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Bucs' Super Bowl bid caps off an incredible year for Tampa Bay sports

After this Sunday, the Bucs, the Lightning, the Rays, and will all have played in their respective championship games. The Rowdies had theirs canceled.
Credit: AP

TAMPA, Fla — There must be something in the water for athletes around Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers heading to Super Bowl LV marks the fourth Bay area sports team to secure a spot in their respective championship in the past year.

Despite all the troubles 2020 brought, it was an incredible time for Tampa Bay area sports teams. The Bucs are in good company with the Stanley Cup champions: the Tampa Bay Lightning; the MLB American League champions: the Tampa Bay Rays; and the USL Eastern Conference winners: the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

After not winning a single playoff game in 2019, the Lightning came back strong in 2020 and defeated the Dallas Stars to become Stanley Cup Champions. Led by top scorers Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, and Steven Stamkos, the Bolts won in six games within the NHL bubble in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2020, file photo, Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos (91) is presented the Stanley Cup from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman as they celebrate after defeating the Dallas Stars in the NHL Stanley Cup hockey finals in Edmonton, Alberta. The NHL is embarking on a 56-game regular season with all divisional play in a knock-down, drag-out battle for the Stanley Cup unlike any other in hockey history. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

The Rays finished the 2020 season as American League champions after defeating the reigning AL champion Houston Astros in seven games. They went on to their second World Series but came up just short in six games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Randy Arozarena led the team with a record 10 home runs in the postseason.

Credit: AP
Tampa Bay Rays celebrate their win against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. Rays defeated the Dodgers 8-7 to tie the series 2-2 games. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Rowdies finished their season as Eastern Conference Champions. They were set to take on Phoenix Rising FC in the USL Championship Final until the game was canceled due to a number of Rowdies players and staff testing positive for COVID-19.

The Bucs are hoping to take home a win this Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, and you can be sure their fellow Tampa Bay athletes will be rallying behind them.

Super Bowl LV kick-off is at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 right here on 10 Tampa Bay!

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