The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (often shortened as the Bucs) are a professional football team based in Tampa, Florida. They are currently members of the National Football League (NFL) as part of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the NFC South division. The team, along with the Seattle Seahawks, joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team. They have played home games at Raymond James Stadium since 1998.
When the franchise entered the league in 1976, the Buccaneers lost their first 26 games. After a brief winning era in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the team suffered through 14 consecutive losing seasons. During the 2002 season, the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII for their only NFL world championship.
Tampa Bay was awarded an expansion franchise for the 1976 season, along with the Seattle Seahawks. After several changes in ownership, a name-the-team contest resulted in the nickname "Buccaneers", a reference to the pirate legends of Southwest Florida.
The Buccaneers joined the NFL as members of the AFC West in 1976. The following year, they were moved to the NFC Central, while the other 1976 expansion team, the Seattle Seahawks, switched conferences with Tampa Bay and joined the AFC West. This realignment was dictated by the league as part of the 1976 expansion plan, so that both teams could play each other twice and every other NFL franchise once during their first two seasons. Instead of a traditional division schedule of playing each division opponent twice, the Buccaneers played every conference team once, plus the Seahawks.
When the franchise entered the league in 1976, the Buccaneers lost their first 26 games.
Led by the league's top defense, the 2002 campaign was the Buccaneers' most successful season to date, culminating with their only Super Bowl championship. Behind the head coaching style of former Green Bay Packers wide receivers coach, Jon Gruden, the team won the newly minted NFC South division with the team's best ever record, 12-4. The Bucs would go into the playoffs and defeat the San Francisco 49ers, then upset the Philadelphia Eagles in the last NFL game ever played at Veterans Stadium.
In Super Bowl XXXVII, the Buccaneers dismantled Gruden's former team, the Oakland Raiders, to claim their first NFL championship, winning 48–21. Tampa Bay's defense picked off five passes, running three of them back for touchdowns. After the Raiders led 3–0, Tampa Bay reeled off 34 unanswered points. Dexter Jackson was named the Super Bowl MVP for obtaining two of the team's five total interceptions.