© St. Petersburg Times, published January 21, 2003
I am a Clearwater-raised woman living in the north of England. I wanted to say how proud I am of the Bucs. We have waited a long time for this, and we have endured a lot of jokes about our team. I have supported them over here to my work colleagues, and my son and I are going to stay up well after midnight over here to watch our team go to victory live on British TV! The Raiders should be simple to the mighty Bucs! Go, Bucs!
-- Sharon Taylor, SpennymoorCo Durham UK
Come on, Bucs fans. A newspaper doesn't hire a columnist or reporter to write only good things about the Tampa Bay Bucs. It hires a journalist to look at the facts and report them as he sees them. Some of our Times reporters saw the same things with this team that most of the rest of the nation's top sports writers saw, and they reported it. Many thought the Bucs would lose in a close game. Don't pile on Gary Shelton or any other journalist for doing his job. A reporter is trained to be as impartial as possible. If that's too much to take, just don't read his articles.
-- Garth Kroitzsch, Clearwater
Hearty congratulations to the entire Bucs organization! Fantastic win primarily brought about by determined players and brilliant coaching. One suggestion for improving the organization is for Coach Gruden to learn to say Tampa Bay as opposed to mentioning only Tampa. From his comments in Monday's Bucs quotebook, "To be in the Super Bowl is something that hopefully the city of Tampa is jacked up about," and "It was our goal to let everybody know where Tampa is." Take away all the fans and support the Bucs have outside Tampa, and I don't believe Coach Gruden would be happy with what would remain. My compliments to the Times writers for always calling the team Tampa Bay Bucs.
-- Bob Roemer, St. Petersburg
First thing, I raced out to get the paper. (Sunday) night I told my fellow devotees, I'll know it wasn't a dream when I get my morning paper. And there it was, blazoned across the front page of the Times, "BELIEVE IT!" Perfect. I read avidly Shelton's description of Ronde Barber's winning run and that all of Tampa Bay was running with him, and we were! Run, Ronde! Go! Then I had an epiphany. Remember when you lost that first love, and said to yourself, "Never again will I feel that deeply." It's like that with me and my first football love, Dallas. "Never again do I want to feel that badly, even the elation is not worth it." But these guys in red and pewter have wormed their way into my football heart and soul. I jumped to my feet in my kitchen and danced in my polar bear jammies and blue cloud slippers! My team is going to the Super Bowl!Karen F. Hobolth, Via e-mail
I often wonder if an athlete is worth what he is paid. The millions in signing bonuses, the millions in perks? Too often all the hype turns into dismal results. But with regard to one person, I make an exception. When Gruden came to coach the Bucs, owners paid the Raiders $8-million and four draft picks. I thought it was insane. But I am a believer! Gruden did the impossible, all in one year. The Super Bowl hasn't been played yet. That's okay, I already know who won. Go, Bucs!
Rich Unger, Sarasota