Buccaneers Plan to Troll Eagles Fans with Ronde Barber Tribute

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (9) celebrates with teammate linebacker Shaquil Barrett (7) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

Time heals all wounds, except when it comes to Buccaneers legend Ronde Barber. His 92-yard interception return for a touchdown in the 2002 NFC Championship Game called game on the Philadelphia Eagles. That was it. Donovan McNabb could only watch from the sideline as the trophy was handed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on his home turf.

It’s a loss that still stings fans to the core some two decades later. Sure, the Eagles have appeared in three Super Bowls since that loss and hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2018. It doesn’t matter. Barber’s name brings up bad memories while stirring up hatred. It doesn’t help that Ronde Barber has entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame ahead of Eagles legend Eric Allen.

And the folks in the Buccaneers’ front office know how much it bothers the Philly faithful, hence it shouldn’t be seen as a coincidence as to why they are honoring Ronde Barber at halftime of Monday night’s game.

That’s right. Tampa Bay is inducting him into their Ring of Honor at halftime. It’s the ultimate troll job. Here is how they worded the press release announcing it:

Are the Buccaneers and Ronde Barber trolling the Eagles

Barber became the sixth individual in franchise history to spend at least six seasons with the organization and be elected for enshrinement. Barber is the franchise’s all-time leader in both games played (241) and games started (232). His 92-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Eagles in the 2002 NFC Championship game remains one of the most iconic moments in club history.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) runs from Minnesota Vikings linebacker Benton Whitley (51) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

While none of the current players on the Eagles’ roster remember him galloping down the field to shut down Veterans Stadium all those years ago, it remains etched into the brain of everyone in the stands that day. And everyone watching from home. The scars are real and visible. The Buccaneers know it and love seeing them. Ditto for Barber who also recorded a sack and a forced fumble in the playoff win over the Eagles.

“[It was] easily, by far, the most dominant football game I’ve ever played,” Barber told ESPN back in August, “and that play just kind of personified it. The interception is what kind of personified that day, but if you watch the entirety of that game — man, I did just about everything you could possibly do in terms of like a defensive player.”

Donovan McNabb Set to Host New Video Podcast Show on Outkick

Donovan McNabb has signed a deal to host a new video podcast called “The 5 Spot with Donovan McNabb.” on Outkick. Episodes will air every Tuesday and Friday throughout the NFL season, with the first one dropping on September 19. Armando Salguero — a senior NFL writer for Outkick — will serve as McNabb’s co-host on the podcast.

“I’ve always been a fan of OutKick and I’m excited to take the next step in my career off the field hosting The 5 Spot,” McNabb said in a press release. “I look forward to providing my analysis of games every week and interviewing former players and coaches. I can’t wait to get started.”

It’ll be interesting to see if they bring up Barber’s induction ceremony in the first episode. The Buccaneers host the Eagles on September 25 at 7:15 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay.

AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn