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Bucs fans use site to scald foes

By KEITH NIEBUHER

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 21, 2003


The Buccaneers took 27 seasons to reach the Super Bowl.

Their fans took fewer than 24 hours to cram the message boards at ESPN.com with rants, raves, gloating, taunts and good old-fashioned trash talk.

Tampa Bay's dry spell is over.

The smack, however, has only just begun.

One poster took particular pride in the fact the Steelers, and specifically safety Lee Flowers (who in 2001 called the Bucs "paper champions"), were home for the Super Bowl. Another referred to Philadelphia as the Eagirls. One confident Bucs fan, jawing with the Raider Nation, commented, "You'll be lucky to just not get blown out."

BUC BYTES: What's a little Chucky without the cheese?

Give Buccaneers.com an A for having incredible graphics, even if its Lord of the Rings theme is a little hokey. If you haven't read the books or seen the movies, let me recommend clicking the can't-miss Skip Intro button at the top of the opening page. But if you're into that kind of stuff and don't mind waiting about a minute to reach the meat of the site, you'll probably enjoy its Super Bowl-related intro.

The site features all the usuals: charts, articles, photos and, of course, ads for Super Bowl merchandise. On the main page fan poll, viewers are asked to select an MVP from Sunday's 27-10 NFC Championship Game thumping of Philadelphia. At press time, 54 percent of respondents had selected the offensive line. However, we're not told how many votes were cast.

The site's best component? The feature that allows viewers to see video from Sunday's postgame news conferences.

DON'T FORGET CHARGE CARD: Hopeful of making the trip to San Diego? The San Diego Union-Tribune online classifieds (uniontrib.com) is one place to go. There are 441 Super Bowl-related entries, some selling tickets and others renting homes for the weekend.

Don't be shocked by the eye-popping numbers.

One house, which the ad-placer claims is 20 minutes from the stadium and near the beach, costs $7,000 for the week.

More rental information can be found at Vacanciesavailable.com and Superbowlrentals.com.

TOUR GUIDE: Superbowl.com has enlisted Chargers linebacker Junior Seau to give viewers a guide to San Diego. Seau was born there and spent most of his childhood in nearby Oceanside. As the site claims: "Who better to tell you all about visiting San Diego for the Super Bowl?"

Seau gives a brief overview of the area, recommends a few scenic spots and lists his favorite restaurants. One of them, go figure, is called Seau's, which he claims is homegrown. "Real people work here," Seau writes. "I didn't want a place where parents had to worry about their kids being too loud. It's just a fun atmosphere for everybody to enjoy a good meal and watch a game."

You have to love the plug.

AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A SPORTS SITE?: Sportspickle.com, which parodies other sports sites much the way The Onion does with general news, surprisingly has no mention of the Super Bowl. Among its main page headlines are these zingers: "Strenuous offseason weight program puts two pounds of muscle on golfer," and "With war looming, athletes prepare new "Keeping things in perspective' statements."

RAIDERS BYTES: Oakland fans can find team information at Raiders.com. On the same site, one can sign up to receive the official Raiderette Newsletter. ... Oaklandraidersdarkside.com claims to be the "New home of the Oakland Raiders Darkside. ... Here, the Raiders are more than a football team, they're a way of life. ... If silver and black pumps through your veins, welcome home." The site, however, is a bit lacking. For starters, you have to scroll down to the bottom of the main page to find out the Raiders are headed to the Super Bowl.

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