CLEVELAND, O.H. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers "Fan of the Year" is on cloud nine after getting the opportunity to announce the Bucs 4th round pick at the NFL Draft in Cleveland.
ABC Action News got a chance to speak with Larry Gasparino just hours after the pick, and even then, you couldn't have wiped the smile off his face if you tried.
Larry Gasparino, A.K.A., "Thee Bucaholic," needs little introduction. He's been a Bucs fan for 23 years, hangs out at every practice camp he can, and even has his own "Man Cave" at his home, featuring all kinds of Bucs collectibles.
Gasparino was named 2020 Bucs "Fan of the Year" in late 2020, and because he holds that title, he got to be flown out to Cleveland, Ohio, for the NFL Draft, to announce the Bucs 4th round pick.
“Everyone, even at the NFL said that I did a really good job, very very boisterous, and energy that they didn’t sense from anybody else,” said Gasparino.
It was the experience of a lifetime.
“Today was absolutely the most incredible. I didn’t know what exactly to expect, I kept on practicing in front of a mirror,” said Gasparino.
And it's an experience Larry says only compares to one other, the night he watched the Bucs win Super Bowl LV inside Raymond James Stadium.
“That fulfilled a dream. What happened this weekend, I could have never dreamt that I would be doing something like this,” said Gasparino.
And as for his thoughts on the pick he announced Saturday, he was surprised, but trusts the team.
“Actually kind of surprised because we have lots of star wide receivers, but I don’t know much about the guy, so he could be somebody that might be a punt returner or kick returner as well, and give us an extra wide receiver depth, in case somebody gets hurt, but from what I’ve read real quick now, he’s a pretty talented athlete. And that’s what we’ve done throughout the whole draft so far, we’ve drafted very talented athletes," said Gasparino.
Jaelon Darden, the 4th round pick for the Bucs, is an athlete Gasparino hopes can help carry the Bucs to another Super Bowl next year.
“We’re, right now, in everybody else’s eyes, the team that could repeat as Super Bowl champs again, that’s just, crazy, I mean, that would be just incredible,” said Gasparino.
When asked if there is anything that could ever top the moment from the draft, Gasparino, surprisingly said there was one thing... he said it's been a long year not being able to go to practice camps and meet the players, so he said the one thing that would top the moment Saturday, is for things to get back to normal so he can meet Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.