Thanks to club member Paula Faulkner for her account of our club’s road trip this year – to the Tampa Bay game in October.
When the DBQC chose the away game in Tampa, I thought what a great idea. The average temp in Tampa the first week of October is the mid-80s. That will be a nice get away and a great time for a game.
As we know not only was it unusually warm in Denver but also in Tampa, Florida. The temps averaged in the mid-90s with heat indexes in the low-100s. It was hot for about 15 DBQC members and their guests who travelled to Tampa.
I met my sister from Alabama there to enjoy the game. We stayed at the Hilton just a few miles from Raymond James Stadium, walking distance for us. Also, walking distance to the Gulf Coast Beach. Walking barefoot in the water felt good with the heat. It was also very entertaining watching miniature crabs run to escape the tide water running in. If you watched close you could see the clams bury themselves.
On Saturday nite my sister and I found Lee Roy Selmon’s Sports Bar and Grill to have dinner and watch the Alabama Crimson Tide roll over the Kentucky Wildcats. Lee Roy Selmon played for University of Oklahoma and was selected by the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the first overall pick in the 1976 NFL draft where he played for 9 years. He has made a home in Tampa and has a great place to watch college and NFL football games and have a great meal besides. This was a good find.
But now was time for the game. All weekend we saw Broncos fans from all over the world. At our hotel there was a couple that came from London, another from Canada. On the walk to the game there were many, many more Broncos fans all decked out in the classic orange and blue clothing.
Tickets for the group were to the right of the “pirate ship” enzone as you looked at the stadium from the entrance. We were told my Tampa fans that the cannon from the ship will fire every time Tampa scored. Well fortunately the cannon did not fire very often.
There were so many Broncos fans in the stadium that we were able to start chants of “Defense” when the Broncos defense was on the field and of “Lets Go Broncos Lets Go”! Unusual for an opposing team to come in to a field and make it feel like home field advantage for their team. But that’s what the Denver Broncos fans did and the Broncos brought home a great victory.
I read the next day in the morning paper that the stadium holds about 68,000 fans and Tampa had 8,000 no shows.
Although the game had over a one hour rain delay with a little over 6 minutes left in the game it did not dampen the spirit of the Broncos fans. On the contrary it was invigorating as it cooled off the temp to the mid-70s and felt great. We were all evacuated into the concourse due to lighting and chants of “Lets Go Broncos Lets Go” continued to the shagrin of Tampa fans. After the delay the teams and fans filtered back into the stadium and the game was concluded.
It was a great time to be had by all Broncos fans no matter where they came from and the DBQC group.
Written by Paula Faulkner