Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman could not wait to text message Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon.
The Rays pulled off a dramatic 8-7 victory in 12 innings against the New York Yankees late Wednesday night to clinch an American League playoff spot. Freeman, who is friends with Maddon, sent a text to congratulate his friend after the win.
"I don't know if it's ever been done before, but certainly a lot of people were bashing them and a lot of people were counting them out," Freeman said. "They just kept fighting and it's great."
Many Bucs players said they stayed up to watch the Rays' victory and will continue supporting them throughout this year's playoffs.
"Coach Raheem (Morris) loves them," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "He always tells us to go out there and support those guys. He was hoping we didn't practice in the Trop (Tropicana Field) today because that means they could have lost. We were able to practice in the Trop and the Rays won. It's a great thing.
"We hope they can make this run. They were in the same spot we were last year. We're happy to see they got to experience it and they're starting it for us. They got there (playoffs) and now we're going to try to do the same."
Morris is optimistic he might be able to support the Rays in person.
The Rays play at Texas on Friday and Saturday before returning to host Game 3 on Monday. The Bucs play against Indianapolis on Monday, so Morris is hoping the Glazer family, which owns the Bucs, will let him use their private jet and fly to Texas on Saturday.
"I was going to get you guys (media) to write a bunch of stories about how great it would be for Raheem Morris and a couple of guys, with Saturday being our off day this week because of the Monday Night Football game, fly up there, fly back and owners let us hold the NetJet," Morris said, laughing. "A lot of pressure on my ownership, right now."