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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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One Last Time… | Carmen Catches Up

After six seasons, my time with the Buccaneers is up. 


Being a fan is a funny thing. For a lot of us, it's almost involuntary. It's thrust upon you, or at least it was for me, from a very early age often depending geographically where you are or maybe where your parents and influences are from. I know it wasn't a conscious decision for me when I fell in love with football and growing up outside Chicago, I never felt I even had a choice.

So, when I made the decision to move down to Tampa nearly six years ago, a place I didn't have much experience with, and work with a team I had once seen as NFC Central rivals, I sort of rebelled against the fact that I would be considered a fan.

I was working in football and the Buccaneers were the means to which I made that lifelong dream of mine come true. Nothing more but certainly nothing less. And I loved them for that. But could I really be a fan if I had done all this of my own volition?

The thing about this team is that it makes it hard not to be a fan. The more I got to know the players, the coaches, the people in this organization, I became fully entrenched in going to battle week in and week out with this team – yes, even if they were playing the Chicago Bears. That was new for me.

See, you're taught as a journalist to never become part of the story. You're there simply to disseminate information. As a representative of the team, my duty was to bring fans closer to the organization and inform them of things they wanted to know. But the way this team made me feel like I was truly a part of it made it hard to not become part of the story and for that, I am immensely grateful. To get to bear witness to a part of Buccaneer history and to even reach the ever-coveted Super Bowl mountaintop is something I can hardly wrap my head around. I feel so incredibly lucky.

It wouldn't have happened if as Buccaneer fans you didn't embrace me as you did. Interacting on social media, on game days, in the community, has been the highlight of my life. In no way have I ever felt worthy of the ways in which I was welcomed into this community and I want every single person who loves this team right along with me to know that. I hope beyond hope that I was able to make you feel what I did – that you are a part of this organization. A crucial part. All I ever wanted to do was be the link.

But after six seasons, I won't be able to be that link anymore and I hope you understand. I am leaving the Bucs with a heavy heart but knowing it's the right decision. I can't thank this place enough for the impact it's had on my life and I can't thank all of you enough for every single interaction we've had, whether it was a tweet, a wave or a like that was probably more for Tom Brady than it was for any of the words I wrote.

The great thing about the day and age we live in is that I'll never be far. CarmieV on Twitter and Instagram isn't going anywhere. And I look forward to all the new interactions and watching what's in store for this organization but this time, simply as a fan.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you, and Go Bucs.

Love always,


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