Dec 12, 2021 - Sports

44 years later: Looking back on the Bucs' first win

The Dec. 12, 1977 edition of the Tampa Tribune.

Tom Brady came into this world on Aug. 3, 1977 — just three days before Tampa Bay's winless NFL expansion franchise took the field at Tampa Stadium for the first preseason game of the young team's second treacherous campaign.

  • Brady is 44 now, and Saturday marked the 44th anniversary of the Buccaneers' first-ever victory, which came in Week 13 that year when the Bucs beat the New Orleans Saints 33-14 to end a 0-26 losing streak.

Some curios from the day:

  • 📬 First-class stamp: $.13
  • 🛢Quart of Quaker State: $.49
  • 🥚 Dozen eggs: $.49
  • 🎟 Ticket prices: $10, $8, $6 and $5 — and you had to wait in line to buy them at the stadium, Maas Brothers or a handful of other locations.
  • 🚘 Stadium parking: $2
  • 🏈 Starting QB: Gary Huff (Tampa's Leto High School, FSU)
  • 🏟 Players to watch: Lee Roy Selmon and Ricky Bell
  • 🤦‍♂️ What they were saying: "I realize that winning is big in this city, but it wasn’t when I came here." — Bucs coach John McKay to the Tampa Tribune when he was 0-14.

The aftermath: The Saints didn't take their loss well. "We were strangled by the trauma. ... What a nightmare. It was the worst experience of my coaching career. We’re all ashamed for our people, our fans, our organization," Saints coach Hank Stram said at the time.

  • Walter Payton allegedly said that Saints quarterback Archie Manning told him it would be a "disgrace" to lose to the Bucs.

The Bucs took the smack talk to heart.

  • "When Coach McKay told us what he had said, a powerful look came over our dressing room," future Hall-of-Famer Lee Roy Selmon told the St. Petersburg Times. "Everybody seemed to burn inside, saying to themselves that it’s time to end all this losing."
  • "When you don’t give a man no respect, then you’re messing with a man as a man, not just as a football player," linebacker David Lewis said. "I was after his ass."
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