The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the doorstep of their first Super Bowl title since 2002 and the Tom Brady experiment has provided immediate dividends in their first season together. After going through the gauntlet of three road playoff games and defeating quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, Tampa Bay heads back to Raymond James Stadium for Super Bowl LV. While they'll enjoy an unprecedented home game in the Super Bowl, they'll square up against Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Chiefs in the big game. Brady vs. Mahomes is a quarterback matchup for the ages, but who should you be pulling for?
If you're a Bucs or Chiefs 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 Super Bowl 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 hoist the Lombardi Trophy when it's all said and done.
Super Bowl LV is almost here, and you can watch it for free on the CBS Sports App.
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. This will be the tenth time that he's reached the Super Bowl, which is more than the Bears, Lions, Jets, Jaguars, Bengals, Browns, Cardinals, Texans, Chargers, Falcons and Titans combined. 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 win it all again, 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 win this latest Super Bowl, it could be looked at as one of the greatest postseason runs of his legendary career. Three road wins while beating Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and possibly Patrick Mahomes in the process would be absurd.
2. Added spice to the Brady vs. Belichick debate
Building off that first point, if Brady wins the 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 since 2008 and being under .500 for the first time since 2000 (the year before Brady became the starter).
Just this 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 a growing 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 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 Super Bowl LV with a .619 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. True underdog story
Who doesn't love the underdog? While it may seem a bit odd to point to a team led by Tom Brady as a group of underdogs, that's how they'll largely be viewed heading into this matchup against Kansas City. The Chiefs are a budding dynasty and a second consecutive title would certainly put them on the fast-track of becoming one. Patrick Mahomes and his offense look like an unstoppable force at times and if the Bucs are able to pull this out, it not only puts a dent into the Chiefs' dynasty hopes, it could change the scope of how the rest of the NFL views Tampa Bay.
While the Bucs do have a Super Bowl trophy already sitting on the mantle, they are technically looked at as one of the bottom-dwellers in the league. They have the worst winning percentage out of all 32 clubs and -- prior to this season -- last made the playoffs in 2007. Brady has already shown his ability to change the culture of the Bucs over the course of a season and the franchise capitalizing on what could be a short championship window with No. 12 under center is imperative. It's critical for not only the immediate success of the organization but also possibly building a culture of winning that stretches beyond Brady's tenure and turns the tides of how this franchise is perceived going forward. If you want the same-old, same-old, go roll with the Chiefs. If you want a brand new team to crash the party, jump on the pirate ship.
5. First team to ever win a Super Bowl at home
With Super Bowl LV being held at Raymond James Stadium this year, the Buccaneers are now 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 comfort of their home stadium. This is also going to 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 then Green Bay.
Now that they've made this unique kind of NFL history, it'd be fascinating to see them take full advantage of that home field and the Super Bowl on their own turf. While this 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.