Fans attending the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2011 season opener at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday are in for an unforgettable afternoon, and not only because a very intriguing matchup with the Detroit Lions is on tap.
Surrounding that centerpiece will be special 9/11 anniversary observances, heartfelt tributes to the late Lee Roy Selmon, new must-see programming on BucVision, and more…and the best way to experience it all is to get to the stadium early.
In fact, the Buccaneers are recommending that fans attending Sunday's game make their way through the stadium gates at least 30 minutes before the 1:00 p.m. kickoff in order to get the full experience.
Between 12:30 p.m. and the start of the game, the Buccaneers will join the rest of the NFL in remembering the tragedies and the heroes of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. With every team in the league participating, Buccaneer fans will witness live cut-ins to the tributes taking place at all of the other games. In addition, there will be a special live presentation of Taps from Stonycreek Township Pennsylvania near Shanksville, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after heroic passengers thwarted an attempted attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The Buccaneers will also be celebrating Selmon's life following his passing a week earlier. The greatest Buccaneer ever, both on and off the field, Selmon died unexpectedly at the age of 56 following a stroke, leaving behind countless friends and fans in the Bay area. The team has prepared several tributes to Selmon for Sunday, one of which will take place between 12:30 p.m. and kickoff.
Those who are in their seats earlier will also be treated to the debuts on the BucVision Videoboards of two exciting new videos: the introduction of the 2011 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders and the most dramatic kickoff ship battle yet. In addition, pregame host Tiffany Jimenez will be heading into the stands during this period to find fans to answer trivia questions on BucVision and potentially win tickets to the Buccaneers-Saints game on October 16.
Even pregame introductions and the national anthem will be can't-miss moments on Sunday. The Bucs will unveil an American flag that covers the entire playing field and will be held aloft, in part, by players from both teams.
At 1:00 p.m., the game will kick off and the Buccaneers and Lions will provide the best show of the day. But any fan who wants to get the full emotional experience are urged to get to the stadium early and join in a day-long celebration of football and heroes.