It's no secret that the ship is sinking in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have yet to win a game, they are starting a rookie quarterback, their star running back and several other players are injured, and those still standing have all but given up on head coach Greg Schiano in his second year. One stat I've seen referenced over and over again is that they have lost 11 of their last 12 games.
So, who was that hapless team that they somehow managed to beat?
Oh, that's right: it was the Panthers. That was the ludicrous game in which the Panthers led 21-10 with just four minutes left in the game. A field goal, 80-yard drive and seemingly impossible two-point conversion later, and the Buccaneers had sent the game into overtime, where they again drove down the field with a game-winning 80-yard touchdown drive.
Now, the Panthers are better than they were last season, and the Bucs are much worse. But that strange game in week 11 of last season goes to show you should never count any game as an easy win, especially against a division rival.
Victory at Sea - Ballast Point Brewing Company
Today, Ballast Point Brewing is one of San Diego's largest brewers, brewing, bottling and distributing several year-round and seasonal beers all over the country. The brewery started life in 1996 in the back room of a homebrew supply store called Home Brew Mart. They moved out of that space in 2004 and have been growing ever since, and not just on the beer side: they also distill seven different spirits.
Ballast Point's Victory at Sea is brewed with whole vanilla beans and cold-brewed coffee (3/4 of an ounce per pint!). At 10 percent, it's a big and complex beer that counters the roasted coffee flavors with a rounded sweetness from the vanilla.
How it relates to the game
Okay, I know I recommended a coffee beer last week, but this beer's name is just too relevant to this week's match up to pass on. Plus, the coffee is clearly working and keeping this team going, so what's one more cup?
Last week, I recommended Founders Breakfast Stout, which is brewed with coffee, chocolate and oatmeal. Ballast Point's Victory at Sea is a porter brewed with coffee and vanilla. It's a bit sweeter than the Founders, but then the taste of victory always is. Let's hope the Panthers can take Victory at Sea tonight at Raymond James Stadium, and that their ridiculous cannon doesn't fire a single time for the home team. And in keeping with the pirate theme, I'd be remiss if I didn't say the Panthers should "release the Kraken" on rookie quarterback Mike Glennon tonight.
Price Point / Availability
Victory at Sea is a limited release, but check with your local bottle shop to see if it's in stock. It usually retails for around $9.99 a 22-ounce bottle.
Looking to drink craft beer at the game? Here's a list of craft beers in Bank of America Stadium.