Even though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren’t playing in the Super Bowl, this weekend was still one of the best in franchise history.
Ronde Barber became just the fifth Bucs player to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and joins three of his fellow teammates in Canton. Derrick Brooks, who was inducted back in 2014, announced Barber as one of the Hall’s newest members at the NFL Honors.
Warren Sapp and John Lynch are the other teammates of Barber to have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame. They all join Lee Roy Selmon, who was the first player in Buccaneers history to get a bust in Canton.
It was a euphoric moment for Bucs fans, one that brought back memories of the 2002 Super Bowl as well as his famous pick six in the NFC Championship Game that year. It’s something Philadelphia Eagles fans remembered too, as they loudly booed Barber when he was brought onto the field for a special ceremony during Super Bowl LVII.
Barber wasn’t a unanimous decision, however. Peter King, perhaps the greatest living football writer, left Barber off his ballot this year. Instead, King replaced Barber on his Hall of Fame ballot with Kansas City Chiefs legend Albert Lewis.
Peter King didn’t vote for Ronde Barber for the Hall of Fame this year
King explained that it was a matter of all-around game that made the difference in his mind between Barber and Lewis.
“Toughest decision for me was [Albert] Lewis or Ronde Barber, who I was also bullish on. But I thought Lewis ’ all-around game—superb coverage, physicality, special teams, kick-blocking—gave him a microscopic edge. I was happy for Barber, though. Sad for Lewis. And I fully supported Demarcus Ware, who was seventh on my list,” King wrote.
There are a ton of parallels between Barber and Lewis, not the least of which is they’re both largely identified as being icons of one franchise during otherwise forgettable years. It’s hard to argue, especially now, that the 80s were enjoyable for Chiefs fans much like how most of the 2000s and all of the 2010s were a drag for Bucs fans.
Barber did win a Super Bowl though, which Lewis did not. The former is also considered to be a core member of one of the NFL’s greatest defenses of all-time, which Lewis is not.
For what it’s worth here were the five players King voted for to be named to this year’s Hall of Fame class:
- Andre Johnson
- Albert Lewis
- Darrelle Revis
- Joe Thomas
- Zach Thomas
Andre Johnson and Albert Lewis both missed the cut to get into Canton, with Barber and Demarcus Ware replacing them.