As part of the SB Nation Tampa Bay Fan of the Week series, we plan to find out more about the bloggers who cover your Tampa Bay area sports teams.
First up is a man who goes by the screen name of UNFNole. Mike Neilson went to the University of North Florida, and writes about the Bucs over at Bucs Nation, one of the best Bucs blogs around, and a proud member of SB Nation.
He says he is a 'die-hard Bucs, Noles, Braves and Magic fan,' loves everything about sports, and is an avid golfer with a 25 handicap.
He's in his mid-20s, happily married and lives in Atlanta. We asked a few more questions:
How did you come to be a fan of the Bucs?
I've always loved football, even as a youngster. However, I have not always cheered for the Bucs. My dad wasn't much of an NFL guy. He taught me to despise the Florida Gators and so naturally I chose to be a Florida State Seminoles fan. I have specific memories of watching NFL games early on, but the first team I can ever remember cheering for was the Buffalo Bills during their run of four consecutive losing Super Bowls. I loved Thurman Thomas, Jim Kelly and Andre Reed. That was exciting football.
As a Seminoles fan it should be hard to pick my favorite 'Nole. It's not though. It's Warrick Dunn. I thought he was one of the most electric players in college football, a good human being and I loved watching him play. When he left Florida State, I 'followed' him to the Bucs and instantly became a Bucs fan. I started latching on to the team as a whole and have never lost my passion for the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Why did you start blogging about the Bucs?
I love talking about football. More specifically, I love talking about the Bucs. I joined SBNation after I found TomahawkNation (hence the name UNFNole). I soon found the Bucs site and started commenting there too. A reader of the site who also runs NFLTouchdown.com asked me to start writing, so I did. Niko then recruited me over to (formerly) BucEm.
What has been your most successful article, and why?
I've written a lot of articles I'm proud of, but the most "successful" is probably "Tampa 2 Defense Explained." It was an easy article for me to write. Perhaps my favorite part of football is strategy. I love breaking apart defenses and could watch game-film all day long.
Describe the sports scene and fans in Tampa Bay.
I have never lived in Tampa. I'd be just as qualified to talk about that as I am qualified to talk about the Dow Jones.
Can you explain the differences to another sports town?
I'll compare what I know of TB to Atlanta. Atlanta is a more casual NFL town. Their are far more Braves and Dawg fans here than there are Falcons. I would say if you go to Tampa you are going to hear far more people talking about their NFL town than their baseball team (albeit they have been incredibly successful the last two years).
What's your favorite Bucs story ever?
I used to love going to training camps in Orlando. I met several of the players, coaches and we generally had a great time. They should move it back.
What's the weirdest thing to ever happen with the Bucs?
Winning a Super Bowl. After failing to get there for so many years, it was weird. Not a fluke...just weird.
What do you hate hearing from opposing fans?
"Raheem Morris sucks."
I get sick of hearing it from our own fans though as well. If it is true (which I don't believe it is), it's way too early to tell and the sample size we have, shouldn't matter. It's ignorant. I hate ignorant fans from any city.
Hey Mike - thanks a bunch for all you do in keeping Bucs fans informed! Make sure to keep an eye on those Falcons for us up there.
We're always looking for Tampa Bay's most outrageous, outspoken, excitable, enthusiastic fans. If you see anyone who fits the description, snap a photo, tell us what makes them such a great fan of our local teams, and send it to us at TampaBay@sbnation.com.