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Lee Roy Selmon Towered Over Tampa Bay Football 14

Posted on September 05, 2011 by Dean Hybl

The towering Selmon often overpowered defenseless quarterbacks.

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL in 1976 with their creamsicle colored uniforms and comical play on the field, they needed someone with credibility to signal to the rest of the league that while they might dress funny and make a lot of bad plays, they were a football team and they were out there trying to create a winner. That someone was the first player ever drafted by the Buccaneers, defensive lineman Lee Roy Selmon.

His death over the weekend following a stroke begs the recollection of the beginning of professional football in Tampa when the Buccaneers went from being a laughing stock to forging a level of respectability by winning two division titles and reaching the playoffs three times in a four year stretch.

For anyone (like me) who grew up on NFL Films, the early years of the Buccaneers can be summed up with two images from the vaults of video past. The first is of whimsical head coach John McKay expressing that he was in favor of his teams’ execution and the second of the 6-foot-3, 256 pound Selmon looking significantly larger than his listed size as he smothers an opposing quarterback.

The best of the three Selmon brothers (Lucious and Dewey were the others), Selmon excelled on and off the field as the University of Oklahoma won consecutive national titles in 1974 and 1975. He won the Outland and Lombardi Trophies and was also an Academic All-American.

After playing for one of the most successful programs in college football, he joined an NFL team that was destined to set a record for futility.

As the first draft pick in the 1976 NFL Draft, Selmon became the first draft pick of the Buccaneers. His brother, Dewey, was selected in the second round and would spend five years in Tampa. Read the rest of this entry →

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