Our first Bucs Fan Around the Globe featured is John “Superfan” Blakey.
I was born into the Bucs life. I was born at St Joseph’s hospital just blocks away from the old Tampa Stadium. My passion for the Bucs first started as something to bond with my mother and brothers over. My best friends were the voices on the radio every Sunday usually telling me that our team had lost, but despite the bad news, I was there every week. I have never been fortunate enough to have season tickets, but I’ve definitely seen my fair share of games. One of my earliest jobs was selling souvenirs at Tampa stadium for two years and going on to do a brief internship with the old Buccaneer Magazine.
Even after I moved to Atlanta,Georgia three years ago, I have continued to support the Bucs heavily. I started by creating my Facebook Bucs group, The Buccaneer Invasion, a group dedicated to fans like myself who are passionate about their team even though we’ve moved away. Next I was introduced to the ATLBUCS Facebook group led by Mark AtlBucs Goodman. It includes such a great group of Buccaneers fans! It feels like being in Tampa every week. This year I will be part of the AtlBucs board of directors. Thanks to Mark AtlBucs Goodman, I was able to go to Canton, Ohio where I spent the weekend with fans from across the globe and got to march in the Hall of Fame parade. I also attended the Derrick Brooks induction. I’ve met tons of great fans who have become close friends and even found the love of my life Jamie Lady Red Stone, who I will be marrying this coming February. This is all because of my dedication to the greatest NFL team. Raise your glasses and fire the cannons! GO BUCS!
Q – How do you represent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Atlanta?
A – I am a member of the AtlBucs Facebook group here in Atlanta. We promote fellowship and goodwill between fans of all teams. We have weekly watch parties during the season and welcome Bucs fans and opposing fans alike. I also manage a sports Store in Lawrenceville,Georgia called Globall Sports. We carry more Buccaneer merchandise than anyone north of the Tampa Bay area. During the season, I wear a Bucs shirt or jersey every day Monday – Sunday. On the rare chance I don’t wear something Bucs, my regular customers come in and ask if I’m a new employee. “Hey where’s the Tampa guy?”, they will ask.
Q – Is it hard being a Bucs fan in Atlanta Falcons territory?
A – Hard? No. This Atlanta area is so full of transplants that the only time REAL Falcons fans come out is if they are in the playoffs. Honestly, it’s kind of sad and makes you feel sorry for the team. That’s really the only time the “fans” give you a hard time. The one thing that is hard is finding a store that carries Bucs merchandise. That’s why I started ordering more for Globall Sports.
Q – What is your favorite memory as a Bucs fan?
A – Taking my son to his first Bucs vs Falcons game three years ago. He had never been to a Bucs game before and going in he told me he liked the Bucs, but his favorite sport was basketball. After the game was over that the Bucs unfortunately lost, my son looked at me and said “football is now my favorite sport”. It was definitely a proud daddy moment to see a 3rd generation Bucs fan born.
Q – Who is your favorite Bucs player of all time, and why?
A – #40 Mike Alstott. He gave everything he had every week. I loved the way he was loyal to the team and played his whole career in Tampa. Plus, the man was a beast on the field!!
Q – What is the best Bucs game that you’ve attended?
A – Bucs vs Lions 1997 playoff game. It had a lot of excitement! It was Barry Sanders first playoff appearance in many many years and was the last game at Houlihan stadium, Mike Alstott with a 30 yard TD run, John Madden, Pat Summerall, and a Bucs win?! What else could you ask for?
Q – What is your most prized Bucs themed possession and why?
A – Either my Mike Alstott autographed full size helmet or my three Buccaneer Battle flags. I take them with me every where. It’s great for photo opportunities and just showing off to Falcons fans. Last year I was on TV during the HOF induction of Derrick Brooks, where I was shown holding up the flag.