Steve Sabol of NFL Films summed it up like this :-
"If you were asked which was the greatest team in NFL history, you could make a case for the Pittsburgh Steel Curtain, Landry's Cowboys, Shula's perfect Dolphins or Lombardi's Packers. But when it comes to the worst team in history, then there is no question - it's the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers."
In 1976, NFL Films were just starting to gain their well-deserved reputation for excellent footage and documentary pieces on the NFL. And with a new expansion team joining the league, the possible combination of the two was too good a chance to miss. Hugh Culverhouse gave NFL Films inside access to the team. "He was very interested in what NFL Films were doing" said Ed Sabol, Steve's father.
John McKay was not so sure. "If you don't get that camera out of here, I'm going to shove it right up your ass" was one great quote during training camp from the new coach.
NFL Films produced a documentary entitled "Birth of the Bucs" which covered the team through training camp to the 14 game losing streak. It was quite an achievement to put a "highlight" film together on the season and some seriously judicious editing was required to make the program appealing to fans of the orange and white. "Imagine trying to make a film with nothing but out-takes" said Steve Sabol.
Some 25 years later, Sabol decided to re-visit the 1976 team as part of his Undiscovered Treasures series. "I looked at the film because I wanted to see if they were as bad as I remembered. I was wrong, they were worse."
Sabol put together interviews with assistant coaches Wayne Fontes, Tom Bass and Dick Beam, John McKay had died earlier that year, but had recorded an interview with NFL Films in 1998 in which he spoke fondly of his memories for the players on that roster.
Rich McKay, a ball-boy on the 1976 team, also added his comments, as did former players Lee Roy Selmon, Parnell Dickinson, Larry Ball and Steve Spurrier. Then GM Ron Wolf added his viewpoints, as did the dean of Tampa sportswriters, Tom McEwen of The Tampa Tribune.
What resulted was another excellent NFL Films piece that summed up the losing season but through the eyes of fans 25 years later. There were mistakes (calling Larry Ball the only player to play for both the 1976 Bucs and 1972 Dolphins, and also stating that Steve Spurrier started every game), but the overall piece is worthy of a place in any Buc fan's collection.