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Brady, Buccaneers could draw on BC Lions successes ahead of home-field Super Bowl

Last Updated Feb 5, 2021 at 9:37 am PST

FILE -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady waves to spectators after winning the NFC championship NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. The Buccaneers defeated the Packers 31-26 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Summary

The Super Bowl this Sunday will be held on Tampa Bay Buccaneers home turf

Tom Brady, Buccaneers could perhaps learn a lesson from BC Lions, who have experience playing at home under pressure

The last three Grey Cup home teams have ended up winning

TAMPA (NEWS 1130) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the first Super Bowl team to have home field advantage for the NFL’s marquee event.

Sunday’s big game is set for Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, where Tom Brady and the Buccaneers battle Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in a quarterbacking matchup that is nothing short of enthralling.

The Buccaneers could navigate those uncharted home-field waters with a bit of inspiration from the BC Lions, though.

The Grey Cup has involved a home team seven times in the past 40 years, and two of those games were won by the Lions on their home turf.

The 82nd Grey Cup in 1994 was an instant classic. A last-second field goal from Lui Passaglia lifted the Leos to a 26-23 win over Baltimore.

Seventeen years later, a young quarterback named Travis Lulay was named Most Valuable Player in a 34-23 Lions win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in front of more than 54,000 fans at BC Place. The Lions started that season with five straight losses before rallying to win their sixth Canadian Football League title.

Quarterback Travis Lulay led the BC Lions to a home field Grey Cup victory in 2011. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

 

However, it won’t be as loud this weekend in central Florida. The NFL has capped attendance at 22,000 for Sunday’s game – 7,500 of those in attendance will be vaccinated health-care workers.

There is a BC connection in the Tampa Bay front office, too. Buccaneers Director of Football Operations Shelton Quarles played two seasons at linebacker for the Lions in 1995 and 1996.

Recent CFL history suggests the odds might well be in Tampa Bay’s favour. Each of the last three Grey Cup hosts to play the big game at home have won it.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are the most recent CFL team to win the championship at home, doing so in 2013.