Why I Raise the Flags: Bucs Fan Kristen Cyr
The First Wave...
My mom has been a huge Bucs fan since forever. I can remember watching it when Bucco Bruce was the mascot, still. He was probably my favorite player when I was little, you know? [Laughs]. Not knowing any better. From there, I watched them a lot. They were definitely my team. Then it just kept growing, year after year. Finally, one year, I saw the season tickets and I was like, you know what? I'm going to do it. I'm going to start watching my boys play in person. That was 2015 when I became a Member.
It's me and my mom, that's how it started out. We usually try to pick one game towards the end of the season to dress up as pirates. We even bought ourselves the little face shields that are a pirate skull. We bring those to the games every now and again but usually it's just me and my mom up in the stands dancing – very poorly dancing.
We're die-hards, that's for sure. My mom even has the little Captain Fear, and for two or three vacations in a row, she was bringing it with her and taking pictures of him on the cruise ships or on the plane with her and stuff like that.
Planting the Flag...
Starting in 2015, we've gotten really close to the other season ticket holders in our section. The first year, we kind of stumbled through – our 'rookie' year, as they called it. We started tailgating with these gentlemen that I call my football family. They're wonderful and I joke that I have two football brothers and a football sister. Even when we tailgate, we go all out. We've done deep-fried turkey; we've done a crab boil. It's really awesome.
I even see them in the offseason now. We went camping with them just recently, it's really nice. Even the people that aren't like super close in our section, we still get to know all of them now. When you see them at the start of the season, it's kind of like going back to school.
My mom and I went on a cruise together and we missed one of the home games. We were very torn because usually we try to not miss the games. I remember we were on the cruise ship and there was probably about 100+ Bucs fans and we were all looking for somewhere to watch the game. It was just funny because besides being Bucs fans, and being so close-knit, it was just really neat because across the board, we walked into this room and every football fan that you could imagine was there but it was mostly Bucs fans. It was really cool and we ended up winning the game.
Then just recently, I'm kind of an adrenaline junkie and for my birthday I drove a tank. My mom was there with me and we actually brought one of the Bucs flags. We didn't think twice about it. The location was actually on the other coast and my mom and I thought nothing of it bring our Bucs flag. Everybody kept kind of looking at us and we were like what? You guys aren't Bucs fans? They were like no, we're definitely Jags fans. And I'm like well - you should be a Bucs fan.
One of my favorite pictures is me and my mom literally standing on top of the tank and we're holding the Bucs flag up.
Honestly, it's the team. I love football. Even on their worst days, my team gives me an excuse to dress up like a pirate. I can't be mad at them. That always makes it fun but it's definitely our team. I've loved the Bucs, living in Florida most of my life.
As far as superstitions go, we definitely don't talk about winning the game or beating anyone and if you do, you have to knock on wood. Silly things like that. If we don't end up tailgating and we lose, we're like welp – that's why we lost.
I remember I forgot to wear this specific pair of earrings that I wear, usually. It's so silly but I'll be at the game like, I'm not wearing my earrings. They're going to lose!
In the end, it's all about the camaraderie. We're all the fans and I feel like the team knows how invested their fans are. Just everybody being that close, it's definitely a different experience. Once you've been to the stadium and you go consistently, it's just a camaraderie that you don't understand unless you do that.