that has traditionally been one of the weaker teams in the league. They also have had a freaky knack for giving up on quarterbacks who eventually win Super Bowl
s elsewhere and for losing in cold
Tampa Bay was granted an NFL franchise in 1974. The name "Buccaneers" was chosen by a committee from around 400 name submissions. Their first season of play was 1976. The Bucs proceeded to lose a league-record 26 straight games (before finally winning in New Orleans in December 1977).
That started a meteoric rise, which led the Bucs into the 1979 NFC Championship Game, in just their first 4th season in the league. However, they lost 9-0 to the Los Angeles Rams. The Buccaneers also made the playoffs after the 1981 and 1982 seasons. Much of their early success was symbolized by defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, who was their first ever draft pick in 1976. Selmon had a Hall of Fame career, and is still the only Buccaneers player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
However, things went downhill after 1982, and the Bucs would go another 15 years before making the postseason again.
Symbolic of the Bucs' problems, with the #1 overall pick in the NFL draft in 1986 they chose Bo Jackson. However, the Bucs could not agree to terms with Bo and he played baseball instead. A year later, he re-entered the draft and was taken by the Los Angeles Raiders, where he played for several seasons. In effect, the Bucs ended up wasting the #1 overall pick in the 1986 draft.
Tampa Bay has developed an uncanny knack for dealing away quarterbacks who would win Super Bowls for other teams. In the '80s, the Bucs gave up on Doug Williams (who won a Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins) and Steve Young (who won with the San Francisco 49ers). More recently, the Bucs did not keep Trent Dilfer, who went to the Baltimore Ravens and won a Super Bowl in January 2001.
In recent years, Tampa has had success, with head coach Tony Dungy building one of the best defenses in the league around Warren Sapp. The Bucs made the playoffs in 1997, for the first time in 15 years. After the 1999 season, they went to the NFC Championship game, narrowly falling to the St. Louis Rams 11-6. Tampa also made the playoffs in 2000.
Another mysterious fact about the Bucs is that they can't seem to win in cold weather. As of the time of this writeup, they are 0-20 all-time when the gametime temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. 5 celsius).
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play in the NFC Central and their home field is Raymond James Stadium.