Birthday wishes don’t always come true.

Especially after you become an adult. But for former FSU and current CFL running back James Wilder Jr. his birthday wish was delivered in small box containing a special DVD from NFL Films.

Wilder Jr. wasn’t even born when his father was setting team records for the Buccaneers as a star running back in the early to-mid-80’s. His only connection to his father’s impressive, but not widely recognized career in the NFL, was an old highlight video on VHS that his VCR ended up eating.

The younger Wilder tweeted out to NFL Films that his birthday was coming up and he wanted nothing more than a compilation of some of his father’s top highlights.

NFL Films delivered.


Wilder Sr. still holds the Buccaneers record for career rushing yards (5,957) and also receptions (430) and many feel he deserves to be in the Bucs Ring of Honor, a distinction that should be coming soon. Especially if you ask James Wilder Jr. who now how visual proof of how dominant Wilder Sr. was during his time wearing creamsicle in Tampa Bay.

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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]

10 COMMENTS

  1. Pretty cool. I think the Bucs should give JWJ a tryout next season. He’s contract in CFL expires at the end of the season.

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  2. Too bad Jr. did not pan out in the NFL. He might have had he opted for LB in college.

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  3. Still one of my favorite Bucs. Love watching the memories.

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  4. James Wilder absolutely belongs in the RoH…if we have Doug Williams in there with a 47% completion percentage; 73 TDs to 73 INTs; 12,000 yards in 5 (!) seasons…no disrespect to Williams, but Wilder’s Bucs career was way more impressive!

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  5. Very classy thing for NFL Films to do for Wilder Jr.

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  6. Very nice gesture by NFL films. Let me see Wilder the records for most passes caught AND must rushing yards and he’s not even in the ring of honor!? Seems to me he should have been one of the first.

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  7. james wilder should be in bucs ROH,eastendboy stop hating on doug Williams,both of them should be in.

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  8. Nice!!!!

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  9. In my mind, I can still hear Mark Champion’s voice- “handoff is to Wilder, who breaks a tackle…”

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  10. That was fantastic. I remember him, Jimmy Giles, D Williams, and Leroy Selmon while baking shirtless in the big Sombrero heat. Those were some good times. It’s just sad that Mr. C didn’t fill out the roster with supporting cast other than P Gruber, and we didn’t luck into one of the great future coaches that came out of that era. Our facilities and coaches left a lot to be desired back then.

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