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: June 13, 2007, 07:58:32 PM

I was bored and decided to lookup Hugh Culverhouse on Wikipedia.com

After reading this, I just wanted to bring it to other Buc fans attention and why everyone should be appreciative that the Bucs have great owners. These owners have helped turn around a franchise that was putrid. They also are dedicated to bringing a winner to Tampa. I'm so glad the Glazers are awesome owners dedicated to winning. Feel free to read about Hugh Culverhouse

Early life
A native of Birmingham, Alabama; Culverhouse attended the University of Alabama, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He graduated in 1941. After serving in the Army Air Forces in World War II, he earned a law degree from his alma mater in 1947. He immediately took a job as an assistant state attorney general, serving there for two years. After serving in the Korean War, he spent a decade with the IRS before moving to Jacksonville, Florida and entering private practice, specializing in tax law. He eventually had investments in 37 companies and was worth over $380 million at his death.

He first came to the attention of the NFL in 1972, when he helped broker a deal that allowed longtime Baltimore Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom to buy the Los Angeles Rams. Chicago industrialist Bob Irsay bought the Rams, then almost immediately traded them to Rosenbloom for the Colts. No players changed teams in the deal.


 Owning the Bucs
Two years later, Culverhouse ended up almost by accident as owner of an NFL expansion team in Tampa, set to take the field in 1976. The franchise had originally been awarded to Philadelphia construction company owner Tom McCloskey, but he backed out due to financial problems (one of them reportedly being a pending divorce that would have given his ex-wife half the team). Culverhouse was quickly named as the replacement. A name-the-team contest resulted in the team being called the "Buccaneers," a nod to the Gasparilla Pirate Festival.

Although Culverhouse was initially seen as a hero for making Tampa a major-league town, he soon became one of the most despised owners in the NFL. He frequently shifted money from the Bucs to his other investments and kept the Bucs' payroll one of the lowest in the league. Unfortunately, this kept the Bucs from attracting quality players in an era when large payrolls were all but required to contend. The few who did rarely stayed long; Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon was the only genuine star who stayed with the team for a long time. In most other cases, Culverhouse either traded quality players away or wouldn't pay them enough to keep them in Tampa. For example, he allowed the trade of Steve Young after only 2 seasons at quarterback.

The most egregious example was Doug Williams, the first African-American starting quarterback in the NFL. In only his second season, 1979, Williams led the Bucs to one of the biggest turnarounds in NFL history. After three straight losing seasons--including losing the first 26 games in franchise history--the Bucs rebounded to their first winning season, an NFC Central title, and an appearance in the NFC Championship game. The Bucs made the playoffs in three of Williams' five years as starter. However, he was only paid $120,000 a year--far and away the lowest salary for a starting quarterback, and behind 12 backups. After the 1982 season, Williams asked for a $600,000 contract. Culverhouse, who had been one of the hardliners in the players' strike earlier that year (a stance repeated in another strike in 1987), refused to budge from his initial offer of $400,000 despite protests from coach John McKay. While Culverhouse's offer was still more than triple Williams' previous salary, he would have still been among the lowest-paid starters in the league. Feeling that Culverhouse wasn't paying him what a starter should earn, Williams bolted to the USFL.

Without Williams, the Bucs were a rudderless team. In 1983 they lost their first nine games, knocking them out of contention. The Bucs would never have another winning season during Culverhouse's ownership. The 1983 season would be the first of 12 straight 10-loss seasons, an NFL record for futility. For much of that stretch, Bucs fans only saw their team play on television at home once or twice a year due to the NFL's blackout rules, which require a game to be blacked out in its home market if it isn't sold out 72 hours before kickoff. The few fans who came to Tampa Stadium during this stretch usually showed up with bags over their heads. Culverhouse was so detested that one radio station put up an ad near the stadium with a giant golden screw going through his head.

Several questionable draft moves also dogged the Bucs during Culverhouse's tenure. They passed on Tony Dorsett in 1977, traded a 1979 pick that turned into Dan Hampton and traded a 1984 pick that turned into Irving Fryar. The team was already a laughingstock by 1986, as evidenced when they picked Bo Jackson in that year's draft, even after he let it be known that he would never play for them.

Despite the losing and the poor attendance, the Bucs were one of the NFL's most profitable teams for most of Culverhouse's ownership. For instance, despite playing in an outdated stadium, they still made $11 million in 1993. However, a salary cap increased the payroll for 1994 to $12 million, putting the team in the red.


 Death and aftermath
Culverhouse died on August 26, 1994 after a long battle with lung cancer. His death revealed a team on very shaky financial ground. His son, Hugh, Jr., a prominent attorney in his own right, discovered the effects of his father's frugal ways. The team was close to bankruptcy, and Tampa Stadium's configuration made it impossible to raise ticket prices. Despite this, Hugh, Jr. had to practically force the trustees overseeing his father's estate to put the team on the market. Malcolm Glazer eventually bought the team. Unlike Culverhouse, Glazer was not afraid to pump money into the team, and the Bucs have been a contender for most of the last decade, including a win in Super Bowl XXXVII. Hugh, Jr., later said that his father badly wanted to bring a winner to Tampa, "but he couldn't get over this fatal personality flaw. He was cheap."




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#1 : June 13, 2007, 08:29:06 PM


Well, at least Hugh had personality.












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#2 : June 13, 2007, 09:09:54 PM

Ugh, I am so glad I wasn't alive for most of this.  I tip my hat to you guys who have stuck it out in spite of all of those terrible years...you will always have my respect.

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#3 : June 13, 2007, 09:19:46 PM

I briefly met Malcolm Glazer at the JCC when he was introduced as the new owner.  He was a bit shy and self-depracating but charmingly so.  He has a terrific sense of humor and had no trouble speaking to everyone abouto hiis vision and plans which were to win.  You can tell speaking to him that he has great mental capacity (duh).  He's also very very religious and has a kind of happy open face.  If you know anything about devout Jews they are extremely philanthropic and have a culture of creative and bold business moves.

I realize that isn;t much information.  But to me, he had a lot of personality.  It wasn't  hyped, or macho, in spite of the big moneyand many successes. He was very genuine and I imagine he protects himself from bad energy.  There aren't many folks like him in the South except on the other Coast of Fl. and there certainly aren't many like him in professional sports. I like that he seems to be comfortable in his own skin.  




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#4 : June 14, 2007, 09:11:21 AM

The Glazers may love to jack up prices on seats or change rules in order to get an extra dollar or two from you

BUT

I will defend the owners of the Bucs anytime any place. The Glazers and the Tampa Bay area are a perfect pair. They want to win and we want to win. I wouldnt want any other owners to run this team. I have never met a group of owners who are so personal with their fans. The Glazers are class

dalbuc

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#5 : June 14, 2007, 09:23:28 AM

We appreciate he Glazers because anyone who is old enough to recall Hugh *spit* Culverhouse knows what he did to wreck this team. Curse those stupid uniforms for luring me in.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.

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#6 : June 14, 2007, 10:38:10 AM

i remember the sacks on the head.  helen chavez asking for fans to wear shirts for national tv and the dirge sung at half time to coach mckay...not a happy place.


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#7 : June 14, 2007, 10:46:21 AM

It was awful.

But we loved our Bucs!


Learn to disagree without being disagreeable-Ronald Reagan circa 1981

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#8 : June 14, 2007, 10:57:37 AM

I remember going to a golf tourney in Sarasota must be back in the early 80's.  They had a 2 day Pro-Am and I saw Culverhouse wearing this dreadful yellow outfit.  Cripes he looked like a runaway easter egg!  The next day, there he is with exactly the same outfit on, sweating away!  Cheap?  I guess so! 
edit: Gees - the wife just said it was green!  Who cares!

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#9 : June 14, 2007, 11:04:00 AM

Hugh is still one of the most hated guys in Tampa.
Cant believe he found women to cheat on his wife with...I mean look at the dude!
Where would we be if he just paid doug?


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#10 : June 14, 2007, 11:24:21 AM

I've only been in the areas for about 10 years  so I know little of the previous owners. However
I'm still shocked at times when I hear some media members and fans bashing the Glazers.
I could understand if the franchise had a long history of winning and the fans were spoiled.
I lived in Ohio for awhile and the Browns/Bengals fans would give their left nuts for an owner
who would do what the glazers have done with the Buc's.

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#11 : June 14, 2007, 11:53:32 AM

I will always be grateful they had the balls to fire Dungy and the foresight to hire Jon Gruden. I was near giving up any hope of a Lombardi for the Bucs. Now I want the Glazers to stick with Gruden and Allen and the foundation they have built for the future. It would be a mistake to start over from scratch with a new HC. There are still a few pieces missing from the puzzle, but we do have some talent and depth now that we lacked in recent years. Thanks to Allen, we also have some cap space to work with. Things are looking up.

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#12 : June 14, 2007, 12:33:50 PM

Boy do I remember the Culverhouse days.  I can still remember going to LOTS of games because people gave their tickets away.  I used to have this orange Bucco Bruce hat with the feather plume.  I really thought I looked hot in it.  Ah, the errors of youth.   :D  I went to the NFC Championship game against the LA Rams.  I think the final was 9-3.  Helluva a defensive battle....and cold as heck that day.  :o



NFC South BBS Viva la Grudenistas!  GO GATORS!!!



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#13 : June 14, 2007, 01:52:10 PM

Boy do I remember the Culverhouse days.  I can still remember going to LOTS of games because people gave their tickets away.  I used to have this orange Bucco Bruce hat with the feather plume.  I really thought I looked hot in it.  Ah, the errors of youth.   :D  I went to the NFC Championship game against the LA Rams.  I think the final was 9-3.  Helluva a defensive battle....and cold as heck that day.  :o


It was 9-0..... i was there with my step dad. I was 12 then.... but already a die hard fan.

goto11

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#14 : June 14, 2007, 02:01:07 PM

Have you ever heard anything from Culverhouse's son, Hugh Jr.?  He's a trip.


"Letting Doug Williams walk away was the epitome of my father's overwhelming cheapness."

"I don't know.  When I go to hell, I'll ask him." -- Hugh Jr.'s response to what his father would think of his testimony on his mother's behalf.






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