QB Steve Young – Photo by: Getty Images
Sometimes it is hard to remember that Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young once was a member of the Buccaneers, constantly running for his life, once almost suffocating in the snow against the Packers, and then cast off following the 1986 season in favor of drafting Vinny Testaverde.
Young spent two seasons in Tampa Bay (1985-86) and started 19 games for the Buccaneers, and it was in one of those games a bizarre situation happened that Young wrote in his upcoming book and was mentioned in Peter King’s most recent MMQB column.
“Even on the field, I can’t escape the craziness. We play the Colts at home. Partway through the second quarter I’m in the huddle when the head referee taps me on the shoulder. “Can I talk to you for a second?” he says. I step away from the huddle. “Hey, listen, my daughter’s going to BYU,” he whispers. Next thing I know he starts trying to convince me that I should meet his daughter. “I’d like you to take her out,” he says.
I cannot believe this. We’re in the middle of a game! “Oh, okay,” I said. “What’s her name?’’ He tells me and I return to the huddle … Late in the game we’re down 31-23 and I’m trying to mount a comeback. I scramble out of the pocket and take a brutal hit. It causes me to fumble just before the whistle blows to stop the play. I am lying on the ground when the defense recovers the loose ball, all but sealing our defeat. Suddenly out of nowhere a yellow flag lands next to me. The referee whose daughter is headed to BYU calls a personal foul on the defense. First down, Tampa Bay. I get up and brush myself off. Then the ref walks past me and whispers she likes Italian food.”
Young’s revelation is just adds to the lore of all of the bizarre and crazy things that have happened during the Buccaneers 41 seasons of football in the NFL. From 0-26, to the Bo Jackson fiasco, to Monte Kiffin’s mid-season announcement in 2008 he was leaving that many felt to led to a four-game slide that eventually cost Jon Gruden his job, no question a book with just the wackiness could be written. Although most publishers would assume it was a fiction book, not able to believe many of the anecdotes that would be told.
But as a life-long follower of the Buccaneers since their second season in 1977, I can attest to the truth of many of these. And after Young’s story, it is apparent there are even more that most don’t know about.
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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