-Two Bucs' draft picks were named to the Big Ten All-Decade Team by a consensus of voters. Despite the team being made up of players from the last 10 years, both Bucs' draft picks came from this year's class. Wide receiver Tyler Johnson made the cut along with current Chicago Bear and former Penn Stater Allen Robinson. They were the only two receivers on the list. It's a deserving honor for Johnson who set multiple school records at Minnesota in his four seasons as a Golden Gopher. He holds the career receiving yards record with 3,305, the career receiving touchdown record with 33, has the most 100+ yard games in school history with 16 and was All-Big Ten First Team his final two collegiate seasons. Those are far from his only accolades, too.
Somehow though, the Bucs were able to snag the 6-1 receiver in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft. Head Coach Bruce Arians was on the edge of his seat as the Bucs' selection creeped up on Day Three:
"Oh man, I can't tell you how long I was waiting to see that," said Arians of the Bucs' selection of Johnson with the 161st overall pick. "I was just shaking waiting on that one because I actually sat here and watched that game here in Tampa with my son. I said, 'I've got to get this guy.' We really wanted him, and we had a high grade [on him]. Guys were coming and going, and it was like, 'Phew, we finally got him.' I was really, really excited."
Like I mentioned earlier, Johnson wasn't the only one to make the list, either. In fact, he wasn't even the only Bucs' pick out of Minnesota to snag a spot. Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. was one of two safeties named to the squad, as well. Winfield Jr. was a surprise pick in the second round for Tampa Bay this year. A surprise in the sense that he was still on the board – not that the Bucs would take him. Like Johnson, Winfield owns multiple Gopher records. He tied the single-season interception record when he picked off seven passes in 2019. He was named a unanimous All-American that year along with All Big Ten First Team honors and Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year. Though Winfield makes for the fourth defensive back taken in the last two years, he rounds out a unit that could make or break the Bucs' defense in 2020. Good thing he's one of the biggest conference's biggest stars to come into the league in the last decade.
-The Bucs' press box spread was named the best in the league by The Athletic. People must really like Bananas Foster. That's of course, the signature halftime treat in the Raymond James Stadium press box during Bucs' games. The spread also includes pregame food like carving stations, omelet stations and a customizable salad bar. There's also always a nod to the visiting team like jambalaya when the New Orleans Saints come marching in or BBQ when the Carolina Panthers come to town. There are also the Tampa staple Cuban sandwiches available throughout the game and members of the media can relax with chicken fingers or an ice cream sandwich out of the ice cream treasure chest while working to make deadline after the game. The culmination of all these culinary treats was enough to eek Tampa Bay past teams like the Dallas Cowboys who offer beer on tap following the game (hint hint Raymond James) and the Houston Texans, which apparently always includes a BBQ spread of brisket and prime rib.
If you want a ranking of the Bucs' opponents from last year, our social media coordinator Jill Beckman did her own on Twitter. I co-sign on most of these, especially putting Atlanta at the top. They had a soft-serve ice cream machine with a toppings bar available throughout the whole game. Carolina had a similar machine, and I was even gifted a warm chocolate chip cookie to put with the ice cream from an unnamed angel in the form of an NFL reporter. You know who you are.
Whatever your preference, the Bucs are definitely up there. And any list that includes ranking football food is a list I absolutely want to be at the top of, so allow me to indulge this team and give them a well-deserved pat on the back.