Saturday, January 28, 2006

A Blast from the Past: Number 47, S, John Lynch.

The Pewter Pirate weekly (I have kind of slipped on weekly), tradition is known as "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 it is only fitting to pay tribute to John Lynch. I was hoping Lynch could help take the Broncos to the Super Bowl and earn his second Super Bowl ring. However, that did not happen.
John Lynch will forever be remembered as a Buccaneer. He was on the team way before Brooks, Sapp, and Alstott. Lynch was a Buccaneer even before Trent Dilfer or Errict Rhett. In fact Lynch was a Buccaneer when it was not cool to be a Buccaneer fan. In fact the fans did not even know who Lynch was until Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin made Lynch a household name. I have met John Lynch on several occasions, and this guy is a really nice guy. His involvement in the community is what set him apart from other athletes. His hard hitting style of play is what made him famous on the football field. A few years ago, my wife and I went to a community event where John Lynch was at. I had taken a mini-helmet with the old Buccaneer colors and logo on it, in hopes of maybe getting Lynch to sign it. The local news media was there and when they seen the old helmet, they wanted to get us and Lynch on T.V. signing the helmet. My wife held the helmet and I stood next to John Lynch as he signed my helmet for us as the News camera filmed it. To this day I am not sure if it ever made it on T.V., but it was well worth it.

John Lynch was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the eighty-second pick overall in the 3rd round pick in 1993 as a strong safety out of Stanford. Lynch played for the Buccaneers from 1993-2003.

John Lynch is best know around the league for his hard hitting. He is arguably one of the two most beloved players to ever where the Buccaneer uniform along with his friend Mike Alstott.

John Lynch ranks number 3 in the All Time Top Ten Career Tackles with the Buccaneers. From 1993-2003 he had 973 career tackles. How many of these tackles did he knock someone out (like his brother-in-law from Chicago)?

John Lynch is tied with Ronde Barber with the number 4 spot for career Interceptions as a Buccaneer with 23 interceptions.

Lynch is second on the games played list (164).

John Lynch was also instrumental as the Leader of the Buccaneer Defense during Super Bowl 37, where he called almost every play that Rich Gannon called. He was the reason that Dexter Jackson won the Super Bowl MVP, if you watch the Super Bowl, or the highlight reels of the Super Bowl, (Which I own several versions of the Super Bowl 37 DVD, to include the Bucs players’ personal DVD of the Super Bowl, which I was invited to by the Bucs during a signing of the Super Bowl 37 Book) Sorry don’t mean to brag, but I just love my Bucs and do anything and everything Buccaneer. If you wondering who signed my book? No it was not John Lynch, it was my favorite Buccaneer of all time Mike Alstott. Here is the link to the party I went to.

Anyway back to Lynch. On those DVD’s and NFL highlight reels, you see him tell Dexter Jackson where to be and what play to watch for. Then after Jackson picks off Gannon, you see Lynch tell Monte Kiffin, that he called the play. It was a beautiful site. Dexter should not have won the Super Bowl MVP, it should have been Brooks or Pittman. However, that’s another story.

After the 2003 season, Lynch was coming off a tricky off-season operation to remove bone spurs from his neck. Plus, as an 11-year veteran with five Pro Bowls on his resume at the time, he was commanding the kind of money that Tampa Bay couldn’t afford. This is where I wish I was Malcolm Glazer (for one day) and I would tell Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden, “Look guys, I do not get involved in your personal decision, until now. Lynch will remain a Buccaneer no matter what. Do I make myself clear? Oh, by the way this applies to Alstott as well. As for Sapp, I wish he would be able to remain a Buccaneer, but you do what you see fit with him, but Lynch stays..” Jerry Jones, and Daniel Snyder have the final word on personal, so why couldn’t Glazer speak up and do the right thing by the fans. Oh well Lynch is gone, and I think Mike will be next season.

On Jan. 14, 2004, John Lynch underwent surgery at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Los Angeles. A microscopic cervical foraminotomy was performed by Dr. Robert G. Watkins. Lynch was discharged after an overnight stay.Doctor Robert Watkins advised the Bucs, “The operation went very well. A full recovery and uneventful return to football is expected.”

John Lynch said, “I feel great and look forward to working hard to get back to the Super Bowl.” So he was set to return, but then all hell broke loose.

On Thursday, March 11, 2004, in what he termed an ‘emotional day’ for all involved, Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Bruce Allen confirmed that safety John Lynch would not be with the Buccaneers in 2004. WHAT!!!!!!

It’s at this time that we’re going to move forward,” said Allen, following a press conference by Lynch in San Diego. “John and I, as I’m sure he referred to, had a conversation – I think it was a couple of nights ago – and we decided the best way to move forward is to allow him the opportunity to talk to other teams and find a home that is best for him and his family.”As one would expect, this conclusion was not one the Bucs came to easily.

“It was with a heavy heart (that this decision was reached) because of what he does mean to the game of football,” said Allen. “I had discussions with (Executive Vice President) Joel Glazer and (Head Coach) Jon Gruden and (Defensive Coordinator) Monte (Kiffin). This is the tough part about sports sometimes. Some of our great players move from team to team toward the end of (their) careers – I think he announced he was going to play another 11 years. God bless him, I hope it happens. But that’s where we’re at today.”

“Let me just start (by saying): You don’t replace John Lynch, the all-pro on and off the field,” said Allen. “He has meant a lot to so many people in the community and across the country. I’ve been working in the NFL elsewhere, and everybody respects who he is and what he has brought to the game of football.” So why did you Mr. Allen not resign him. Lynch told his agent, he would play for league minimum, “I just want to be a Buc, get it done.”

We have missed his leadership on defense, we have missed John Lynch PERIOD.

In 11 seasons as a Buccaneer, Lynch was elected to five Pro Bowls (1997, 1999-2002 seasons), including three times as a starter. He was a first-team AP All-Pro selection in 1999 and 2000 and a second-team choice in 2001 and 2002.

Lynch was also one of the team’s most civic-minded players, basing much of his community work around the very active John Lynch Foundation. He was a finalist for the prestigious NFL Man of the Year award in 2002.

In 2004, John Lynch signed with the Denver Broncos after 11 seasons and 5 Pro Bowls with the Buccaneers.

“I can’t speak for Tampa because people deal with the salary cap all the time,” Denver coach Mike Shanahan said. “There are a lot of times you’d love to have a player and he’s making too much money, and you have depth at that position. But I’m sure glad we’ve got John Lynch on our football team.”

Read this great article by Associated Pres about John Lynch.

Lynch was selected by the Pewter Report as the number 4 greatest Buc of all time and tagged "the lynch mob".

Lynch was named as the 7th Greatest Buccaneer Player of all-time by BUCPOWER.COM in 2003.

I just hope when John decides to retire, he does like Emmitt Smith and resigns with the Bucs and then retires. WE MISS YOU JOHN LYNCH.

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