TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s the kind of photo most sports fans dream of and marvel at when they see it.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this snapshot could fill a novel.
A Sarasota man loves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so much, he took the team all the way to Africa with his Bucs pride flying high over Mount Kilimanjaro.
As the home team was seen soaring to new heights overseas, a proud papa who works as a security guard back in Sarasota was beaming with pride – for both the Buccaneers and his baby boy.
“I’m just really proud of him, everything that he does, he strives to do the very best at everything,” said Rick Clark Sr.
The elder Clark told 8 On Your Side his son has spent the last year training for this trip.
“Oh I’m so proud of him, he trains and he’s very adventurous,” Clark explained. “He skydives and he does all kinds of things.”
And talk about perfect timing, with the Bucs in the Super Bowl, the 33-year-old had a special flag with a special logo packed in his luggage and knew exactly where it’d look best.
“He told me he’s got his flag and he’s going to put it on top of the summit, and I said, that’s awesome,” said Clark Sr.
His son climbed Mount Kilimanjaro this past week, the highest free standing mountain in the world with his Super Bowl souvenir in hand, now perfectly placed on top of the world – for the whole world to see.
He told his father he never knew his photo would be famous.
His father said, “He did it for his friends, he said I’m going to take it up, put the flag on the summit. But, I don’t think he knew it would go viral.”
Rick Clark Jr. also made some friends along the way as he traveled on a safari through the Serengeti, and his new buddies are now Buccaneers fans themselves – knowing that half a world away, a team that made history now has the photo to prove it.
The Cardinal Mooney graduate is now headed home, departing Africa on Wednesday, anxious to get back in Tampa Bay where his team will play Sunday.
“We’re going to definitely celebrate when he comes home. It’ll be fun,” his dad said. “I’m going to give him a big hug, I’m so proud of him, everybody’s so proud of him.”