Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs plan Barber celebration for opener
TAMPA - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday announced a promotion for their home opener that includes early ticket sales, free parking and half-price concessions. The Sept. 9 game against the Carolina Panthers is scheduled to be Ronde Barber's 200th consecutive start and the team plans to honor him with a ceremony. Fans also will receive a Ronde Barber gym sack to commemorate the event. Single-game tickets for the home opener will go on sale June 29, several weeks before the remaining home games. Fans attending the game get 50 percent off all concessions, except alcohol, in both general admission and club levels, and free parking in select lots."As we usher in a new Buccaneer era that kicks off in September, we are looking forward to celebrating Ronde Barber's 200th consecutive start," Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer said in a statement released by the team. "Ronde has made us all proud during his 15 seasons with the team, and this next milestone is yet another along the road that we expect will lead to Canton." Barber, entering his 16th season, joined the Buccaneers as a third-round draft pick 1997. His streak of 199 straight starts is the longest in the NFL among active players, as the five-time Pro Bowler has started every game for Tampa Bay since Week 10 of the 1999 season. Barber is the only defensive back in the NFL since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to start each of his team's games for 12 consecutive seasons. His consecutive starts streak is also the longest by a cornerback in NFL history and his 224 consecutive games played is tied for the second-longest streak by a defensive player in the NFL since 1970. Barber has 43 career interceptions and 27 career sacks, making him the only player in NFL history to have 40 or more interceptions and 25 or more sacks in a career. In addition, his 1,337 tackles rank second in team history behind only linebacker Derrick Brooks, and his 11 touchdowns on takeaways ranks fifth in NFL history.