Tag Archives: Mount Rushmore

The San Diego Chargers Mt. Rushmore

The Chargers have been the lone consistent pro football team in Southern California for more than 5 and a half decades. Photo Credit: Chargers.com

The San Diego Chargers got their start in the AFL back in 1960, in Los Angeles, before heading  south to San Diego. Their first few seasons were the opposite of the last few seasons have been. They played for the League championship 5 times in their first 6 seasons, winning the AFL Championship in their 4th season (1963). The last four seasons in So Cal have been rough to say the least. The Chargers haven’t won double digit games since 2009 (13-3), since then they’ve had 3 9-7 finishes, with an 8-8, 7-9 and 4-12 records causing them to miss the playoffs the past two seasons.

Even with their recent struggles on the field, and the uncertainty over where they’ll play in the future, the Chargers and San Diego have enjoyed tremendous success in their 56 seasons. The “Super Chargers” have won 421 regular season games, 1 AFC Championship, 15 Division titles, and made the playoffs 18 times. Eight former Chargers have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but only four make this list.

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon. 
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.

Junior Seau (1990-2002) is an icon in Southern California due to his days as a USC Trojan, through his days as a Charger. Seau is first in all-time career tackles (1,286) and recovered fumbles by the opposition (16) in team history. When he left the team in 2002 he was first in games played (200), he’s now 2nd. He’s 3rd in forced fumbles (11), and 4th in sacks (47). #55 is a 12-time Pro Bowl Selection, 10-time All-Pro, the 1992 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a member of the Chargers Hall of Fame, Chargers 40th and 50th Anniversary and the NFL 1990s All-Decade Teams. In 2012 the Chargers retired his jersey number, and in 2015 he was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ladainian Tomlinson (2001-2009) is the Chargers all-time leader in games played by a running back (141), rushing yards (12,490), rushing touchdowns (138), and carries (2,880). He also scored the most touchdowns in team history when you combine his rushing and 15 receiving touchdowns (153). “LT” was the 2006 NFL MVP, the same season he set the NFL record for most combined touchdowns scored in one season (31). The 5-time Pro Bowler and 6-time All-Pro is tied for the NFL record for most consecutive games with a touchdown in one season (18). Tomlinson is a member of the Chargers Hall of Fame, 50th Anniversary Team and NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. Tomlinson was ranked 61st on NFL.com’s “100 Greatest Players” list in 2010. The team retied his jersey number 21 in 2015.

Antonio Gates (2003-present) is San Diego’s all-time leader in catches (844), receiving yards (10,644) and receiving touchdowns (104). 77 of his touchdowns were from Phillip Rivers, which is an NFL Record for a QB and TE combination. Gates, an 8-time Pro Bowl selection and 5-time All-Pro, is only the second tight end in NFL history to catch 100+ touchdowns. He is a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.

Lance Alworth (1962-1970) finished his career with the Chargers as its all-time leader in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Four and a half decades later he’s still 2nd in receiving yards (9,584) and receiving touchdowns (81), and 5th in catches 493. Alworth played in an era when teams rushed majority of the time as opposed to passing, yet still holds 7 AFL-NFL receiving records. The 7-time AFL All-Star and 6-time All-AFL performer led the Chargers to their only league championship in 1963 when they played in the AFL. Alworth has the Pro Football record for most games (5) with 200+ receiving yards, a record he shares with Calvin Johnson. He is a member of the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, AFL All-Time Team, Chargers Hall of Fame, and Chargers 40th and 50th Anniversary Teams. The Chargers have retired Alworth’s number 19 jersey, which was very popular during the Mitchell and Ness throwback craze of the early 2000s. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978. In 2010, NFL.com ranked him 38th on their “100 Greatest Players” list. 

There you have it. Charger fans, agree or disagree? If you disagree, who would you have rather seen on the list (Philip Rivers, Kellen Winslow Sr.) and who would you replace?

 

The Seattle Seahawks Mt. Rushmore

The great Northwest’s team has had a great run in the last decade.

The Seattle Seahawks have had a good run in the last four years, making the playoffs each season, winning Super Bowl XLVIII, and nearly winning Super Bowl XLIX if it weren’t for some terrible play calling. However, this franchise is approaching middle age, having been an NFL franchise for 42 years and playing 40 seasons thus far.

The Pacific Northwest’s team has won 3 NFC Championships since 2005, made the playoffs 8 times, and won the NFC West 6 times. The Seahawks have enjoyed a great level of success in the last decade, but being in the far corner of the country has caused many of their greats of the past–from when the teams wasn’t as successful–to have been forgotten. But, they’ll get their due here. This is my Mount Rushmore for the Seattle Seahawks.

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon. 
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.

Steve Largent (1976-1989) is one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history, and many have disrespectfully forgotten his greatness. Largent was the guy the great Jerry Rice was chasing and eventually passed. When THIS #80 retired, he held all of the major records for a receiver in NFL history, including most catches (819), receiving yards (13,089) and touchdown catches (100). He also played 177 consecutive games with a catch, which was then a record. He’s the first player to catch 100 touchdowns in a career. All of these are still Seattle franchise records. Largent is the first Seahawk player to ever make a Pro-Bowl, a feat he accomplished seven times. He was a 5-time All-Pro, a member of the Seahawks 35th Anniversary Team and NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. In 1985 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His jersey number 80 was retired in 1992.

Walter Jones (1997-2009) is considered by many to be the best offensive lineman during his career. Jones was a 9-time Pro Bowl selection and 7-time All-Pro. He paved the way for Shaun Alexander to become the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. He was honored by being selected to the NFL’s 2000s All Decade Team, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. The Seahawks retired his jersey number 71 in 2010, making him only the third player in team history to receive such an honor.

Cortez Kennedy (1990-2000) was an 8-time Pro Bowl selection and 5-time All-Pro. When he retired, he was the Seahawks 4th all-time leader in sacks (58) and 3rd in tackles (568). In 1992 he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Kennedy is a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, Seahawks Ring of Honor, and Pro Football Hall of Fame (2012). The Seahawks retired his number 96 in 2012.

Matt Hasselbeck (2001-2010) is Seattle’s all-time career leader in passing yards (29,434), completions (2,559), attempts (4250) and 2nd in touchdown passes (174). The 3-time Pro Bowl selection led the team to its first ever Super Bowl (XL loss to Pittsburgh). He’s also a member of the Seahawks 35th Anniversary team.

Twelve’s I want to hear from you. Do you agree or disagree with this list? You would you rather see on it, and you would you replace? Let me know.

The Philadelphia Eagles Mt. Rushmore

Fly, Eagles Fly! This franchise is one of the oldest ever, going back to 1899. Photo Credit: ESPN.com

The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the oldest franchise in Pro Football history, having been around since 1899, first as the Frankford Yellow Jackets as an independent team, then as the Eagles from 1924-1931 in the NFL. But since 1933, they’ve been the Eagles as we know them now, with the exception of the 1943 season when they were the Phil-Pitt Steagles when they had to merge with the Steelers because both teams lost players to fight in World War II.

So you see, they’ve been around for a while. That is why they’re 6th in NFL history in regular season victories (548), won 3 NFL Championships (1948, 1949, 1960) before the AFL-NFL Merger, 13 Division titles with 24 playoff appearances.

With such an extensive history, you can imagine there have been several greats that have worn the green and white, which makes it harder to narrow it down to four players who are the most significant in Eagles history. But, that’s why these exercises are fun.

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon. 
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.

Reggie White (1985-1992) 124 sacks with the Green and White rank first in team history, and his 794 tackles with the team are still good for 4th on the team’s all-time list. The “Minister of Defense” gained some serious consideration for being on the Green Bay Packers Mount Rushmore as well, the franchise he won Super Bowl XXXI with. White was a 7-time 1st-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection, 1987 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1987 & 1991 NFC Defensive Player of the Year, and twice led the NFL in sacks (1987,1988) while playing in the “City of Brotherly Love.” The 2005 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee is also a member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, as well as its 1990’s and 1980’s All-Decade Teams. The team in his honor retired his Jersey number 92. In 2010, NFL.com ranked him 7th on their “100 Greatest Players” list.

Donovan McNabb (1999-2009) was booed by the Philly fans on draft day after being selected second overall in the 1999 NFL Draft, and all he did was become the most accomplished QB in franchise history, and led the team to its second only Super Bowl (XXXIX), five NFC East titles (4 consecutive 2001-2004) and five NFC Championship game appearances while becoming the team’s all-time leader in passing yards (32,873), touchdown passes (216), completions (2,801) and game winning drives (23). McNabb still holds 16 Eagles records, and was the first QB in NFL history to ever throw for more than 30 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions in a season (2004). The 6-time Pro Bowler is a member of the Eagles Hall of Fame, its 75th Anniversary Team and has his number jersey, number 5, retired.

Chuck Bednarik (1949-1962) has an award named after him, therefore like a couple of other players on in my Mount Rushmore’s series for each team, it’s a given he’s on the list. He played both center and linebacker during his time with the Eagles, while leading the team to two NFL Championships (1949, 1960) and earning 10 All-Pro and 8 Pro Bowl selections. Bednarik is a member of the NFL’s 50th and 75th Anniversary All-Time Team’s, as well as its 1950’s All-Decade Team. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 and The Eagles inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 1987. His jersey, number 60, is retired by the organization. In 2010, NFL.com ranked him 35th on their “100 Greatest Players” list.

Brian Dawkins (1996-2008) was the leader of the Eagles defense that became NFC Champions in 2004 and won 4 consecutive NFC East titles, while playing in five NFC Championship games. Dawkins is the first player in NFL history to have 30 interceptions and 30 sacks in a career, and to record a sack, forced fumble, interception and catch a touchdown pass in the same game. He made 5 All-Pro (4 1st-Team) teams and 7 Pro Bowls as an Eagle. He’s a member of the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team and the Eagles 75th Anniversary team. The team retired his jersey, number 20, and he’s eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

What you think Philly fans? I know how tough you guys can be. Would this be your Mount Rushmore, or is there a name missing you’d put on here? And if so, you would you replace?

The Kansas City Chiefs Mt. Rushmore

Arrowhead Stadium has been recognized by the Guinness World Record book for being “the loudest outdoor stadium in the world.” Photo Credit: Chiefs.com

The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the charter AFL teams, when they were the Dallas Texans. In their 55 seasons, they’ve won 3 AFL Championships, 1 Super Bowl (IV), 8 Division titles, and made the playoffs 18 times (3 in the last 6 seasons).

Kansas City has one of the most rabid fans bases. Chiefs fans have helped the team have the 2nd highest attendance rate over the last decade, despite being in the sixth smallest media market amongst NFL teams. Those fans have helped make Arrowhead the loudest outdoor stadium in the world, accruing to the Guinness World Records. And several former Chiefs they have cheered on, also have some very impressive records. The following four are the ones I’ve chosen to be on Kansas City’s Mount Rushmore.

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon.
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.

Len Dawson (1962-1975) played 19 seasons in the NFL, but his most notable years came with this franchise. He is the team’s career leader in wins (93), passing yards (28,507) and touchdown passes (237). Dawson won 3 AFL Championships (1962, 1966, 1969) and Super Bowl IV, taking home the games’ MVP award. Dawson is a 6-time AFL All-Star, Pro Bowl and 4-time All-AFL selection, and he won the AFL MVP in 1962.

Tony Gonzalez (1997-2008) arguably the greatest tight end in Pro Football history, is the Chiefs all-time leader in catches (916), receiving yards (10,940), receiving touchdowns (76) and holds several team records. As a 10-time Pro Bowl and 9-time All-Pro Selection in his time in Kansas City, before moving on to Atlanta for his final four seasons, Gonzalez holds twenty-five NFL records. He is a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, and is the first tight end to ever catch 1,000 passes, have the most pro bowl selections by a tight end, and is 2nd all-time in receptions, 5th all-time in receiving yards, and 6th all-time in receiving touchdowns. In 2010, NFL.com ranked him 45th on their “100 Greatest Players” list.

Derrick Thomas (1989-1999) was a sack artist and the most feared pass rusher in the NFL during his 11-year career. Thomas is the Chiefs all-time sack leader (126.5), 1st in recovered fumbles for touchdowns (4), safeties (3), forced fumbles (41), fumbles recovered (19), and 3rd in total tackles (601). The 9-time Pro Bowl and 6-time All-Pro selection is a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. He holds the NFL single game record for sacks (7). The Chiefs retired his jersey number 58, and he was posthumously elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

Hank Stram (1960-1974) is the franchise’s all-time leader in coaching victories (124) and led them to 3 AFL Championships (1962, 1966, 1969), the most in AFL history, and their only Super Bowl victory (IV). Stram is the first coach in the team’s history going back to when they were the Dallas Texans, before moving to Kansas City in 1963. Coach Stram never used an offensive/defensive coordinator or special teams coach in his time on the sideline. The 1968 AFL Coach of the Year winner is a member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

There you have it, “Chiefs Kingdom.” Let me know what you think.

The Cincinnati Bengals Mt. Rushmore

“The Jungle” in Cincinnati has been pretty wild for Bengals fans and their teams, and not always in a good way.

The last time we saw the Cincinnati Bengals in a meaningful game, they were self-destructing themselves into their seventh consecutive Wild Card playoff loss dating back to the 2005 playoffs. They went from being totally outplayed for three quarters, to coming back to take the lead in the 4th quarter and had the game all but sealed with a late interception, to fumbling while trying to chew the clock, followed by their erratic behavior that set up the game losing field goal. The roller coaster ride of a loss to hated AFC North division rival the Pittsburgh Steelers should come as no surprise. That’s been the theme of this franchise for the past 30 season.

In the 1980s they competed in two Super Bowls (XVI, XXIII) after two 12-4 seasons, and won 4 playoff games in the decade. That was followed by the 1990s, where they suffered 8 losing seasons, one 8-8 season (1996) and only made the playoffs once (1990). Then came the 2000s, where in the last 16 seasons, they’ve had 6 losing seasons, 3 seasons of 8-8, 7 winning seasons that led to 4 AFC North division titles, and 5 consecutive losses in the AFC Wild Card. So you can see why so many fans in “The Jungle” left Paul Brown Stadium distraught and in tears this past January.

All In all, their history isn’t so bad. The following four guys, were the bright spots in their roller coaster time in the “Queen City.”

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon.
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.

Paul Brown (1968-1975) is one of the few who can say he’s majorly instrumental in the history of two franchises. He retired from the Bengals with 55 wins and ushered the team to the NFL from the AFL. He won two division titles and made the playoffs 3 seasons in his 8-years as the head guy in the “Queen City.” He can be credited as having the greatest impact on creating the craze football has on the state of Ohio, due to his success in building iconic programs at the high school (Massilion High), collegiate (Ohio State) and professional levels. Even with the success of current head coach Marvin Lewis who is the team’s all-time winningest coach with 112 victories, no one person is more responsible for this team than Mr. Brown.

Anthony Munoz (1980-1992) is widely regarded as one of the greatest offensive lineman in NFL history, if not “THE” greatest. He is so revered he was rated the #12 player of all-time by NFL.com in 2010, the highest of any offensive lineman. The third overall pick by the Bengals in 1980 went on to be an 11-time Pro Bowl and 11-time 1st-Team All-Pro selection. Three times he was awarded the Offensive Lineman of the Year (1981, 1987, 1988) honor. Munoz played in two Super Bowls (XVI, XXIII) and is a member of the NFL 1980s All-Decade and NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time teams. In 1998 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first-year of eligibility.

Ken Anderson (1971-1986 player; 1993-2002 QB Coach) led the Bengals to their first AFC Championship in 1981. Anderson is Cincinnati’s all-time leader in career wins (91), games played (192), passing yards (32,838), pass touchdowns (197), completions (2,654) and attempts (4,475). The 4-time Pro Bowler and 3-time All-Pro, was the NFL MVP, NFL Offensive Player of the Year and NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1981. Anderson was ranked 6th all-time in passing yards for a career when he retired in 1986. His 93.5 postseason quarterback rating still ranks seventh in NFL History.

Chad Johnson (2001-2010) brought the flamboyance to the “Jungle” and helped make the team relevant again, despite the team only having two winning seasons with two playoff appearances, and detractors over his celebrating style. The 6-time Pro Bowl and 4-time All-Pro selection is the Bengals all-time leader in receptions (751), receiving yards (10,783), and receiving touchdowns (66). “Ochocinco” is a member of the Bengals 40th Anniversary Team.

There you have it Bengal fans. I want to hear from you now. Did I get it right? If not, what would your list look like? Maybe Boomer Esiason? Corey Dillion? Let me have it.

The Carolina Panthers Mt. Rushmore

The Panthers franchise has enjoyed a lot of success in its 21 seasons in the NFL, long before last season’s Super Bowl run.

The Carolina Panthers, the third youngest franchise in NFL history, is coming off one of the best seasons in team and league history. in 2015, the Panthers made their second Super Bowl (XL, XXXVIII) in their 21 year history after having a 15-1 regular season and one of the most dominate postseasons in recent memory (excluding the Super Bowl).

It didn’t take long for this barely legal organization to make history in the League. A 7-9 record in their first season (1995) is the best ever for an expansion franchise, and they followed that up with 12-4 season, winning the NFC West division title before losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers led by Brett Favre.

Overall Carolina has won 2 NFC Championships, 6 division titles, while making the playoffs seven times. Just like my post on other young franchises like the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens, When you have a team this young, its difficult to identify and label guys as worth of immortal status. But not with the Panthers. It’s clear who their most important players are in team history. The following are the ones who make the cut for the Panthers Mount Rushmore.

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon.
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.

Steve Smith Sr. (2001-2013) is still going at the age of 37, but with the second youngest franchise the Baltimore Raves. However, before his time ended in “The Queen City,” Smith became the Panthers all-time leader in catches (836), receiving yards (12,197), receiving touchdowns (67), punt return yards (1,652), punt return touchdowns (4) and yards from scrimmage (12,584). In total, he has 11 franchise records; his name is littered in the team’s record book. With Carolina, Smith Sr. became a 5-time Pro Bowler, 2-time 1st-team All-Pro, and one-time 2nd-team All-Pro and twice named to the Pro Football Writers Association All-NFL team.

Cam Newton (2011-present) is already the franchise’s 2nd all-time leading passer in yards and touchdowns behind Jake Delhomme (19,258 and 120) with 18,263 yards and 117 touchdowns. He’ll become the franchise leader early in his 6th season. Cam is also already 4th on the Panthers career rushing list with 3,207 yards, and is very likely to move into 3rd place in 2016. Newton is the team’s first NFL MVP Award winner (2015) and won the 2015 NFL Offensive Player of the Year. He led them to their second ever Super Bowl appearance after the 2015 season. Newton is a 3-time Pro Bowler and a 2015 1st-team All-Pro.

John Fox (2002-2010) is the team’s leader in wins with 73, and led the team to its first Super Bowl appearance after the 2003 season (SB XXXVIII). Coach Fox is the second coach in NFL history to take over a team that won 1 game the season before he was hired and take them to a NFL Championship Game, the other is the legendary Vince Lombardi.

Julius Peppers (2002-2009) For a majority of the Panthers 21 seasons in existence they’ve been known as a defensive first team. With all due respect to long-time Panther great Thomas Davis and his up-and-coming linebacker running mate Luke Kuechly, Peppers is the symbol for what Carolina fans are accustomed to. Peppers still holds the franchise records for sacks (81) and forced fumbles (30). He’s the 1st player in NFL history with 100+ sacks and 10+ interceptions, majority of which was done as a Panther.

Panthers’ fans I want to hear from you. Did I get it right? Who would you have put on Carolina’s Mount Rushmore?

The Tampa Buccaneers Mt. Rushmore

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers began their existence in the NFL in 1976, and went on to lose their first 26 games. It’s no wonder people referred to them as the “yucks”, instead of their abbreviated nickname the Bucs. However, the Buccanneers became the first expansion franchise in the era of the post AFL-NFL merger to win a division title, a playoff game and play in the conference championship game in the same season (1979).

But, that was short lived, as their losing ways returned and they suffered 14 consecutive losing seasons during the 1980s and early 1990s. That period helped them gain the draft picks needed to build the team that eventually turned them into a perennial playoff team and culminated with their only Super Bowl victory (XXXVII). In their 39 years, they’ve also won 6 division championships and made the playoffs 10 times, 7 of those appearances from 1997-2007.

Many of the players on that Super Bowl team, and contributed to the organizations great success, are still vividly remembered as their careers just came to a close within the last five to eight seasons. A few of those men are also on this list as being the Mount Rushmore for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon.
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.

Derrick Brooks (1995-2008) was the face of the Bucs team that won the franchise’s first and only Super Bowl (XXXVII). The 11-time Pro Bowl and 9-time All-Pro selection is Tampa Bay’s all-time leader in tackles (1,297) and forced fumbles (24). In 2002 he was named the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year and NFL Alumni Linebacker of the year. He’s a member of the 2000s All-Decade Team, Pro Football Hall of Fame (2014) and is only the third Buc to have his jersey number (#55) retired by the team.

Warren Sapp (1995-2003) is the Bucs all-time career leader in sacks (77), and was a member of the Super Bowl XXXVII Championship team. Sapp is a 7-time Pro Bowl selection and 6-time All-Pro. In 1999 he was awarded the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and is a member of both the NFL 1990s and 2000s All-Decade Teams. In 2013, Sapp was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Bucs’ Ring of Honor, and had his jersey number (#99) retired.

Leroy Selmon (1976-1984) is the first NFL draft pick in the team’s history. Selmon played in six consecutive Pro Bowls, and was a 5-time All-Pro. In 1979 he won the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year awards. He is a member of the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1995). Selmon is the first Bucs player to have his jersey retired (#63) and in 2009 was inducted into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor.

Tony Dungy (1996-2001) wasn’t the coach of the team that won Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego, but he changed the culture in Tampa from perennial losers to champions. When he was fired by Tampa Bay in 2001, he was the all-time leader in victories with 54. Although the team won the Super Bowl the season after he was fired, fans and players largely credit him for their success.

There you have it Bucs fans. What do you think? Did I get it right? Or would you have gone with Ronde Barber? Mike Alstott? John Lynch? or someone else? I want to hear from you.