Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a team with many world records – positive as well as negative. At the beginning of their existence, they lost 26 games in a row, only won two games in the first two NFL seasons. But two years later, they were already in the NFC Championship Game, faster than most other teams before.

In April 1974, the NFL gave its 27th franchise to Hugh Culverhouse, a successful tax consultant from Florida. After the Spanish pirates who troubled the bay of Tampa 300 years ago, he named his team Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And with John McKay, Culverhouse a head coach with an impressive career: The team from the University of Southern California McKay had won four national college championships in 16 years.

But the start of the NFL didn’t go well for the Buccaneers – in short, “Bucs”: They lost the first 26 championship games and could only celebrate their first win in December 1977. Therefore it was a big surprise that the Buccaneers – who were already stamped as the loser pirates – reached the NFC Championship Game two years later. After a dramatic 3-0 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs – the game took place during a rain storm – the Bucs won their first division title and progressed to the NFC Championship Game came with a win over the Philadelphia Eagels. Here, however, they were defeated the by Los Angeles Rams at home.

Great contribution to this rapid success of the Buccaneers had been the only Buccaneer who was elected into the Hall of Fame: Lee Roy Selmon, the first-ever player, which the Buccaneers had committed in a Draft, was one of the most dominant defensive ends of his time. With quarterback Doug Williams and running back Ricky Bell additional leaders were added to the team and the Bucs established their position at the top of the NFL in the late 1970s. In 1981, McKay led the Buccaneers to a division title again and in 1982 they reached the playoffs again, but were eliminated in the first round.

After the 1984 season John McKay retired as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the team disappeared in the lower regions of the NFL for 15 years. The biggest problem for the team from West Floriada was that they played in the Central division and especially the games in Chicago or Green Bay. During this time, the Buccaneers had the reputation of a good weather team: Games in snow or with temperatures around the freezing point were almost always lost.

In 1996 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers contracted Tony Dungy as the new head coach. And this had a big effect on the defense: The Defense of the Bucs became an impregnable fortress for most teams and it was impressive to watch the Bucs crush their opponents offense line. In 1997, the Bucs had a season with more victories than defeats for the first time after 15 years again, the playoff attendance was a well deserved reward. And two years later, the Buccaneers were in the NFC Championship Game for the second time, but were defeated by the Rams again.

Tony Dungy also reached the playoffs with his team in the following years, but he could not meet the grown expectations of the fans and the owner family Glazer, so he had to resign after the 2001 season. His successor Jon Gruden led the Bucs to their most successful year in the team’s history in the following year with 12 wins and 4 losses. The season ended with the victory of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

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