Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Founded: 1976 as an NFL expansion team
- Home stadium: Raymond James Stadium
- Previous home field: Houlihan's Stadium (previously known as Tampa Stadium) (1976-1997)
- Uniform colors: Red, Pewter, Black, and White; some Orange
- Helmet design: Pewter helmet, a tattered red flag hanging from a saber, on the flag a skull, crossed sabers, and a football
- League championships won: 1 (Super Bowl XXXVII)
Started out in AFC West in 1976; moved to NFC Central in 1977. Tampa Bay went 0-14 in their inaugural season, and started their second season 0-12 before recording their first win. The club also did not win a game in which the temperature at kickoff time was below 40°F until the last week of the 2002 regular season, having lost 20 consecutive such games prior. They also once lost 27 consecutive games played both outdoors and on artificial turf; this streak began after a victory over the Bengals at Cincinnati in the 1980 season opener and lasted until they defeated the Eagles in Philadelphia on the first week of the 1995 season.
The team made a habit of losing. The Buccaneers lost at least ten games in 17 of their first 21 seasons, including 12 straight from 1983 to 1994. After a particularly dismal effort in the late 1970's, longtime Buc's coach John McKay gave perhaps the quintessential comment on the organization's plight: A reporter asked McKay about his team's execution during the game. McKay responded "I'm in favour of it". Besides their poor performance the team's bright creamsicle uniform and logo (pictured right) were often mocked. In the mid 1990's the team was sold by original owner Hugh Culverhouse to the Glazer family, who's financial support allowed them to finally become competitive. The team's performance dramatically improved when the Glazers brought in Tony Dungy to coach. The Bucs also abandoned their traditional team colours of orange and white in favour of scarlett, black and pewter.
With league realignment in 2002, the Bucs moved into new NFC South division, along with the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. They are 1-0 in Super Bowls, having defeated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII in January, 2003, and they are 1-2 in NFC Championship games, having defeated the Philadelphia Eagles on the road in 2002 (game actually played on January 18, 2003), and losing to the Rams twice, in 1979 to the Los Angeles Rams at home, and in 1999 to the St. Louis Rams on the road.
The 2002 Buccaneers became the first team ever to win the Super Bowl after not having made selections in either of the first two rounds of the previous spring's college draft (having traded these selections to the Oakland Raiders for the rights to head coach Jon Gruden), the first team ever to win the Super Bowl after having lost at home on opening day, the first team ever to win the Super Bowl after having gained less than 100 yards rushing per game during the regular season, and the first team ever to win the Super Bowl after having been eliminated in the wild-card round of the prior season's playoffs.
The 2003 season proved to be a losing one for the Buccaneers. Finishing the regular season 7-9, it marked the first time in the decade of the 2000s that both Super Bowl teams from the previous season did not even make the playoffs, thus Tampa Bay was unable to defend their Super Bowl title.
In the 2004 season, the Bucs started out 1-5 after trading away two of their best defensive players (John Lynch, Warren Sapp) and one offensive player (Keyshawn Johnson) after deactivating him ten games into the 2003 season. This is Tampa's worst start since Jon Gruden took over the Bucs in 2002.
Another interesting fact that demonstrates the team's losing history is the fact that they are the only NFL team to have never run back a kickoff for a touchdown in the regular season. They have received over 1,500 kickoffs in their nearly three-decade history but none of them have been taken back for a touchdown. However, they returned one kickoff in the first game of the 2002 preseason against the Miami Dolphins.
Players of Note
Not to be forgotten
- Donnie Abraham
- Ricky Bell
- Mark Carrier
- Reggie Cobb
- Steve DeBerg
- Warrick Dunn
- Wayne Haddix
- Keyshawn Johnson
- John Lynch
- Hardy Nickerson
- Errict Rhett
- Warren Sapp
- Vinny Testaverde
- James Wilder
- Steve Young
- Steve Spurrier
- John McKay (1976-1984)
- Leeman Bennett (1985-1986)
- Ray Perkins (1987-1990)
- Richard Williamson (1990-1991)
- Sam Wyche (1992-1995)
- Tony Dungy (1996-2001)
- Jon Gruden (2002-current)
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