Between creamsicles and losing, the Bucs haven’t always been great

So, about those creamsicle Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniforms …

“No. No. Nooooo,” Hall of Popularity defensive take on Warren Sapp stated. “We all hated it.

“Some of the younger players wanted to wear them again, and me, [Derrick] Brooks, [John] Lynch, we’re like, ‘Nah, you don’t want to do that.’”

No other franchise has an unfavorable association with a color like the Buccaneers with soft orange and white. Prior to the creamsicle uniforms ended up being retro cool, they were associated with a group that was the worst in the NFL.

The Buccaneers have actually come a long method. Tom Brady led Tampa Bay to Super Bowl LV, an unusual minute of splendor for a franchise with 40-plus years of mainly forgettable history, aside from one fantastic stretch of champion football.

It’s a franchise that notoriously lost its very first 26 video games, consisting of all 14 its very first season.

“0-14. 0-26. I’m saying to myself, am I really a professional athlete?” stated Richard Wood, a standout linebacker on the very first 9 Buccaneers groups.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Craig Erickson reacts as he heads for the turf while being sacked during a 1993 game. (AP Photo/Doug Pizac)
Tampa Bay Buccaneer Craig Erickson responds as he heads for the grass while being sacked throughout a 1993 video game. (AP Photo/Doug Pizac)

The ‘Yuks’

Sapp was enjoying “NFL Sunday Countdown” on ESPN in his San Diego hotel space on Nov. 17, 1996. He remembers it well.

The 2-8 Buccaneers were playing the San Diego Chargers later on that day, and Chris Berman came on to sneak peek the video game. Sapp, in the middle of his 2nd season, keeps in mind Berman tingling about the “San Diego Super Chargers.”

“And then he says, ‘And they’re playing … the Yuks,’” Sapp stated. “My stomach turned. The way Brooks tells the story, I was so furious I was about to walk to breakfast in just my underwear.

“I woke the whole team up and said, ‘That s*** stops today.’”

Sapp states that was a turning point. The Buccaneers fell back 14-0 however returned to win 25-17. Tampa Bay went 5-2 down the stretch that season. It wouldn’t be long prior to the defense — after a color modification from creamsicle to pewter — ended up being popular and won a Super Bowl.

To that point, the group in Tampa was the “Yuks,” as Berman would call them. The video games in between the Bucs and the then-putrid Green Bay Packers in the 1980s truly were, as Berman would state, “The Bay of Pigs.”

“Those games in the ’80s, it was horrible football. It was horrible,” stated Sapp, who matured near Orlando and was stuck enjoying bad Buccaneers football maturing.

The Buccaneers group that will play the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl on Sunday has plenty of stars. They have an enjoyable offense and a defense that can turn a video game around. That wasn’t anywhere near to the case for the very first twenty years of the franchise’s history.

A rough start for the Buccaneers

The early history of the Buccaneers is misremembered a bit. In Tampa Bay’s 4th season, the Buccaneers, led by Doug Williams on offense and Lee Roy Selmon on defense, won the NFC Central department and lost 9-0 in the NFC national championship to the Los Angeles Rams. It wasn’t constantly awful.

That’s not the Buccaneers’ season from the 1970s that lots of keep in mind. The growth 1976 Buccaneers ended up being the first string in NFL history to go 0-14. The Bucs lost their very first 12 video games the next season too.

In subsequent years the NFL made things much easier on growth groups, however the Buccaneers didn’t get any favors. They had an unpleasant offense that scored simply 228 points in their very first 2 seasons integrated. The 1976 group was led by a previous Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback called Steve Spurrier. That group gets raised at any time there’s a conversation of the worst NFL groups ever.

Wood is the protective organizer at Tampa Catholic High School. He informs the story that when he began training, he let his gamers understand that he bet the Buccaneers and discuss how tough it was to win a video game. The young gamers let him understand that they understood, since everybody understood the Buccaneers were awful in those early days. Even the kids understood. Everyone keeps in mind.

“It bothers me,” Wood stated. “But on the other hand, it’s what they know, what they think about.

“You have to start somewhere. We started in the cellar, but 3-4 years later we’re playing for a championship. You have to give the early guys some credit.”

Bucs bottom out in the 1980s

The twinkle of hope in 1979 faded relatively rapidly. From 1983 to 1994, the Buccaneers lost double-digit video games every year. That’s 12 straight seasons of suffering. Mismanagement prevailed. Under group owner Hugh Culverhouse, the Buccaneers lost quarterback Doug Williams in an agreement disagreement after underpaying him for many years, flubbed the Bo Jackson draft (he was the No. 1 total choice however declined to bet the Bucs), made the fantastic Steve Young look bad prior to trading him to the 49ers in 1987 and normally were the most inept franchise in the NFL. It didn’t assist when Selmon, a future Hall of Famer, suffered a career-ending back injury at the Pro Bowl at the end of the 1984 season.

Great gamers were traded typically, and when the Buccaneers signed somebody it was generally a veteran who was near completion and had absolutely nothing more to offer.

“It was the last stop before you went to the cow pasture,” Sapp stated.

“It just seemed to me they didn’t want to keep the team together,” Wood stated. “One after another, just getting rid of people.”

Any discussion about the worst group in the NFL began with the Buccaneers.

“Personally I think it came from the top, the ownership. Things were on the verge of being rinky-dink,” quarterback Steve DeBerg stated. “Our weight room was outdoors. It just had a tarp over the top. You’d be out there in the summer, in 100 percent humidity.

“The meeting rooms were in bungalows. It just wasn’t NFL caliber.”

DeBerg was with the Buccaneers from 1984-87. The group went 8-26 in his starts those years.

“We definitely struggled,” DeBerg stated. “I know me personally, my stay here in the 1980s, it was tough.”

Then in the mid-1990s, the Buccaneers landed some protective stars and a future Hall of Popularity head coach. They had a color modification, too.

Warren Sapp, other stars lead a turn-around

Sapp had a bro who was a Buccaneers fan. His bro was way more thrilled than he was when the Buccaneers prepared him in 1995.

“He’s like, ‘This is the best thing ever!’” Sapp stated. “I’m like, ‘Oh, my God.’”

Sapp stated the Buccaneers’ locker space had a great deal of gamers who didn’t comprehend what it required to win when he arrived. After Sapp’s very first season, the group worked with Tony Dungy to be its next coach.

“Tony changed everything about that place except for the building itself,” Sapp stated. “He said, ‘I am not looking for the 53 best football players. I’m looking for the 53 best men that will give us a chance to win on Sunday.’

“He instilled in us winning, and winning in the right way.”

The Buccaneers did a great deal of that. The defense, with Sapp, Lynch, Brooks, Ronde Barber and some other fantastic gamers, ended up being the very best in the NFL. Tampa Bay peaked with a win over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. In 1997 the Buccaneers altered from light orange to pewter. The franchise had a make over and a brand-new track record too.

“It gave us a whole new identity,” Sapp stated.

They were no longer the “Yuks.” Nevertheless, that success was short lived.

Warren Sapp, standing with late NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, wasn't thrilled when the Bucs made him the 12th overall pick in the 1995 NFL draft. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Warren Sapp, standing with NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, wasn’t delighted when the Bucs made him the 12th total choice in the 1995 draft. (Image by Concentrate On Sport/Getty Images)

‘We poured hard, solid concrete’

After that Super Bowl win over the Raiders, the Buccaneers didn’t win a championship game till this season. They hadn’t even made the playoffs given that the 2007 season. Then Brady appeared.

Sapp, unprompted, began discussing Packers coach Matt LaFleur’s choice to choose a basket on 4th down in the NFC national championship instead of letting Aaron Rodgers pursue a goal. He couldn’t think it.

“I called Brooks and said, ‘They just gave us the championship,’” Sapp stated. “Brooks is like, ‘No, they got their timeouts left,’ I’m like, ‘We got Tom Brady, we’re about to get a first down.’”

Notification the “we,” and the “us.”

Sapp is still a Buccaneers fan, pleased with what he and others assisted construct. Those groups, and the Brady-led NFC champion group of this season, altered the understanding of the Buccaneers.

“It’s like being a college kid, getting to talk trash about your college team again,” Sapp stated. “We poured concrete. We poured hard, solid concrete.”

Wood stated the city is thrilled about the Buccaneers. DeBerg, who had a 2nd stint with the Bucs in the 1990s and still resides in Tampa, stated the very same.

If the creamsicles can be cool once again, so can the Buccaneers.

“I’m a creamsicle guy,” Wood stated. “I always thought they were some of the prettiest uniforms around.”

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.