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Looking back at the world when the Buccaneers last played in the Super Bowl

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February 4th, 2021

It’s been almost 20 years since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last played in the Super Bowl. That all will change Sunday, as they have a date with the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

Speaking of change, now might be a good time to get into our time machine and travel back to 2003, when the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII and cargo pants were in vogue.

Sun, February 7 2021, 11:30 PM

TB Buccaneers

Moneyline

+138

Spread

+3

Total

O 56

KC Chiefs

Moneyline

-167

Spread

-3

Total

U 56

Winning a Super Bowl is pretty cool, man

The Buccaneers won their only Super Bowl with Jon Gruden leading the way as head coach. 

In his first year in Tampa — where he took over from Tony Dungy, who had a six-year stint that included three straight playoff appearances before he was let go — Gruden led the team to a 12-4 record during the regular season, which led to a Super Bowl showdown with the Oakland Raiders. 

What was the cost of a Super Bowl commercial?

The average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl advertisement the last time Tampa Bay played in the big game was just $2.2 million, according to SuperBowl-ads.com

That feels like nothing compared to the cost for ads during recent Super Bowls. The average cost for a 30-second ad during the 2020 championship between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers was $5.6 million.

Tom Brady was just getting started

Tom Brady was just a young man of 25 the last time the Buccaneers played in the Super Bowl, with just the one Super Bowl title under his belt. 

Over the last 18 years, Brady has won five more Super Bowl titles and, in his first year as quarterback of the Buccaneers at age 43, he is gunning for a seventh.

Back in January of 2003, who would’ve predicted Brady would evolve into greatest quarterback to play the game?

How old was Patrick Mahomes?

Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrated his eighth birthday later in the year. 

Now, at the age of 25, Mahomes is going for his second consecutive Super Bowl title. If he gets it done Sunday, he likely will punch his ticket to the Hall of Fame.

What else was on TV?

The long-running television show MythBusters made its debut on Discovery Channel in 2003, according to IMDB, just three days before the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl. 

Jack Bauer was just getting started kicking butt and taking names during the second season of 24. 

Put on some tunes

According to Billboard, the No. 1 song on the charts the week of Super Bowl XXXVII was Eminem's "Lose Yourself," followed by "Bump, Bump, Bump" by B2K and P. Diddy.

The following week, "Bump, Bump, Bump" slid into the top spot, followed by "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera and "Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake.

Let’s head to the movies

The calendar switched from December 2002 and the release of the Lord of Rings: The Two Towers, to January 2003 and popular movies like Just Married and Kangaroo Jack, according to IMDB.

The larger blockbusters, like Pirates Of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King didn't come out until later in the year.

It may have been a slow start to 2003 in Hollywood, but the Buccaneers started in style on the field. 

Now in 2021, at the end of a season dominated by headlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Buccaneers have a chance to win their second Super Bowl title in franchise history. 

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