After a 2-14 disaster of a season last year, the Buccaneers were able to do something that isn’t an easy accomplishment – being so bad you end of with the overall No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.
How hard is it? Well as bad as the Buccaneers have been over their 39-year old history, the last time they were able to accomplish the feat was 1987 when the Bucs selected Vinny Testaverde out of the University of Miami – 28 years ago. Not after the 3-13 1991 Richard Williamson season. Not during the wacky Sam Wyche era. Not even a 10-straight loss 2011 season under Raheem Morris was enough to earn the Bucs the honor (or dishonor).
How long ago was 1987? It was the year Ray Perkins, in a short sleeved button up shirt and a tie, was just setting up his new office at the original One Buc Place. In 1987 there was no internet, mobile phones were $3,000 15 pound bricks, Ronald Reagan was napping in the White House, the Dow Jones closed over 2,000 for the first time ever, there was still an East Germany, Phil Simms was leading the Giants to a Super Bowl win over John Elway and the Broncos, The Beastie Boys were just beginning to Fight For Your Right To Party, Bruce Hornsby was winning a Grammy, 45 current Bucs weren’t even alive and Kate Upton was still seven years away from even being born. Let that sink in old timers.
Making the most of this opportunity is crucial for the franchise. The chance to have the overall No. 1 pick, as pointed out, just doesn’t happen that often. In nearly 40 years the Bucs have earned it three previous times (1976 was the expansion year) but 28 years ago was the last time they managed to be the worst of the worst. For the sake of the fans, hopefully it will be another 28 years. Making the right choice on April 30 can have a big bearing on how long before the Bucs get the honor bestowed on them once again.
Bad choices in the draft with the No. 1 pick have haunted the Bucs before. Look at what happened the year before Vinny. The Bucs took Bo Jackson who never played a down in Tampa Bay. Thanks Hugh Culverhouse.
As mentioned, it isn’t easy being so bad you get the No. 1 pick in the draft. But making the most of a bad situation is critical for the Bucs, and drafting the right player can turn your fortunes around. Just ask the Colts who decided on Andrew Luck as opposed to Robert Griffin III.
All this 1987 talks had got me feeling a little nostalgic so while working today I think I will throw on a pair of acid wash jeans, put some checkerboard fat laces in my hi-top Reeboks, grow a mullet, and crank up some Wang Chung, George Michael and Cutting Crew. Long live 1987. Not really.
Hopefully the next time Tampa Bay have the No. 1 overall pick, we will be reminiscing about how bad Taylor Swift music was, will finally be done debating Obamacare, Kate Upton will be married with four kids in college and we will be flying our Jetson vehicles over malfunction junction near downtown Tampa on the way to a Raymond James Stadium that actually has HD Jumbotron replay screens.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
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