Bucs bracing for a Week 1 blackout

If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can pick up where they left off last season on the field, that will bode very well for the young team.

But at the gate, that could be a very bad thing for the franchise. The Bucs led the NFL with 10 blackouts last season (yes, even their preseason broadcasts were not shown on local television) and they’re fixing to kick off the 2011 season with, what else, a blackout.

The Bucs open at home Sunday against the Detroit Lions and according to Anwar Richardson of the Tampa Tribune, the game is not sold out yet. The Bucs have until 1 p.m. today to get there unless they receive a 24-hour extension from the league. Typically, extensions are not granted unless it’s a certainty the team will sell all of the tickets.

The Bucs had sold out every home games since 1998 before last season.

"I can only control the product out there on the field," Bucs coach Raheem Morris said Wednesday. "I'm certainly sensitive and certainly feel for our area. Eleven percent unemployment, that's not necessarily sellout football stuff right now.

"Hopefully the guys will come back and hopefully we'll have the opportunity to (sell out) one day. I look forward to it."

How far off are the Bucs for this game? Owner Bryan Glazer said last week he expected a blackout for this game. It could be the first of several and that’s too bad.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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