Friday, December 09, 2005
A Blast from the Past: Number 42, RB, Ricky Bell.
As promised here is this weeks "A Blast from the Past". This is my way to pay tribute to the great Buccaneer players of the past. Some of these players are in our hearts as Buccaneer fans, but will never be honored any other way. This week I picked the great Ricky Bell, Running Back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This was truly an amazing back, it is sad that his life was cut short in 1984 of heart failure.
Ricky Bell was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the first overall pick in 1977 as a running back out of the USC, where he was an All-American running back John McKay chose him over Tony Dorsett who went to the Cowboys with the second selection
Ricky Bell played for the Buccaneers from 1977-1981.
Bell One of the most outstanding performers in Buccaneer franchise history, Bell played in the NFL for six years, five with Tampa Bay, and still ranks as the fifth-leading rusher in team annals. Ricky Bell had 3,057 yards and 16 touchdowns as a Buccaneer. Bell was at his best in the playoff run of 1979 in which he rushed for 1,263 yards (third-highest in Tampa Bay history) and seven touchdowns while averaging 4.5 yards per carry. The Bucs made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history that season and won their initial playoff game against Philadelphia, 24-17, behind Bell’s career day: 37 carries for 142 yards and two touchdowns. His numbers went downhill after that and was traded to San Diego after five seasons in Tampa Bay.
Ricky Bell selected by the Pewter Report as the number 19th greatest Buc of all time and tagged "the work horse”.
In 2003, Ricky Bell, was selected for the College Football Hall of Fame. The late Buccaneer running back, a star at Southern California, will be inducted posthumously into the College Football Hall of Fame as part of the 13-member class of 2003
Ricky Bell was named as the 19th Greatest Buccaneer Player of all-time by BUCPOWER.COM in 2003.
The Bucs’ equipment staff has pretty much always avoided giving out 42, Ricky Bell’s old number, but that’s an unofficial retirement.
Doug Williams on Ricky Bell: “Man, I tell you, when Ricky passed, we lost a soldier. For me, I can only speak from the experience that I had with Ricky, especially my rookie year. Ricky was subject to a whole lot of criticism, at no cause of his, because he was the number one pick and not Tony Dorsett. He took a beating, he really took a beating. I can remember when things weren’t going well for me, and people were booing and everything. He used to always come to my locker after practice and after games and he’d sit down and say, ‘Hey man, keep your head up. I’ve been through it, and it won’t last too long.’ Something like that. He’d invite you to his house. Ricky Bell was…I don’t want to say a great football player; Ricky Bell was a great human being. It’s unfortunate that a thing like that happened, taking Ricky Bell at a young age, but I think he made an impact on me, on his teammates and his family, I’m sure.”
A tribute to Ricky Bell, this was a movie made for TV that aired in 1991:
A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story (1991) (TV)
Here is my tribute to Ricky Bell from Madden EA SPORTS: