We love to celebrate the beginnings of things.
Weddings and birthdays. The New Year. Fourth of July.
And when a new NFL season is about to start? Now that's definitely a reason to party!
Each year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their fans do exactly that at the Official Season Kickoff Party Presented by Miller Lite. This wildly popular event is back for 2010, with one exciting change: This year it will be held at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg.
This year's Kickoff Party will be held on the evening of Friday, September 10, beginning at 7:30. As always, heavy attendance is expected, not only by fans but by Buccaneers players and coaches. This is the last opportunity for the Bucs and their supporters to meet face to face and share their excitement about the 2010 season before the battle begins on September 12.
The party will also feature a live performance by Charlotte-based alternative rock band Paper Tongues as well as the musical stylings of DJ Mix Master Mike. Paper Tongues' singles "Ride to California" and "Trinity" have both reached the top 30 on the U.S. alt-rock chart, and the band has toured with Switchfoot and Flyleaf, opened for Muse and appeared on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Mix Master Mike, resident DJ to the Beastie Boys, has been one of nation's most prominent DJs since the early '90s, when he won the New Music Seminar/Supermen Inc. DJ Battle for World Supremacy in New York City. He worked on the Beastie Boy albums "Hello Nasty" and "To the 5 Boroughs."
Of course, the Buccaneers players and coaches in attendance are always a huge part of the draw for the kickoff party. Head Coach Raheem Morris and General Manager Mark Dominik will be on hand, accompanied by a large group of players to be determined. Last year, Josh Freeman, Geno Hayes, Sammie Stroughter, Michael Clayton, Maurice Stovall, Sabby Piscitelli, Derrick Ward and Earnest Graham were among the players who came out to party with the fans on the cusp of the season.
That 2009 Kickoff Party drew a huge crowd to the Channelside District Courtyard in downtown Tampa despite heavy rains. This year's party promises to be bigger, louder and more raucous than ever before, with excitement building over one of the most anticipated seasons in franchise history. The Bucs' late-season surge behind quarterback Josh Freeman in 2009 inspired optimism about the team's 2010 fortunes, and that was before the team added such difference-makers as Gerald McCoy, Brian Price and Mike Williams during the offseason.
This year's party will also take advantage of its new location, Jannus Live, formerly known as Jannus Landing. Jannus Live is an open-air concert venue in downtown St. Petersburg that recently reopened to rave reviews after undergoing renovations. It is the home to such upcoming shows as The Flaming Lips, Vampire Weekend, Anberlin and Social Distortion.
There will be something for everyone at this year's Official Season Kickoff Party, including performances by the 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders and the kid-friendly antics of team mascot Captain Fear. Players and coaches will sign autographs and take the stage for an extensive round of questions and answers. Performances by Paper Tongues and DJ Mix Master Mike will take the party into the night.
All to celebrate the beginning of the Buccaneers' 2010 season, which is almost upon us. Tampa Bay kicks off its regular season on Sunday, September 12 with a visit from the Cleveland Browns.