his new radio gig, and that results in an in-depth set of notes on the opposition and, sometimes, the Buccaneers own issues. Against Miami, for instance, Nickerson broke down the strengths and weaknesses of the Dolphins' defense and identified the secondary as a potential problem spot after several key free agent defections.
Analysis of the opponent continues in Buccaneers Review with a key matchup – the Ravens program will look at the battle between Todd Heap and Ryan Nece – and an extensive walk through the opposing roster. One star from the other team is highlighted in an exclusive Q&A – for the Ravens, it will be safety Ed Reed – and obscure and interesting moments from the opposition's history are highlighted on the "Facts & Figures" page.
The middle of Buccaneers Review is dominated by exhaustive feature articles and exciting, full-page photographs from previous contests. Alstott and wide receiver Michael Clayton have already been featured; quarterback Chris Simms is on tap for the Baltimore issue. This weekend's Review will also take a look at the Ravens' and Bucs' defenses and where they might rank among the greatest of all time.
Fans may particularly enjoy the refreshingly off-beat second half of the magazine. One continuing feature for the 2006 season will take an inside look at different areas in the team's new facility. The "Ask the Bucs" feature also returns this weekend with a humorous look at the likes and dislikes of Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia, Cadillac Williams and Barrett Ruud. The weekly Halftime Quiz is no pushover, either. Also in this part of the Review is "Fan Feedback," a chance for you to make your own thoughts heard through the Buccaneers.com message board. Last week, fans shared their favorite tailgate recipes and sounded off on such topics as Michael Pittman, Simeon Rice and the NFC South.
There is all of that and more in every issue of Buccaneers Review. Cheerleader photos and interviews, team rivalries, upcoming attractions, community events, statistics and, of course, rosters and depth charts are included each week.
The newest fan feature at Buccaneers games is soon to become a must-have feature on every home Sunday. But you don't have to take our word for it. If you're coming to Sunday's game, we'll be handing you a complimentary copy. And if you'd like to check out the first two copies, they are available from cover to cover here.