Tom Brady adding to his historic résumé highlights five reasons to root for the Bucs to reach Super Bowl LV

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the doorstep of reaching the Super Bowl for the first time since 2002 and the Tom Brady experiment has proven to provide immediate dividends in their first season together. After finally getting a win over the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round to send Drew Brees and company packing, the Bucs will now face arguably their toughest challenge of the year. On Sunday, they’ll head into Lambeau Field and try to eliminate Aaron Rodgers, who is the odds-on favorite to win the league MVP this season. It’s a quarterback matchup for the ages, but who should you be pulling for? 

If you’re a Bucs or Packers fan, we already know where your allegiance lies, but we’re now talking to those who may not have a true dog in this fight. When you sit down on Sunday to tune into this head-to-head, who should you be rooting for? Well, we’re going to give you five reasons why it should be the Buccaneers that you want to see win the NFC and make it all the way to Super Bowl LV. 

1. Tom Brady adding to his legacy

At this point, let’s just see how far Brady can build his lead over the rest of the pack. The Bucs quarterback has already solidified himself as the greatest of all-time and owns nearly every record imaginable. He’s set to play in his 14th conference championship, which only the Steelers (16) and 49ers (16) have more. Again, Brady is no longer battling against individual players, but entire organizations for a place in history. That’s where a rooting interest sprouts up as he makes another bid for a Super Bowl. If Brady can get to the big game and win it, that’d give him seven Super Bowl titles for his career. No organization in the history of the NFL has seven Super Bowls to its name. Brady would truly be in a class of his own. Who doesn’t want to see that type of history made? 

Also, if Brady is able to get another Super Bowl by beating Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and possibly Patrick Mahomes in the process, that may be one of his biggest accomplishments yet. 

2. Added spice to the Brady vs. Belichick debate

Building off that first point, if Brady gets to a Super Bowl, it throws gasoline on the already blazing argument surrounding the quarterback and his former head coach in Bill Belichick. 

Does Tom Brady deserve more credit for the Patriots dynasty or Bill Belichick?

That’s been barroom and radio fodder for the past decade. While most — including yours truly — have held the belief that New England’s historic run of success couldn’t have happened without both Brady and Belichick coming together at just the right time, it’s admittedly hard to make that declaration if Brady goes off and wins a Super Bowl in his first season away from Foxborough. That’s also not even taking into account New England missing the playoffs for the first time in 2008 and being under .500 for the first time since 2000 (the year before Brady became the starter). 

Just a Super Bowl appearance is likely enough to get this conversation to a fever pitch, but a win would suddenly separate Brady from Belichick in terms of who is greater than the other. If you’re someone who still dislikes Belichick and the Patriots and has an affinity for Brady now that’s he’s in Tampa, this could be your biggest rooting interest. 

3. Bruce Arians getting a ring

Bruce Arians already has two Super Bowl rings to his name thanks to his days as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers. That said, it’s an entirely different circumstance if he’s able to get one as a head coach for the first time in his career. Leading the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl appearance and then winning a championship would then give the two-time NFL Coach of the Year a rather compelling argument to one day be enshrined in Canton, OH as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He comes into this NFC Championship with a .616 winning percentage as a head coach (regular season and playoffs) and a ring could cement him as one of the better coaches we’ve seen in this era. 

Arians also has the reputation of being one of the NFL’s most genuine people (look no further than stepping in for Chuck Pagano with the Colts in 2012 after his leukemia diagnosis) and seeing him finally get a Super Bowl as a head coach would be a feel-good side story. 

4. Prevent Rodgers from jumping higher on all-time lists

This is admittedly a more malicious angle as you’re really rooting against the Packers more than you’re rooting for the Bucs, but if you’re a specific kind of neutral fan watching this NFC Championship, you could fall into this category. Fan of Peyton Manning, John Elway, and/or Drew Brees and consider any one of them to be better than Aaron Rodgers? Well, your argument is going to get a lot weaker if Rodgers takes Green Bay to the Super Bowl and wins it. 

While Rodgers is already looked at as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever step on a football field, a second ring would shoot him even further up the all-time ranks. He’d fly by Brees (if he already hasn’t) by winning an extra Super Bowl over the Saints legend. Meanwhile, he’d knot himself up with Manning and Elway for titles and will, in all likelihood, have the third MVP award of his career in just a few weeks. That’s two rings and three MVPs now sitting on Rodgers’ mantle, which is enough to oust Manning as the third-greatest quarterback of all-time behind Tom Brady and Joe Montana or at least get that conversation rolling. 

A loss, however, keeps Rodgers with just one Super Bowl to his name, which keeps the argument of Manning being ahead of him on the all-time leaderboard still alive. If you’re looking for Manning to keep his current position in history, you may be forced to root for his longtime rival in Tom Brady. 

5. First team to ever host a Super Bowl

With Super Bowl LV being held at Raymond James Stadium this year, a win over the Packers on Sunday would make the Buccaneers the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. No club in the previous 54 Super Bowls has enjoyed the opportunity to make a bid for a Lombardi Trophy while playing in the confines of their home stadium. In fact, only one other team (2017 Vikings) have even made it to the conference championship during a year where their stadium would play host to the big game. This would also be the first home game for the Buccaneers all playoffs as they’ve been on the road throughout the postseason, first traveling to Washington, New Orleans, and now Green Bay. 

The NFL has been optimistic about the possibility of fans being in the stands for the Super Bowl. While that game is usually a melting pot of NFL fans from across the country, there should be a solid amount of local Bucs — and possibly even Patriots — fans in attendance to give Tampa Bay a bit of an unprecedented edge. This season, the stadium averaged 14,483 fans for its eight home games, which is roughly about 22% capacity. The Buccaneers also went 5-3 at home this season. 

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