Bucs fans among most miserable in sports

- In a city considered paradise, there is an undercurrent of misery. A dark cloud hovers over the Buccaneer fan base at Raymond James Stadium.

Research by ESPN reveals Bucs fans are the 15th most miserable fans out of the 124 professional sports franchises in four leagues.

"We need a winning team," said Bucs fan Erica Oladeji. "We need somebody that can lead the team and we need some players that are committed to bringing Tampa a win."

"I'm a Buffalo Bills fan," said Steelbach restaurant managing partner Tom Allen.

The Bills are ranked fifth most miserable.

"I can feel a little bit the way they do, but it's a lot colder up there," Allen said.

Former Buccaneer Ian Beckles has seen the Bucs' woes from both sides. As a player during their darkest days, Beckles played during the Bucs 14-year playoff drought.

Now he's as a radio host during an 11-year postseason blackout. Beckles believes this era is worse.

"It's a lot worse now because you're seeing teams go from worst to first where, way back when, teams were just bad for a long time," said Ian Beckles WDAE radio host.

Rays fans don't fare much better, according to ESPN, ranking the 18th most miserable, despite their surprising season.

"Winning 90 games doesn't seem so cool when one of their primary rivals has won four championships since 2004 and the other is the most decorated franchise in the sport," ESPN noted.

At the other end of the spectrum, is the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are in the top 20 for the happiest fans

"We're very blessed here to probably have the best owner in sports here in our community," Beckles explained. "Jeffery Vinik is priceless."

For some Bucs fans, it's hard to find misery during this time of the year in Tampa Bay.

"I'm not miserable. Look at the sunshine," said Bucs fan Eddie Pelham. "It's a beautiful place. Just a few more wins, I think we can do much, much better."

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