From 1 to 99, the jersey countdown is complete
Keeping BUCPOWER.COM going during the off-season is always a chore as there are not stories every day worth running. So whilst Roy Cummings and Ira Kaufman do Sudoku puzzles and take calls from agents representing out-of-work players trying to generate interest for their clients, an editor on this side of the Atlantic has to think of other ways of keeping daily interest in his site.
So the summer traditionally becomes the time for countdowns. The 100 best Buccaneers, 100 greatest plays, 100 quotes from Simeon Rice saying how he was the greatest player who ever lived, that sort of thing. I am just waiting for Channel 4 to make a show entitled "The 100 greatest countdowns" with Jimmy Carr hosting.
This summer has been the jersey countdown, the who was the best to wear each number. To qualify, a player has to be on the Buccaneer active roster for at least one regular season game even if they did not suit up. And I guess as I did this historical work for the Bucs' media guide again this year, I am starting with the base facts.
But there are some grey areas in this list most namely the replacement players from 1987. I have always believed they qualify but the Bucs list them separately in the guide. The NFL now makes no distinction in their archives. The likes of Brian Gant and Paul Tripoli who went on to play for the regular team are listed normally, but Sankar Montoute, Van Tiffin and others are not.
Then you also have an interesting duo in Rickey Brady and Andrew Jordan. Brady was on the roster for the 1997 playoff game in Green Bay, and Jordan for the Rams' championship game two years later. They both wore 49 and never played in a regular season game in Tampa Bay.
This issue is still being debated by both the Bucs and the NFL in terms of eligibility. It actually affects pension and future healthcare rights being the reason.
But back to the countdown - some numbers were easy to find the best (28, 47, 55, 63, 99 etc), others were harder. How does Mark Carrier not make the 99? Simply because he wore the same numbers as Jimmie Giles and Kevin House during his career with the Buccaneers.
So from Donald Igwebuike to Warren Sapp, the list is complete. Well for now anyway. I am sure a future summer will need a revisit and a few numbers will be changed by more modern-day Buccaneer performances. I know Buc fans around the world have enjoyed the countdown and have been introduced to players from team history they were not aware of. That is what BUCPOWER.COM is all about.
Click here for the full countdown from 1 to 99
You've been great, enjoy New Musik.