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Pro Football

Bucs Rule Madden Bowl

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 23, 2013 at 04:39 PM

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a dynasty.

Bucs receiver Antonio Bryant defeated Giants defensive end Justin Tuck in the 15th annual Madden Bowl video game championship, 28-7, on Thursday night at the Honey Spot in Ybor City.

Bucs players have won three of the past four Madden Bowls, and five overall. Teammate Alex Smith won the tournament in 2006 and 2007.

Bryant, who played as the Dallas Cowboys, said he spent hours preparing. It paid off.

"I think I played the better defense of anybody tonight," Bryant said. "We're all family. We're just here to have fun."

In a battle of the Antonios, Bryant topped Chargers tight end Antonio Gates in the semifinals. Tuck beat Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware to make the finals.

Two players in Sunday's Super Bowl, Pittsburgh's Willie Parker and Arizona's Edgerrin James, were eliminated in the first round.

"We have curfew, so I had to let him win," Parker said after losing to Bryant.

Nick Williams

NFLX After Dark

From video game contests to player autographs to a 56-year-old man in a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader costume, the NFLX After Dark celebration offered fans a wild, and wet, experience Thursday night.

Hundreds of people crowded the NFL Experience in the shadow of Raymond James Stadium as the afternoon rain eased up long enough for fans to wander between tents filled with memorabilia, interactive football drills and chances to win collectible souvenirs.

NFLX After Dark allowed fans a chance to savor the festivities from 9 p.m. to midnight. The event closes at 10 p.m. Saturday.

Mark Miller, decked out in Steelers gear, squatted behind a life-sized replica of the Buccaneers' 2008 team photo so his longtime girlfriend, Lisa Donitzen, could snap a picture. The couple, who now live in Tampa, are originally from Johnstown, Pa. They came out to show Miller's brother George around.

"I've been to all five they won," George Miller said of the Steelers' previous Super Bowl victories. The only game he missed was the team's loss in 1996 to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX in Tempe, AZ. "I feel very good. We're going for the Iron City six-pack."

John Allman

Aja Kicks Off

At The Super Bowl Kickoff party at Aja nightclub in Channelside, party-goers danced and mingled until the wee hours of the morning on one of three levels.

Women sauntered around inbarely-there mini's, booty jeans and lots of revealing tops, while men were decked out in muscle shirts, jeans and sports jackets.

Joey Fatone and Alfonso Ribeiro slidinto the club and caused quite a stir, even though neither one looked like he wanted to have his picture taken (we took it anyway because that's what we're there for).

Cloe Cabrera

Wells Wins 'Long' Drive

What happens when two Super Bowl-bound football players square off in a golf competition at a restaurant owned by a hockey player? Some charities get some money, that's what.

Reggie Wells of the Arizona Cardinals and LaMarr Woodley of the Pittsburgh Steelers went head-to-head in the Top-Flite long drive contest for charity at Dave Andreychuk's Grille in Tampa on Friday, two days before Super Bowl XLIII.

Wells took top prize with a drive of 187 yards - these guys aren't ready for the PGA Tour, folks - much to the delight of the handful of Cardinals fans who showed up to cheer him on. His selected charity, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, will receive a donation of $10,000 and Woodley's ''Heroes for Kids'' charity will get $2,000.

Ryan Bauer

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