About the author

Mark Cook

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, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. 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 protected]

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  1. 1

    Buc-n-Philly Fan

    Mark, that was a very well written piece. I must admit, I had a tear in my eye reading this as I too was a bright eyed kid wearing the creamsicle orange trying to throw like Doug Williams. Going to school in Towm n Country, Tampa playing for the Pop Warner Vikings, I tried to emulate my favorite players. It was hard being a Bucs Fan. At times it was down right embarrassing. But when Mr. Glazer had the foresight to hire The Man that is Tony Dungy, everything for the Buccaneers and their Fans changed. Dungy brought that quiet confidence to this Team and that was augmented by the boisterous likes of Sapp and that Defense. Dungy was able to control the type A’s on this Team and harness their best attributes.

    I was sad to see him go but I recall how frustrated I was that he was so conservative on Offense. The same things that made me love him also made me frustrated. Ultimatley, Dungy was EXACTLY what this Franchise needed. Cool, calm, collected but extremely competitive. He is going exactly where he belongs…amongst the GREATS in Buccaneer lore.

    Thanks Coach Dungy for making our Team and our Community respectable!

    1. 1.1

      Mark Cook

      Thanks. Agree with what you said. Very frustrating seeing the inept offense year after year. But truly never met a more decent and genuine man than Coach.

  2. 2


    Mark, you were such a cute kid, what happened?

  3. 3


    Just kidding, my boys had those shirts.

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    When I was 8, living in Valrico, my dad bought me a bright orange shirt with a similar logo that said “1979 NFC Central Division Champions.” Dad and I had been following the Bucs, but after I got that shirt I was hooked. I think I wore it everyday for a year. Years later my sister gave me a similar orange shirt with the same logo which reads “2003 Super Bowl Champions.”

  6. 6


    Beautiful text, Mark.


  7. 7


    Nice piece Mark. I don’t think many sports fans will ever understand the ascendancy of their team from the lowest of the lows to respectability the way that Tony Dungy elevated this franchise. And, kudos to Mr. Glazer for looking past Spurrier to find that diamond in the rough. Congratulations, Tony Dungy.

    1. 7.1

      Mark Cook

      Thanks E, and all the other commenters, coach was so impactful to this franchise. When I have spent time talking to Sapp and Brooks and those guys, you can see the love and respect they had for coach and the difference he had in their lives. Tampa Bay was lucky to have had him here. And for those who weren’t fans in the 70’s and 80’s they can’t really comprehend how much he helped turn things around. I tried to get that across in the story.

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    I don’t have perfect recall. After all, I am in my 50s now. But this may be the best piece you have written for PR.

  9. 9

    alan skelly

    The instant that coach Dungy joined us we became an organization that earned and deserved respect. Something I was proud to be associated with.
    The instant he was let go respect and pride left with him. The timing of his firing was the first shameful act.
    Sure, winning the Superbowl was thrilling and exciting, but the Gruden years could not replicate the same respect for the organization and how proud i was to be a Bucs fan.
    It was starting to feel like 84 through 96 all over again but I feel like the current regime are starting to build something based on principles that will me proud again…..and more success would not hurt

  10. 10


    Great piece Mark. As a Bucs fan since the McKay/Williams days I can relate to every aspect of the article, especially that t-shirt. Coach Dungy is truly all class and deserving of the Bucs ROH.

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