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:


Ski said...

and don't forget bell was the first back to rush for a thousand yards in a season for the Bucs, which i believe only one other back (Dunn) has done once.

Cutthroat Pirates said...

Ski, How could you forget all these greats. But I have been a Bucs fan since 1979: All these players rushed for over a thousand yards in a season:

*1979,Ricky Bell, 1,263
*1984,James Wilder, 1,544
*1985,James Wilder, 1,300
*1992,Reggie Cobb, 1,171
*1994,Errict Rhett, 1,011
*1995,Errict Rhett, 1,207
*1998,Warrick Dunn, 1,026
*2000,Warrick Dunn, 1,133

Todd said...

Excellent blog, man. I saw your commemts on Armchair, and yes, Vick is definately overrated. As a Panther fan, I guess we should be mortal enemies, but we both hate the Falcons more, am I right? Good luck tomorrow.

coloradohurricane said...

I remember James Wilder. If there was ever a running back who was overused, it was wolder.

I think when the Dolphins played them in '85, the first 25 Buc plays were all either wilder runs or passes to Wilder.

As for Ricky Bell, it is a shame he died so young. It's too bad that he always gets compared to TD when Dorsett walked into the perfect situation for a RB- a great offensive line and a team with lots of stars so he didn't have do it all. Bell had to carry the team.

Cutthroat Pirates said...

Yes, Bell did carry the team. He was the better back, but a poor team and medical problems never proved it.

Ski said...

. . . and proving once again that I'm an idiot (at least I got one out of two).

Cutthroat Pirates said...

No not an idiot buddy, I just been a fan for a long long time. I think after this year we can add Caddy to this list what do you think?

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting all these years to get this movie. Any idea when it will be released or how I can get a copy.