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Despite COVID-19 Pandemic, Super Bowl Winners Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hold Boat Parade

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

What is the point of winning a sports championship if you don't hold a victory parade? Well, this afternoon, hundreds of boats packed the Tampa Riverwalk to celebrate that city's latest title.

(SOUNDBITE OF PARADE AMBIENCE)

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Thousands of fans greeted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, fresh off their Super Bowl win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Most of the players and staff were on boats, showing off the Lombardi Trophy.

KELLY: There was even a moment when quarterback Tom Brady tossed the trophy from one boat to another, which I guess you're allowed to do if you're a seven-time winner. After the parade, head coach Bruce Arians addressed the crowd.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRUCE ARIANS: I cannot take credit for any of this, all right? We have the best coaching staff in the NFL, and we damn sure got the best players in the NFL.

SHAPIRO: The city said the parade would be a safe and socially distant event, masks required, though if you looked closely, there weren't a lot of masks being worn.

KELLY: Arians said he is proud of his team getting through the season despite the pandemic.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ARIANS: You beat COVID, and you beat every damn team we lined up against. All right. And you did it the right way.

KELLY: Jane Castor, the mayor of Tampa, says the boat parade was organized quickly because of the pandemic, and they hope to have a more normal one in the future.

SHAPIRO: But in the meantime, Tampa sports fans are enjoying a pretty good run. In addition to the Buccaneers' championship, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the NHL's Stanley Cup, and the Tampa Bay Rays reached the World Series.

KELLY: Which I guess means that this has not been the only parade in Tampa lately.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HEY, HEY TAMPA BAY")

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Singing) Hey, hey, Tampa Bay. The Bucs know how to shine. Hey, hey, Tampa Bay. The Bucs know how to shine. If we're in trouble, that's OK. We can pull it out because we know we're on the top when we stand up, stand up and shout. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.