The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced their 26 modern-era semifinalists for the class of 2022. One former player of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the cut.
On September 22nd, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced the 122 modern-era nominees for enshrinement in 2022, including ten former Buccaneers. Some of them spent most, if not all of their careers with the Buccaneers, others only for a cup of coffee. Now, on November 24th, the day before Thanksgiving, only one remains standing.
Perhaps the greatest moment in franchise history was Ronde Barber’s pick-six of Donovan McNabb to shut down Veteran’s Stadium, slay the dragon that was the Philadelphia Eagles, and send the Bucs to their first Super Bowl, resulting in their first championship. Buccaneers fans have been screaming until they’ve been blue (or pewter) in the face trying to get Barber in the Hall of Fame, and he more than deserves to be the fourth member of that legendary defense of the late 1990s-early 2000s to be enshrined. Now, he looks to be the next line behind Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, and most recently John Lynch. Of course, there’s also Tony Dungy.
Simeon Rice, Hardy Nickerson, and Mike Alstott were some of Barber’s teammates during that era and were also the other players who spent the majority of their careers in Tampa Bay that were named Hall of Fame nominees. Unfortunately, they do not get to move on. In the case of Rice, he remains an ultimate snub.
It is ok though. Barber has one of the stronger cases of the remaining semifinalists and should be a favorite for induction in 2022. Barber is a five-time Pro Bowler and was named All-Pro on three occasions. In terms of stats relative to other Hall of Famers, his 47 career interceptions are only one less than Herb Adderley and Willie Wood, the same as Jimmy Johnson, and one more than Jack Christiansen and Mike Haynes.
He’s also the all-time interception leader in the history of the Buccaneers for whatever that’s worth.
Barber also showed longevity and versatility. At corner, he was teammates with the aforementioned Nickerson, and by the time he moved to safety as an old man, was sharing the field with Lavonte David. When put into that perspective it’s pretty amazing.
Longevity, versatility, stats, the legendary “resume play” he will forever be known for, he has it all. Ronde Barber is a legend in not only Tampa Bay football, but the game of football itself, and it’s beyond the time the NFL enshrines him into the Hall of Fame.