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Super Bowl XXXVII

On eBay, bidders flock to all things Buccaneer

By DAVE SCHEIBER, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 28, 2003

It's an old satin warmup jacket, sporting that familiar Creamsicle-orange color with the old Bucco Bruce logo.

On Monday, the vintage Tampa Bay Buccaneers item became a hot seller on eBay.

In fact, the Internet marketplace was hopping with Buc memorabilia after Tampa Bay's 48-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

By Friday, only two bids had been placed on the jacket, priced at $24.95. But when Monday rolled around, 13 bids flew in, with the price jumping from $55 to the winning $82 amount in the final minutes of the auction.

Any and everything Buc related seemed to be attracting an extra burst of attention.

"I put a Bucs NFC Championship hat up for auction at $24.94 over the weekend, and it's already up to $76 today," says John Hallenbeck, 36, of Orlando.

Hallenbeck purchased two hats the day after the Bucs defeated Philadelphia 27-10 to earn a trip to the Super Bowl. He kept one, and put the other one up for auction, just to see what might happen. "Now I wish I had bought 100 of them, not just one!" says Hallenbeck, who eventually sold the hat for $85.

Vintage Buccaneer merchandise has been enjoying underground popularity on eBay for some time, but that trend seems certain to grow stronger now.

The number of products showing up for either Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Tampa Bay Bucs totaled 3,825 Monday afternoon. By contrast, last year's Super Bowl winner, the New England Patriots (also counting items for "Pats"), offered 1,173 items.

Type in "Bucco Bruce" -- the nickname adopted for the original pirate insignia of the Bucs -- and nine items pop up: from six bumper stickers selling for $1.99 to a golf towel at $24.95.

A number of eBay entrepreneurs had updated their product descriptions by Monday morning. So, a Bucs hard hat suddenly was selling as a "Super Bowl Champion" Bucs hard hat. Four bids Monday had jacked the price up only slightly, though, from $9.99 to $15.51.

One particularly coveted item was a Bucs/Super Bowl XXXVII media guide -- intended for press use -- drawing 12 bids and rising from $9.99 to $51.99. (Somebody was even hawking a 1980 Bucs media guide).

Then there were the red and white Bucs battle flags (jumping from $9.99 to $80), a Super Bowl pen and pad set (holding at a modest $8.99), a Super Bowl seat cushion ($9.98) and one ambitiously priced item -- a Mike Alstott autographed, full-size helmet. Asking: $449. Number of bids with six hours left in the auction: zero.

Before Sunday, three full St. Petersburg Times sections on the Bucs' victory over Philadelphia -- clinching the Super Bowl berth -- were selling for $2.99 apiece. But Monday morning, an assortment of Times sections with coverage of the Super Bowl triumph had gone on the auction block (with bidding rising from $1 to $2.75 in the early going).

Then there were those sellers who drew attention to non-Buc items simply by writing "Go Bucs" in their product description, like the woman selling a Polynesian dress, and the aquatic shop selling exotic, show-quality snails "in rich vibrant colors."

None, however, came in pewter and red.

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