Bucs' blues: Only team in NFL to open season with blackout
TAMPA - The 2011 NFL season has barely begun, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have already set themselves apart from other teams in the league. But not in the way the team or fans want. The Bucs are the only team opening the 2011 season with a television blackout. The San Diego Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins flirted earlier this week with blackouts, but all avoided that, according to NBC Sports and USA Today.In the case of the Jags, the team bought back unsold tickets to prevent a blackout, according to NBC Sports. The Bucs face the Detroit Lions during their season-opener at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. The NFL-imposed deadline for achieving a sellout and lifting the blackout was at 1 p.m. Thursday, 72 hours before kickoff. In the 2010 season, the Bucs were the only NFL team to have all eight regular-season games blacked out. Prior to 2010, the team sold out every game at Raymond James Stadium since it opened in 1998.