On Thursday, the Buccaneers confirmed that their Week 14 game against the Philadelphia Eagles would be televised locally on WTVT FOX 13. A potential local blackout had been avoided because the team had sold more than 85% of the general admission seats for the game, and because earlier in the summer it had chosen to take advantage of that new NFL option to reduce blackouts.
There are a limited number of seats remaining for purchase, though it appears as if the rematch of the 2002 NFC Championship Game will draw the Buccaneers’ biggest crowd of the year. That’s not surprising given that the team is in serious playoff contention with just four weeks left, and because Sunday’s game will double as the 10-year reunion of the 2002 Super Bowl Championship team.
Current Buccaneer players are enjoying the return of their championship predecessors but are not letting it become a distraction in their preparations. Likewise, while a potentially sold-out stadium would be a positive development for the home team, it’s not something the players are counting on to help them overcome the Eagles.
“You have to look at it as, what can you do,” said QB Josh Freeman. “Yeah, it gets you amped up and ready to go. You love it when the fans are out there screaming. But we have to have a singular focus and that’s what’s going on in between the lines. You can’t let anything distract you. You just have to push forward, lock in and execute as well as you possibly can.”