The Tampa Bay Buccaneers O-Line provides Thanksgiving meals to local families

Interviewing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is definitely the hugest moment of my food writing career. I don’t get too excited about my stories but this is a highlight. Getting to go to 1 Buc Place to talk to the players is something I never thought I’d be doing. It’s funny the players are so huge but deep down they’re just mushy teddy bears.

Every year around Thanksgiving, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line puts together an event for underserved families and communities called “Turkey Time with the O-Line”. The players give out full Thanksgiving meals and just have a good time. I talked to a few players about it and they all enjoy the event very much:

“We look at football players as some of the toughest people but really, they’re just big teddy bears.

It isn’t anything new to see players from our beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers doing community service. For the last decade, players from the offensive line put together an annual event called “Turkey Time with the O-Line,” where they give away Thanksgiving meals to deserving families. Former players Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood started the annual event in 2012. Offensive tackle Demar Dotson continued the tradition after Joseph and Trueblood left the team.

“When they left, I called them up and asked if I could continue what they started and they said, ‘Yes,’” Dotson tells CL. Once he got everyone else on board, it was smooth sailing. He says sometimes events put on by players that leave die out, so he had the privilege of keeping Turkey Time with the O-Line going. 

“I think what we’re doing is a good thing. I didn’t want to see it die off.”

Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Glazer Family Foundations Brian Bell says the player-led initiative highlights not only how passionate they are but also how generous the team is. 

“It’s something they get really excited about. It’s one of those things where our players really show support for the community,” says Bell. “

The date for Turkey Time isn’t out yet but I really hope I can make it. Read more about the event here.