The TC Boyz got a little help from the Buccaneers for their draft party last weekend, including an appearance from Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson.
Each year the TC Boyz hold their fantasy football league draft at O’Brien’s Irish Pub in Plant City, but this year the annual event was made a little more exciting with help from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The name TC Boyz draws their name from Turkey Creek as the group of 10 Plant City friends have shared the league — and their draft day tradition — for over a decade.
“This is a league that we’ve had for a little while,” Brian Lewis said. “It’s called TC Boyz, or Turkey Creek Boyz basically, and it’s full of guys that grew up in or around Turkey Creek and have stuck together.”
After reserving the space at O’Brien’s months in advance as they always draft on Labor Day weekend to make sure they hold the event as close to Week 1 as possible, management later contacted the league and let them know that the Bucs had reached out and wanted to sponsor some drafts around the Tampa Bay Area, with theirs being selected.The partnership included free drinks, food discounts and even a visit from a former or current Buccaneers player.
With no idea which player would show up, the league was thrilled when former Florida State Seminole and Super Bowl XXXVII MVP Dexter Jackson arrived.
“We were kind of all in the dark until Dexter Jackson showed up,” Lewis said. “He got there right when our draft was starting and it was really cool. He came in, he’d never done fantasy football before, he’s just kind of a spectator so we filled him in on how it works, he had some questions, we talked about players and he was even putting the names on the board as we drafted them. It was a really good time. We got to talk about fantasy football, real football, we got to talk about players, other people were coming in once the word got out that he was there — I saw one woman come in with her Dexter Jackson Bucaneers jersey on and he recognized so he went down to shake her hand and she took that shirt off to reveal an FSU shirt on underneath it, his alma mater. So he was able to sign both shirt, there were kids coming in getting hats signed and stuff, it was pretty cool.”
Lewis mentioned that the league isn’t only fun as far as the competition goes, but it’s also a great way for the group of friends to stay in touch as their annual draft might be the only time that some of them are able to see one another each year.
“One of the guys, he lives two hours away so we literally only see him once a year but he brings his son for the last 10 years now so we’ve pretty much watched him grow up from eight years old to 18 years old,” Lewis said. “It’s pretty cool to just have that long of a relationship, most of these guys have known each other for well over a decade.”
But just because it’s a great way to have some fun among long-time friends, that’s not to say that the league isn’t taken very seriously — with both major punishment and major rewards on the line. While the winner goes home with the league trophy and what Lewis described as a “healthy gentleman’s bet” in their pocket, the loser knows that they will have to spend a few hours donning a dress at O’Brien’s for the next year’s draft.
So while the TC Boyz’ annual fantasy football draft is something that the league looks forward to each year, this season’s edition will certainly be one that they’ll never forget.
“We were definitely shocked when O’Brien’s reached out,” Lewis said. “Everybody was excited, we were texting in the group chat, everybody was trying to figure out who it might be and no one guessed Dexter Jackson, but having him come was definitely cool. He’s a Super Bowl MVP, he had his Super Bowl ring on and let us get pictures with him and the ring, he signed our trophy which stays with our league. Whoever wins gets their name engraved on the trophy, they keep the trophy all year and then they bring it to the draft where the next winner gets to take it for a year. It commemorates all the guys that have won over the years but we thought that it was really cool that we’ll now always have Dexter Jackson’s signature on the league trophy too.”