Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Tale of Two Legends.

Have you ever been to the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio? I had to fly to Canton, Ohio about two years ago for a business trip. This was an all expenses paid trip for work of course. So I made sure to take a day, and visit the NFL Hall of Fame. I was very impressed with the Hall of Fame. I spent a long time standing in front of Lee Roy Selmon's bust, after all he is the only Buccaneer in the Hall of Fame. Sure Steve Young is now under the Bucs/49ers in the Hall of Fame, but we all know he is a Hall of Famer because of what he did in San Fransico and not in Tampa.

There is so many great players who have played this game. However, being a Bucs fan, and being at the HOF, I was left kind of empty. When you look at the 49ers, the Raiders, and the Cowboy, oh yeah and the Super Bowl Champs (Steelers), they have so many players in the HOF. I look back at some of the Bucs players and wonder why we don't have more players in the HOF. But then I think of how special of a player Lee Roy Selmon was and that this honor makes him that much more special.

So I asked everyone on my blog with a poll question:
My question is does a Hall of Fame honor make you the Best Buccaneer ever? According to my poll results "NO". Lee Roy Selmon came in third behind Brooks then Alstott. Lee Roy Selmon is already in the HOF and Derrick Brooks will one day join him, but I am not sure Alstott will ever make it to the HOF. Sure I hope he does, but I do not know if the sports writers will push him into the HOF. Being in the HOF sure does help your cause, and you probably were the Best Buccaneer for about 16 years. But in this world, all good things come to an end, and something better comes along.

But lets talk about the 1st Legend: During 1974-1975, he was 3 Time All-American at University of Oklahoma. He helped the Sooners win back-to-back championship titles: All Big Eight Conference Team.

In 1975, He won the Outland Trophy Winner, and the Vince Lombardi Award as the outstanding college lineman. He led the Sooners in tackles with 132 and finished with 324 career tackles. He graduated from University of Oklahoma, with a B.A. in Special Education.

In 1976, He was 6-3, 256-pounds, and he was the number one pick of the NFL draft. First-ever draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Soon he would be recognized among the elite NFL defenders. This defensive right end immediately established himself at as the leader of the Buccaneers defensive unit that would eventually produce two NFC Central Division championships in the team's first six seasons.
Although he missed six games due to injuries as a rookie, he was named the Bucs Rookie of the Year and the teams Most Valuable Player. He battled injuries during two of his first three seasons, but starting in 1978 he was named first- or second-team All-Pro five times. He also was also All-NFC choice five times, and was named to six straight Pro Bowls from 1980 to 1985. With four sacks, he was co-Player of the Game in the 1982 Pro Bowl.

Four times the NFL Players Association named him the NFC Defensive Lineman of the Year and he was a unanimous choice as NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1979. He was a major factor in the Bucs' first winning season, which was concluded with a 9-0 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the 1979 NFC Championship Game. He had 11 sacks and a career-best 117 tackles that year. He had three sacks in one game four times. A back injury, which forced him to miss the entire 1985 season, brought a premature end to his outstanding career.

In 1986, he Retires from professional football. Career stats: 78 1/2 sacks, 380 quarterback pressures, forced 28 1/2 fumbles, recovered 10. Top ten Tampa Bay Buccaneers all-time leader in starts (118),Key member of Tampa Bay's NFC Central title teams, 1979, 1981. All-Pro 1979, 1980, 1982. All-NFC five times. Elected to six Pro Bowls. NFL Defensive Lineman of Year, 1979. #63 jersey only one retired by the Buccaneers.

In 1988, he was inducted College Football Hall of Fame.

In 1995, he was inducted into NFL Hall of Fame; the first former Sooner and the only Tampa Bay Buccaneer to date. Yes, I am talking about the great Lee Roy Selmon.

"I had the opportunity to speak to the Hall of Famers who preceded me like Otto
Graham, Gene Upshaw and Gale Sayers...we spoke of what it all means to join the
Hall and it goes far beyond what's on the football field. It goes and stretches
right into life. And how you can use it to reach out to help others. That's the
true meaning of the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
- Lee Roy Selmon

Lee Roy Selmon was and still itrulyly one of Tampa's best players ever to wear the Bucs uniform. However, there is another legend that will join Mr. Selmon in Canton one day and he is none other then number 55 Derrick Brooks.

Brooks was a four-year letterman at Florida State.

Was one of only two true freshman to earn a letter. Saw action in all 11 matches and produced 22 tackles (10, 12) as a reserve strong safety. Was moved to outside LB in spring practice prior to second season.

Earned sophomore All-America honors from Football News and was also a First Team All-ACC choice. Started all 11 games at OLB and produced career-best 98 tackles (55, 43), 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.

As a junior, was named First Team All-America by Football Writers` Association and Walter Camp. Also was consensus First Team All-ACC choice and was that conference`s Defensive Player of the Year. Was a finalist for the Butkus Award, the Lombardi Award and the Football Writers` Defensive Player of the Year award. Racked up 77 tackles (47, 30), two interceptions, two sacks, five passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Had two TDs on interception returns which tied single-season school record set by Deion Sanders and Terrell Buckley. Three defensive TDs overall tied John Wessel`s FSU mark. Missed two games due to ankle injury.

Senior honors included First Team All-America by American Football Coaches, UPI and Walter Camp.Was also a GTE Academic All-America choice.Was First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference and was selected for Senior Bowl. For second straight year, was a finalist for Vince Lombardi Award, symbolic of nation`s top lineman/linebacker. In nine starts, finished second on team with 77 tackles (41, 36) to go with three interceptions, three sacks, six passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Career statistics included 274 tackles (153, 121), five interceptions, 8.5 sacks, 13 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Originally graduated from Florida State with a bachelor of arts degree in business communications, then added his masters degree in the same subject, graduating again from FSU last spring.

Selected by the Buccaneers in the first round (28th overall) of the 1995 draft.

Unquestioned leader of the Buccaneers and arguably the most respected player in the NFL's Cornerstone for the leagues' best defense of the last decade

Elevated his status as one of the leagues' most accomplished defenders after being honored as the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2002... Team captain instrumental in leading Tampa Bay to its first Super Bowl championship in 2002... Only active player, and just the fifth player in NFL history, to be selected to eight straight Pro Bowls, earn AP Defensive Player of the Year honors and win a Super Bowl Along with Warren Sapp, became the first pair of teammates selected in the same draft class (1995) to earn seven Pro Bowl appearances since the Buffalo Bills' DE Bruce Smith and WR Andre Reed (1985 draft class)...

Earned All-Pro honors from the Associated Press for the seventh consecutive year in 2004 (first team honors in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2004 and second team honors in 1998, 2001 and 2003)...

Has earned NFC Player of the Week honors five times and Player of the Month honors twice during his career.

Led the defense in tackles for the seventh straight season in 2004 and has paced the club in that category in eight of the past nine seasons...

Tied for the NFL lead with nine consecutive seasons (1996-2004) of 100 or more tackles (also Miami LB Zach Thomas) Ranks as the most prolific tackler in franchise history with 1,601 stops...

Ranks sixth in club history with 20 career interceptions... Named team MVP by the Tampa Sports Club (fan) in 2002, 1999 (along with Sapp), 1998 and 1996Â…

Only linebacker in NFL history to have three interception returns for a touchdown in a season (2002) and his four touchdowns on turnovers (2002) are tied for second-most in a single season in NFL history... Added an interception return for a score in Tampa Bay's Super Bowl XXXVII victory... Has scored six regular season touchdowns in his career, second-most in team history by a defensive player.

Ranks second on the club's all-time games started list (157) and is tied for fourth on the all-time games played list (160)... Has played in 160 consecutive games and has posted 144 straight starts, the most among all active NFL defensive players while also leading all active Buccaneer players... Has not missed a start in each of the last nine seasons...

Long considered the NFL's best linebacker, earned his club-record ninth consecutive Pro Bowl appearance in 2005, His ninth consecutive Pro Bowls rank him tied for sixth in NFL history for most consecutive Pro Bowls by a linebacker.

Playing in his ninth straight Pro Bowl, he made the biggest play, returning an interception 59 yards for a touchdown. He received a car on the field shortly after the game ended and was named the MVP of the 2005 Pro Bowl.

"I stand real humble," Brooks said. "I've been here a few times, and I don't
have many wins. It was just important for me to get the win. Obviously, this
award is a reflection of the NFC defense. We went out there and played a fine

He has totaled 21 career INTs, 20 forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, 13.5 sacks, 113 passes defensed and 10 special teams tacklesdefenseackles, 5 defesive touchdowns. Started in ten postseason contests, notching 88 career tackles, three passes defensed, one fumble recovery and two INTs...

So reading this, who do you think is the best player to ever wear a Bucs uniform? Since most of you are not into the Bucs like I am, who on your respected teams is the best player to wear your teams uniforms and why?


Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I love Derrick Brooks and I agree that he will go to the Hall of Fame someday.

I think John Lynch will get there first. I think Lynch will want to be inducted as a Buccaneer. As great as Brooks is, I think he got the votes on your poll because he is still in Tampa.

Cutthroat Pirates said...

I agree with you Sarah, but I think Brooks overall is better then Lynch. Lynch has never been a Def Player of the year like Brooks and Selmon. Don't get me wrong, I love Lynch and hope he does get in the Hall of Fame too.