Expansion season funnies
Booth Lusteg, a kicker in pre-season wanted to wear his regular black shoes for a game but the team uniform was white. So assistant equipment coach, Frank Pupello, painted his black ones white.
SHATTERING THE MYTH 1
Everyone seems to know the story about the Bucs' player who allegedly excused himself from training camp to go to the bathroom and never returned. Martin Fennelly of The Tampa Tribune even tracked down the player in question, Ricou de Shaw during Super Bowl week in January 2003, to recount the story.
Just one problem though guys. It wasn't the expansion Bucs at all. Ricou de Shaw was a senior tight end at the University of Miami during 1976. He was invited to Buccaneer camp the FOLLOWING year as an undrafted free agent, and even then, he maintains that the bathroom story never happened and that he was released because he was injured.
SHATTERING THE MYTH 2
The NFL Films piece tells how LB Larry Ball was the only player to play for both the perfect Miami Dolphins of 1972, and the perfect Tampa Bay Buccaneers of 1976. Sorry guys, but DT Maulty Moore did it as well.
The Buccaneers had 17 players on IR by the end of the season. They are the only team in NFL history with more players on IR than touchdowns scored (15).
Isaac Hagins had two kick off returns in pre-season. He was then injured on the opening kick-off of the game with Houston and was placed on IR for the rest of the season. 30 years later, and the Bucs still haven't returned a kick-off for a touchdown in the regular season.
FREQUENT FLYER MILEAGE
TE David Grammell was cut by the Dallas Cowboys on a Thursday afternoon. He was signed by the Bucs and hence on the Friday, flew from California to Tampa. On the Saturday, he flew back to California for the opening pre-season game against the Rams. He then flew back to Tampa, was released from the team, and then flew back home.... to California.
The late NFL Films President Steve Sabol remembered one banner that hung in the endzone at Tampa Stadium - "Bucs fever - catch it, because our receivers can't."