Head coach Bruce Arians got in as the latest member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers urging on the Tampa Bay Lightning to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
He tweeted out a message to Lightning head coach Jon Cooper and the team before Game 1 of the finals on Monday. The Lightning thumped the Montreal Canadiens 5-1.
“Let’s go Coach Coop and the Tampa Bay Lightning,” Arians wrote.
Arians and Cooper met before during the 2018-2019 season when Cooper gave Arians a signed Lightning jersey according to Diana Nearhos of the Tampa Bay Times. Cooper told Nearhos that Arians has that “old-school passion” and that “the Bucs are in good hands.”
Bucs defensive back Mike Edwards wanted his own Lightning jersey during Game 1, which he tweeted out. “What Tampa Bay Lightning jersey should I get,” Edwards wrote.
Bucs players have been out to support the Lightning throughout the playoffs. That included Bucs offensive lineman Ali Marpet pumping up the Lightning fans during a Game 7 semifinal showdown against the New York Islanders in Tampa on June 25, which the Lightning won 1-0.
“Bucs’ Ali Marpet is feeling it,” the Tampa Bay Times tweeted.
Congratulatory tweets from Bucs players such as Mike Evans, Tristan Wirfs and Sean Murphy-Bunting came in following the Lightning’s win.
Bucs stars Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski likewise have chipped in support for the Lightning this season.
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Brady: “Let’s Do This Again Lightning”
Brady, who has done a hype videos outside of the Bucs before, got the Lightning crowd fired up with his hype video earlier in the playoffs.
“All the Tampa Bay Lightning fans, let’s do this again Lightning,” Brady exclaimed. “Let’s go for two people! Let’s keep Lord Stanley in the Bay, right where he belongs. Let’s get the Cup again! Go Bolts! Let’s go!”
Brady also attended a Lightning game on April 22 and “posed for a photo with Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and family” according to the Tampa Bay Time’s Mari Faiello.
Tight Ends Tout Lightning
Both Gronkowski and fellow tight end Cameron Brate made trips out to Amalie Arena in Tampa this spring.
Gronkowski stopped by a Lightning practice in May with his brothers to play some hockey with the defending Stanley Cup champs. The Bucs star tight end played hockey growing up in Buffalo, New York, until age 14 per Eduardo Encina of the Tampa Bay Bay Times.
Gronkowski took shots, and he played goalie and tried to stop shots against Lightning players. In addition, the Lightning players got to pose with the Lombardi Trophy per Encina.
Brate went to a game during the Lightning-Islanders series on June 15 and got the crowd excited with a noise maker. He wore an Alex Killorn jersey according to WSTP’s Evan Closky.
Bucs linebacker Shaquil Barrett brought the Lombardi Trophy to a Lightning game in March shortly after re-signing with the Bucs.
“It’s exciting,” Barrett said, per Faiello. “There’s a lot of antsy people waiting for something big to happen all of the time and ready to explode when it happens.”
Since the Stanley Cup and the latest Lombardi Trophy reside in Tampa, the two trophies were photographed together on April 23 for “Champions Day” in Tampa. The Tampa Bay Rays’ 2020 American League trophy and the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ 2020 Eastern Conference USL Championship pro soccer trophy also made the photo.
Because of the wild sports success for the Tampa Bay area in 2020, the nickname “Champa Bay” began floating around.
Lightning Supporting Bucs
Lightning players likewise showed their support of the Bucs during the run to Super Bowl LV.
“At the end of the day, we’re all sports fans,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos told Encina. “I grew up playing all those sports, as a kid and you kind of dream that you could be a professional athlete in a different sport, too.”
Besides following the team, the Lightning brought the Stanley Cup to the Bucs’ Oct. 4, 2021, home game against the Los Angeles Chargers. That was shortly after the Lightning captured the Cup on September 28, 2020 in Edmonton, Canada, against the Dallas Stars.