Welcome to the what is going to be a painful read for all of you, this is painful for me to even write this as we speak. As the Buccaneers decided to have the fans pick the top 5 moments in history I’ve decided to choose the worse moment’s in history and see which of you readers have been here the longest.
I’ve gone thru many google searches, YouTube videos, and I’ve found some very painful & disturbing things in our franchise’s history as a child growing up the earliest things that I can remember was the 1997 wildcard against Detroit Lions which was the last game from Hall of Fame RB Barry Sanders and was the very last game in the old Tampa Stadium.
I’ve grown up in Tampa until my mid teens and I’ve been a fan since I was about 9-10 years old, I’m now 32 I’ve seen more losing seasons then I have winning ones, but going back thru the history of this team this is what I feel is pretty much everyone’s top 5 worst moments in our Bucs History.
#1 Draft Pick Wasted…
“With the No. 1 pick in the 1986 NFL draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers … ” threw away their selection.
Jackson’s disdain for the Bucs was sparked by his belief that they intentionally sabotaged his college baseball career by flying him on owner Hugh Culverhouse’s jet to visit the franchise and take a physical. Though Tampa claimed it checked with the NCAA and SEC, Jackson was ruled ineligible midway through Auburn’s baseball season for violating NCAA rules of amateurism.
“He became very disenchanted with the Culverhouse operation,” former Auburn baseball coach Hal Baird told the Tampa Bay Tribune. “If you know Bo Jackson, he’s nothing if not a man of principle. Once it got in his mind that that might have been calculated, he was never playing a snap for them.”
And he never did. Instead, he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals, was in the major leagues by September of that year and Tampa no longer owned his rights by the time the ’87 NFL draft rolled around. He did eventually play in the NFL – as well as become an All-Star outfielder in baseball – for the Los Angeles Raiders before suffering a career-ending injury.
2003 Monday Night Football Disaster
The ’03 Buccaneers could definitely serve as poster children for “Super Bowl hangover.”
Shortly after beating down the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, reports began to surface about a strained relationship between head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Rich McKay, with McKay leaving the Bucs in December 2003 for the rival Atlanta Falcons.
In November, the Bucs deactivated Star WR Keyshawn Johnson, who had also bumped heads with Gruden, for the final six games and traded him to the Dallas Cowboys in the offseason. In between all of the drama was one of the worst collapses in NFL history.
With former coach Tony Dungy making his return to Tampa as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, the Bucs led 35-14 with four minutes remaining. Instead of a Bucs victory, what followed were touchdowns by Peyton Manning to James Mungro, Marvin Harrison and Ricky Williams (the other one) to tie the score at 35 and send the game to overtime, where Indy prevailed 38-35 as the Bucs never seen the ball once in overtime.
1979 NFC Championship Game
At this point in time the Buccaneers reached postseason play for the first time in 1979 reaching the NFC championship game and hosting it in old Tampa stadium at that. First loss in franchise history be it even in preseason was to the Los Angeles Rams who they would face in this game.
This was a hard and long fought game as eventually the Rams would win 9-0 on field goals. The Bucs Defense lead by Lee Roy Selmon kept this LA Rams team in check and kept the Bucs in the game but the Offense just couldn’t get it done to send the Buccaneers to their 1st Super Bowl in just only their third season in franchise history.
1999 NFC Championship Game
From the loss in 79’ to the LA Rams til 1996 when coach Tony Dungy arrives the Buccaneers have had many losing seasons throughout the 80’ and early 90’s, some would wonder if the Bucs would ever see a winning team again. It took coach Dungy less then 3 seasons to bring winning Culture to Tampa Bay and fast forward a bit.
January 23, 2000.. 1999 NFC Championship between these same two franchises would meet 20 years later in this same game this time it would be in St. Louis, Missouri as the Rams weren’t in Los Angeles. Main story line for this game was the NFL’s #1 Defensive unit against “The Greatest Show On Turf” featuring 3 Hall of Famers in this game for the Rams, Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk & Isaac Bruce. This was the game of the season.
The Rams and Buccaneers would slug it out for most of the game, with the Buccaneers defense holding the Rams highly-potent offense in check. Tampa Bay, weak on offense, would only muster two field goals, and gave up a costly safety in the second quarter when a bad snap from center went over the head of rookie quarterback Shaun King and out of the endzone. Despite this, the Buccaneers nursed an unusual 6–5 lead into the 4th Quarter. The Rams broke open a defense dominated game when Kurt Warner threw a touchdown pass to Ricky Proehl with 4:44 left in the game. The Buccaneers would mount a drive on their final possession, however a replay overturned what appeared to be a reception by Buccaneers wide receiver Bert Emanuel, and the Bucs never recovered from this as King thru an incomplete pass on 4th down after the review was reversed.
AND NUMBER ONE
Nothing is worse then losing 26 straight (27-30 if you count preseason) games to begin your franchise as an expansion team. Tampa Bay started in 1976 after being awarded a Franchise in 1974.
Bucs recruited then John McKay from Univ. So Cal to become the first head coach in franchise history based off of how he turned USC into a winning program but had an expansion draft of veterans and free agents and was started in the AFC West to ensure the Bucs & Seahawks played each other twice and would play everyone else once but was moved the next season to the NFC Central’s “Black & Blue” division.
Nothing seemed to work for coach McKay as the Bucs would lose its first season 0-14 which 5 of those games was a complete shutout and nothing the Bucs could do to score and would be blown out including a 42-0 to the Pittsburgh Steelers & the Steel Curtain.. 1977 season rolls around and it would another 12 losses into this season before the Buccaneers would win its first game in franchise history. The Bucs would be the laughing stock of the NFL and would be the butt of everyone’s jokes on late night TV including Johnny Carson..