The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ownership have said that there may be blackouts in the area for the first time in 12 years, but Bucs fans won't have to worry about their team being embarrassed by an empty stadium on national television.
Keep in mind, if the Buccaneers play well and are in contention down the stretch, there's a chance that one of the final six games could be "flexed" into NBC's Sunday Night Football.
For now though, Tampa Bay is looking at all 1 p.m. starts with the exception of the two trips to the west coast, which will be 4 p.m. starts.
Believe it or not, it's conceivable Tampa Bay could start the season 2-0. Tampa Bay opens the season at home against the Cleveland Browns before heading to Carolina to face a suddenly rebuilding Carolina Panthers squad.
The Bucs head home against the likely Big Ben-less Pittsburgh Steelers (if the reports are to believed that Roethlisberger will be getting at least a four game suspension for conduct detrimental to the league).
Tampa Bay's bye week comes in Week Four, earliest the Bucs have had it since 2003.
Three of the Bucs' final five games will be at the friendly (and possibly empty) confines of Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay begins a tough December hosting the Atlanta Falcons on the 5th, followed by a possibly icy road game at Donovan McNabb's Washington Redskins, then they wrap up the home schedule with two also-rans, Detroit and Seattle.
Tampa Bay ends the season the day after New Year's in New Orleans, facing the Saints.
Ironically, as we look at the Bucs' schedule, it appears filled with weaker competition than in the past few years. Just remember, sometimes the bad teams turn good, while some good teams go to pot.
Just as you may be circling wins over the Clevelands, Detroits, and Rams of the league, the fans of those clubs are doing the same to Tampa Bay.
In any event, the suspense of when the games will be played is over. Now the Buccaneers have to concentrate on this weekend and hope they can field a team that might be worthy of at least an NFL Network game next season.
Here's the entire slate for the 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
|Sun.||Sept. 12||CLEVELAND||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|Sun.||Sept. 19||at Carolina||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|Sun.||Sept. 26||PITTSBURGH||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|Sun.||Oct. 3||-- bye week --|
|Sun.||Oct. 10||at Cincinnati||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|Sun.||Oct. 17||NEW ORLEANS||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|Sun.||Oct. 24||ST. LOUIS||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|Sun.||Oct. 31||at Arizona||4:15 p.m.||FOX|
|Sun.||Nov. 7||at Atlanta||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|Sun.||Nov. 14||CAROLINA||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|Sun.||Nov. 21||at San Francisco||4:05 p.m.*||FOX|
|Sun.||Nov. 28||at Baltimore||1:00 p.m.*||FOX|
|Sun.||Dec. 5||ATLANTA||1:00 p.m.*||FOX|
|Sun.||Dec. 12||at Washington||1:00 p.m.*||FOX|
|Sun.||Dec. 19||DETROIT||1:00 p.m.*||FOX|
|Sun.||Dec. 26||SEATTLE||1:00 p.m.*||FOX|
|Sun.||Jan. 2||at New Orleans||1:00 p.m.*||FOX|
* All Sunday games in Weeks 11-17 are subject to a time change as part of NFL's flex scheduling.
Home Games in ALL CAPS.
All Times U.S. Eastern.
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