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Visit by Bucs QB turns lawmakers into giddy fans

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 14, 2003
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson displays the Super Bowl trophy to the Florida Senate as Sen. Les Miller, D-Tampa, watches.
TALLAHASSEE -- Brad Johnson starred in a different arena Thursday: the state Capitol.

Senators and House members took extended timeouts so they could shake the hand of the quarterback who threw two touchdown passes in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl triumph over the Oakland Raiders. Lawmakers swarmed Johnson and waited in line for autographed caps and to touch the championship trophy.

"You never get tired of being called Super Bowl champ. It's an incredible feeling," said Johnson, a Tallahassee resident and former Florida State quarterback, in brief remarks to the House.

"You're in my district," Sen. Les Miller, D-Tampa, told Johnson. "We're very proud of you for what you've done. Now go back and win another one."

Both chambers passed resolutions honoring the team. The House version said the team has "transformed the region into fervent 'Bucs Believers' and have united the entire area."

Bryan and Joel Glazer, team executives and sons of owner Malcolm Glazer, accompanied Johnson. "It's truly an honor to be here with you," Joel Glazer said.

Senate President Jim King even waived the dress code to allow Senate Majority Leader Dennis Jones, R-Treasure Island, to wear a duplicate of Johnson's No. 14 jersey. King wore a Bucs cap when the Senate showed a video about the team's road to the Super Bowl.

"I held the trophy," said 12-year-old Josh Watson of Polk County, a House page. "It was fun." Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Fort Lauderdale, an avid sports fan whose two daughters were with him in the House, was not among lawmakers mobbing Johnson.

"I'm a Dolphins season ticket holder," Seiler said.

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