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About The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Owned by Malcolm Glazer, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football team based in Tampa, Florida. The ‘Bucs,’ as they are sometimes abbreviated, are now members of the Southern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). They joined the NFL in 1976 as expansion teams along with the Seattle Seahawks. The Buccaneers play their home games at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Their team colors are Buccaneer red, pewter, black, and orange.
The Buccaneers had a dismal beginning in the NFL as they lost their first 26 games in franchise history. A brief winning era followed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but they again suffered through 14 straight losing seasons. During the better part of the last decade, the Buccaneers have somewhat shed the image of ‘chronic losers’ and have come up with much better performances. They won Super Bowl XXXVII at the end of the 2002 season.
After a forgettable start, the Buccaneers won five games in 1978 with the help of players like Ricky Bell, Anthony Davis, Doug Williams, and brothers Lee Roy and Dewey Selmon. A year later, they caused a big surprise by winning their first five games en route to a first-place tie with the Chicago Bears in the Central Division. In the playoffs the ‘Bucs’ upset the Philadelphia Eagles before losing to the Los Angeles Rams (now Tampa Bay Buccaneers) in the NFC Championship Game.
They reached the playoffs in 1981 and 1982 but lost in the first round on both occasions. The Buccaneers’ 5-4 win-loss record in the strike-affected 1982 season was followed by a long series of losing seasons through the mid-1990s.
In 1996 Tony Dungy took over as the team’s head coach and rebuilt the team with young, talented players like Mike Alstott, Warrick Dunn, Trent Dilfer, and Donnie Abraham. The Buccaneers began the 1997 season with five consecutive wins and finished the season with a 10-6 win-loss record. They reached the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. After defeating the Detroit Lions in the first round, they lost to the Green Bay Packers, who ultimately went on to become NFC champions. After the 1999 season the Buccaneers reached the NFC Championship game for the first time since 1979, but were beaten by the Rams.
In the playoffs following both the 2000 and 2001 seasons Tampa Bay lost in the first round. The club then used money and draft picks to lure Coach Jon Gruden away from the Oakland Raiders. The move paid rich dividends as Gruden led the Buccaneers all the way to the Super Bowl next year, where they beat the fancied Raiders, 48-21.