Bucs fans optimisitc despite bad opener

Posted at 5:48 AM, Sep 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-14 05:48:49-04

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans are left with dashed hopes for a winning start to the season.  The final score:  Tennessee 42, Tampa Bay 14.

Even so, it was still a history making debut and many fans remain optimistic about the year ahead.

With the sizzle of game-day food and a sea of red, black, and pirate hats, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are officially back in action.

"We're here every year, opening day. We've got to be out here. There's no way we're going to miss it," said Bucs fan Joe Lawless.

MORE: Monday @ noon – join us as we break down the game on our Bucs web show ?#‎ThePlank?. Watch here:

To say fans are excited about the 2015 season might be an understatement.

"Bucs life baby, Bucs life!  It's all about it!" another fan said.

Buzz has been building for months about the new team, with Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston at the helm.

"Right here!  Jameis Winston, #3, you see it on my back.  He's going to take us there.  That's where we going, all the way to the top!" one fan said.

"We're hoping that we have a more solid defense and hopefully we can have an offensive line that will block and give our young quarterback a running game so he's not flushed out of the pocket and running ragged all day," said Bucs fan David Barrieur.

All the anticipation led to the first sold-out home opener for the Buccaneers in six years. The football fever isn't just great for all the fans packing in to watch the big game, but also for the dozens of food and clothing vendors who rely on fan spirit for business.

Dain Brown's been selling Bucs t-shirts, towels, and hats in front of Raymond James Stadium for two years and he hopes the excitement surrounding Tampa Bay football only keeps building.

"It's very helpful because it brings more traffic. The more traffic you have, the more opportunity you have to sell. So it's definitely a good thing," said Brown, with Heroics Florida.

All that foot traffic is a lifeline for Nora Ramos and her family. Food sales at Bucs games make up a quarter of their business' income for the entire year.

"If they win, we make more money!  So that's the whole thing.  But I'm very supportive of them, even if they do not win, but I wish they win," said Ramos, with Tito's Hot Dogs.

Lifelong fans are also banking on a banner year for the Bucs, but even if it doesn't turn out that way.

"I just think it's marvelous that we have our own football team and i think everybody should come out and support this team, coming or going, because if not this year, next year we are going to be wonderful," said fan April Smith.