Local Military Veteran Turns DIY Idea Into Sports Hobby
"On game days, before I go to the stadium, I put this flag up," said Greg Brauer as he pulled the ropes of his makeshift flag display. "Of course everyone in the neighborhood knows I'm a Bucs fan."
Whatever you decide to call it, just don't call it a job.
"If I have a painting or a clear-coating, I'll actually try to get it in before I go for my morning walk," said Brauer. "About two years back a friend of ours sent a picture of an Alabama mailbox post and said 'hey can you make this' and I said, 'sure, why not'." Being one of Tampa's biggest Bucs supporters isn't a job at his home - it's a passion.
"I've done a couple different colleges, all the major sports teams for Tampa, and I've actually done a St. Louis Rams mailbox post… can't blame him for poor taste, oh well," he said while laughing. Brauer hand-builds sports team mailboxes. And after four years, his hobby has grown into something meaningful.
"I retired four years ago. 38 years Active Duty Military and Government Service. Really decided at that point I just wanted to do something enjoyable instead of all the stress I'd been going through," he explained. "[I] recently received a cancer diagnosis with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Not life-threatening. Of course it was a scare at the time, but I decided after that, I'm like, 'I don't want to spend the rest of my life working', so... I manage to do at least two or three of these projects at least a year and donate it to different charities."
A Tampa Bay "Pirate" since '98, he goes by Gunner Greg as he shoots the canons off during game days at Raymond James Stadium. But he's also the captain of his ship, and he plans to continue checking on his hobby and raising that red flag every game day.
"Nobody said this was easy… but this is me," he finished.
For info on Brauer's projects click here.
Be sure to tune in as we take you inside the 2021 NFL Experience on game day.
for more features.