The Buccaneers are set to become the first team in NFL history to play in a Super Bowl at their home stadium.
Such a reality begs the question: Will they enjoy elements of their home environment?
In Tampa, the Buccaneers -- swashbuckling pirates of old -- have a giant pirate ship in one end zone. The ship features cannons that fire when the Bucs score, and play-by-play announcer Gene Deckerhoff has been known to shout "fire the cannons" when calling Tampa Bay trips to the promised land.
Those cannons will not fire on Sunday before or during the game, except for during the introduction of the Buccaneers, according to NFL senior VP Michael Signora, who told the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud they will be silenced during the game. If the Bucs win, Signora told Stroud, they'll fire the cannons "long and loud."
The Buccaneers released a statement on the matter:
"The firing of the cannons after big plays is a tradition that defines what it means to be a Buccaneer fan and serves as a signature element of our home game experience at Raymond James Stadium," the club said. "However, we also acknowledge and understand the NFL's position with regards to maintaining the integrity of a neutral site atmosphere for Super Bowl LV. While the cannons may not fire in their typical fashion, we look forward to showcasing parts of our tradition while working within the league's guidelines."
We're in uncharted waters (pun unintended) with this Super Bowl in both the fact there will be limited attendance, tens of thousands of cardboard cutouts in the place of actual fans, and one team playing the sport's most important contest in its home stadium. While cannon firing might not distract players, it could create even a small feeling of a home-field advantage -- something the league would logically want to avoid in a game played at a neutral site.
Set the gunpowder aside before kickoff, Bucs fans, and hope that big ship's artistic weaponry bellows plenty once the game is complete.