Buccaneers fans chimed in and voted former head coach Greg Schiano the most hated man in franchise history. Now it’s time for Buccaneers fans to decide who they love the most.
It’s March Madness, people. What better way for a football site to celebrate than creating a tournament of their own? Today we begin round one of the Buccaneers Most Beloved Man tournament. We have compiled the top eight players, or coaches, in Buccaneers’ history, seeded them at random, and will leave it up to the fans which person they love the most.
So, without further adieu, let the games begin!
(1) Derrick Brooks vs (8) Mike Alstott
This man needs no introduction. First ballot Hall of Famer, Buccaneers Ring of Honor Inductee, his iconic number 55 retired. Shall I go on?
Ok, if you insist.
Derrick Brooks was a first round pick out of Florida State and came into the league with fellow Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. Together, they changed the coarse of Buccaneers history. They went from the “Yucs” to the Pewter Pirates, to World Champions.
Brooks finished his career with 1,710 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 24 forced fumbles, 25 interceptions, four fumble recoveries, and eight total touchdowns. He was the 2002 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Walter Payton Man of the Year, NFL Alumni Linebacker of the Year, nine time All-Pro, eleven time Pro Bowler, Pro Bowl MVP, the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, and, of course, Super Bowl XXXVII Champion.
On top of all that, Brooks’ off-field accomplishments are just as impressive. Brooks founded the “Brooks Bunch” charity, which awards scholarships to youth in the Tampa Bay community.
Brooks also teamed up with former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. to form the Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School in Tampa. The charter school helps prepare high school students, grades nine through twelve, for college. The high school has received multiple “A” grades from the Florida Department of Education, was awarded a National Blue Ribbon from the United States Department of Education, and has seen its graduates attend colleges like Howard University, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Florida, Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Tampa, and Villanova University.
As many accomplishments as Mr. Brooks has, his toughest test might be beating his opponent here…
The man. The myth. The legend. The A-Train!
The second round pick out of Purdue in 1996, Mike Alstott is consistently revered as a perennial fan favorite. Was there anything more exciting in the late 90’s and early 2000’s than the Buccaneers in a situation of 3rd-and-short or 4th-and-short, or a goal line play, where everyone knew who was getting the ball and he still bowled over defenders like the high school kid playing football with the eight and nine year olds in the neighborhood? Watching Chris Berman do the highlights that night, waiting for the Alstott play accompanied by “BFFT! BFFT! BFFT!” as defenders bounced helplessly off of him?
No. No there wasn’t.
Alstott touchdowns, the train whistle, and the electricity of the crowd was something to behold during the A-Train’s career. In his twelve-year career (albeit, he only played eleven since he spent his entire final season with the Bucs on injured reserve), Alstott had 1,359 carries for 5,088 yards and 58 touchdowns. Add that to 305 receptions for 2,284 yards and an additional 13 touchdowns. His accomplishments include six Pro Bowls, three times First Team All-Pro, one Second Team All-Pro, a member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor, Indiana Football Hall of Fame inductee, and Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame inductee.
Alstott currently serves as head football coach of Northside Christian High School. He and his wife, Nicole, still run the Mike Alstott Family Foundation charity which focuses on helping people overcome life-altering problems. The foundation was formed in 2007 and still runs strong today with various fund raisers including the annual celebrity golf tournament.
Alstott ranks second all-time on the Bucs’ rushing list, third in receptions, third on the all-time scoring list and the only non-kicker over 400-points scored for the Bucs. He’s first all-time in total touchdowns and rushing touchdowns.
Alstott was really the last of the true fullbacks in the NFL. He was a player to behold, and we’ll never see one like him again.
I don’t envy your dilemma, Bucs fans. This is certainly not an easy choice. Cast your vote for the Buccaneer nearest and dearest to your heart!
— The Pewter Plank (@ThePewterPlank) March 17, 2016