Back When A Bucs' Primetime Game Was Exciting

For those of you who watched the Bucs dismal performance on NFL Network against the Cowboys last night (not talking to those of you who have Time Warner or Bright House) it may seem like a long time since the Bucs played an exciting primetime game.  Earlier this year the Bucs beat the Colts on Monday Night Football, and while a win is a win (and was much better for Buccaneers' fans than the historical 2003 MNF collapse to the same Colts) it was a boring game.  But if we go back eleven years to a Monday Night game between the Bucs and the Rams, you will recall one of the most exciting primetime games in recent memory, as we go... "On This Day..." back to 2000:

"On This Day..."
On December 18, 2000, the Bucs and Rams played a thrilling Monday Night game, so good in fact, the fact that Dennis Miller was announcing it didn't even detract from it.  In the crowded NFC playoff chase, the two teams from the previous year's NFC Championship met in a game they both needed.  The winner would clinch a spot, while the loser would be in danger of missing the playoffs altogether.   Trailing 35-31, with under 2:00 to play, RB Warrick Dunn caught a screen pass and was wrapped up fifteen yards behind the line of scrimmage on a key third down and it seemed like the Bucs hopes were dwindling.  Just before being whistled down, however, Dunn lateralled the ball back to QB Shaun King who improbably ran thirty yards for a first down, and the Bucs drove down the field for the winning score.

The Bucs went on to miss a field goal on Christmas Eve at Lambeau Field the following week and had to settle for a wild card, where they lost to the Eagles, and the Rams beat the Saints the next week and made the playoffs anyway, but then lost to the Saints in the first round.  The Rams made it back to the Super Bowl the next year, losing to the Patriots, while the Bucs (after another wild card loss to the Eagles after the 2001 season, fired Tony Dungy and hired Jon Gruden and got their Lombardi trophy the following year.)  But for one exciting December night in 2000, these two teams played an epic MNF battle.

To read a complete recap of the game, click here.

We are proud to add this historic Monday Night football game from eleven years ago today to our matchup database.
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Speaking of yesterday's dismal Bucs-Cowboys game (well, dismal if you are a Bucs' fan anyway), what was up with the bias on the NFL Network's coverage?  While this was the fourth consecutive year that the Cowboys have been on NFLN's Saturday Night special broadcast, this was the first time the Bucs have ever been on NFL Network, I believe.  It would have been a perfect time for them to showcase the Bucs.  I know they are playing awful -- in the midst of a seven-game (now eight-game) losing streak, but that was no excuse for the bias-ness of the NFL Network's coverage.  Yesterday on their network they aired, leading up to the game: "America's Game: 1992 Cowboys", "America's Game: 1995 Cowboys", a replay of the Cowboys-49ers game from earlier this year, "Tom Landry: A Football Life", and Top Ten Dallas Cowboys of All-Time.   C'mon, is this a national network, or am I watching a local Dallas-Fort Worth station?  They could have at least mixed in an "America's Game: 2002 Buccaneers" instead of 10 straight hours of this Cowboys-love fest.  The game was all-Cowboys, at least they could have shown the Bucs a little love during the programming all day leading up to it.  Even FOX News thinks that violates equal time guidelines!  Even ESPN is less biased when showing a Red Sox-Yankees game!

And then to top it all off, they rubbed salt in the wound at halftime, the Bucs were trailing 28-0, and they put the Bucs' score not just as "0", but "00":

What, one "zero" wasn't enough?

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