If you have not heard the announcements, the podcasts or seen the excitement by now, you may need to get out more. As debuted right here on our Thursday Night podcast and reiterated and enhanced on the Bucs UNCensored podcast by the Commish (@CommishOnline), the three largest Bucs fan groups are coming together in an official capacity to do some amazing things. You regular WTB folks know we have been around for a long time, doing the things we do. Our “Robin Hood” approach to community involvement and charity has become somewhat legendary and so has our Hall of Fame Tailgate. You guys already know our lineage, timeline and dedication. That said, the gap we have not yet crossed in any large or unified manner was the one between the tailgate and the gameday experience. A truly united gameday experience that started at 4:30 AM like we normally do but that extends and is connected throughout the IN GAME experience.
That is changing. Now.
Expansion and Growth
As Bucs fans, we are fortunate, despite over a decade of absolute SHIT product, us fans have found things to cheer about. We have found reasons to get together and have fun. We learned the game does not start when the whistle blows. We learned that the gameday experience is AT LEAST a day long. Last year, we met a rabid group called the Buccaholics. What a fantastic group of die hard Bucs fans! Jon Hinkle wrote about them here and I had the pleasure of tailgating with them and getting to know many of them throughout the season. They helped out BIG TIME with our 3rd Annual Trunk Slammer Invitational and have truly become family.
New Dawn of Gameday. United
For folks in this area (and to be honest, beyond), the name Justin Pawlowski is not new. Known as “The Commish” during his years of covering the Bucs, Justin is and always has been a fan first. One of the only other “Media types” to forego the press box and opt to sit in the stands, Justin’s passion has never been in doubt. Well, passion spreads, and after Coach Koetter uttered the line about what kind of team he wanted the Bucs to be with a “quotable quote” (Jeopardy Style) “Speak Softly….and carry a big Mo^&%^ F*&*&ng Stick!” Justin grabbed hold and the #StickCarriers were born.
As with any group, the Stick Carriers continue to evolve. They literally took over Training Camp for a full practice, causing the team to have to call a timeout on offense and go silent snap. I was there. It happened. They have galvanized another large segment of the fanbase and triggered a new kind of passion that is fueled by the promise of the talent in Tampa Bay as well as the charisma of the coach whom they titled “The Godfather.” Justin and their Captains had and have a vision to bring a loud, fun and passionate feel to the GAME EXPERIENCE TOO!
The path was pretty clear.
As our teams continue to work together and the WTB team continues to plan logistics for what may be the largest tailgate ever held for a season opener (Mild Hyperbole but shit, it might really be), we still have preseason. The #StickCarriers have organized a “Preseason Pillage” Historically, we use the preseason to plan and prepare. Our tailgate efforts those few weeks look like the lame ones that end up winning “Tailgater of the Game” (Maybe we should submit those photos instead of the ones with our 500 people). This week we will gather at our lot at 3316 W Ohio Ave and say hello to our football friends. But this time, we have something else we can participate in and I encourage each of you to do it.
Saturday night will mark yet another significant moment in our movement together.
I’m so proud of the unity that we have shown to one another. Nothing has mattered as we have come from all ways of life to show that that there is still a lot of love in this world of ours. No matter the financial background you come from, the color of your skin, your sexual
orientation, or any other lame excuse some people have for hate, we have proven to be an example for the rest of our country to follow.
Like many of you, I have already made friends for life through this movement, and it seems like I make more and more friends with each day that passes. It’s amazing that there are so many of us, who all feel the same way with a similar goal.
have blown me away with the positivity you have shown in welcoming all Bucs fans with open arms. It’s truly inspiring. This shouldn’t just be a Stick Carriers or Bucs thing, but a way of life!
On Saturday night, we will enter Raymond James Stadium for the first time as a united front. When thousands of people come together, some of whom have been drinking, it is imperative that we remember to be respectful of each other and those around us. There will be kids, so please watch your language.
I will be working closely with security to make sure we are policed properly. If you get out-of-line, you will be asked politely to leave. In the 2nd half during the game, if you do not have a lower bowl ticket, you will need to be in the standing section above sections 120/121. You can only enter the seats in sections 119/120/121 during game time if you have a lower bowl ticket. Pregame warmups is open to everyone for seats in those sections.
Let’s continue to set an amazing example for the world to follow as we unite Saturday night to yell, scream, and cheer our asses off!
Can’t wait to see you all!!
Unity. Brotherhood. Passion. Togetherness.
These all sound great. I am ready for more of THAT in my life. It seems fitting that it should come from my passion, Bucs Football in times as odd as these globally. I am chosing to embrace it.
I will see you outside the South Endzone at 6 PM.