When Lee Roy Selmon was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1995 it was arguably one of his greatest honors and achievements.
On Monday, Selmon was humbled by an honor that might rival his place in Canton, OH.
The Buccaneers held a press conference Monday to announce the franchise's plans to induct Selmon into the team's Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium when the Bucs host the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 8.
"This is a very exciting day for us, and a long time coming," said Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer. "When we bought the team in 1995, before we even went to a Buccaneer game, we didn't know much. But we were told we had to go to Canton, Ohio and represent the team at the induction ceremonies for the Hall of Fame and Lee Roy Selmon. It was a great beginning to our 15 years here, and I'm very proud to be here talking about this, the first inductee into the Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium. We've very pleased that person is going to be Lee Roy Selmon."
Selmon, 54, played for the Bucs from 1976-84. He was part of the NFL's first winless team in 1976, but the former first-round pick went on to make six Pro Bowls and help Tampa Bay's 1979 team earn a trip to the NFC Championship Game.
Selmon and the '79 Bucs will be honored in Tampa Bay's throwback game on Nov. 8, where the Bucs will wear their Bucco Bruce orange and white uniforms for the first time since the 1996 season.
The Bucs and Packers were old NFC Central rivals from 1976-01. Selmon seems to be looking forward to the Bucs-Packers game more than watching his jersey be hung inside Ray-Jay on the 50-yard line on the east side of the stadium at a halftime ceremony on Nov. 8.
"What I'm really most excited about is the game," said Selmon. "We play Green Bay, bring back the old jerseys, which is pretty cool, and I get to see a lot of the players from the '79 team. I'm really looking forward to that.
"I'm just excited about the team honoring the past and bringing it back to the forefront. I am so excited about it. It brings back a lot of memories. I appreciate the team doing that. There is no commitment or obligation to do it, but the Glazers have shown tremendous kindness to do this. I guess now is the time. There are so many great players that are so deserving, and they will be in this Ring of Honor. I'm really looking forward to those players being put in. It just sets a tone for the history of the franchise."
A six-time Pro Bowler, Selmon's 78.5 career sacks still are the most in Bucs franchise history. Selmon was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995 and is currently the only Buccaneer to have accomplished that feat.
Selmon, who spent the morning watching the Bucs practice and spoke to the team, was the first player ever selected by the Bucs in the NFL Draft. His jersey No. 63 is the only one ever retired by the Buccaneers. Although he accomplished so much as an NFL player, Selmon remains humble and credits others for his success.
"I had so many friends that made this possible," said Selmon. "I am so grateful today for the Glazers and the Buccaneers organized for this historic moment and establishing the Ring of Honor. I'm so humbled because with all of the great players that have played for this organization they selected me to be their first inductee. It's not about me. For me, it was about all the great relationships with the players, coaches and fans, but I'm truly humbled and honored."
However, Selmon's former teammate believe the honor is well deserved.
“I’m happy for Lee Roy,” said former Bucs quarterback Doug Williams. “Any time a player gets honored with something like that you have to be happy for them, and I had the opportunity to play with him. I just say congratulations to him.”
Currently, Tampa bay plans to induct one person associated with the Bucs franchise into the Ring of Honor each year. Players and coaches are eligible. The team has not determined whether there will be a chronological order.
Who will be the next great Buc inducted into Tampa Bay's Ring of Honor? According to Glazer, that's up for debate.
"Lee Roy was an easy one," said Glazer. "After Lee Roy it gets tougher."