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The one that got away in Tampa.


Jon Gruden may have won the Tampa Bay Buccaneers they’re only Super Bowl with a win over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, Tony Dungy is without a doubt the greatest head coach in the history of our beloved Bucs.

Dungy turned a team that was notoriously known as the Yucks into a perennial playoff team and Super Bowl contender for years. In 1997 the Bucs got to first of many playoff appearances in the Dungy era. Although Tampa Bay lost that NFC divisional round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, and missed the playoffs the following season, it was evident to anyone paying attention that the Buccaneers were back on the map, no longer known as the Yucks, but rather, the Bucs.

In the 1999 season, the Bucs advanced to the NFC Championship game against the eventual Super Bowl Champions. St. Louis Rams, losing that game 11-6, although a controversial non-catch by Bert Emanuel should have given Tampa Bay the win. The following season, Tampa Bay would lose in the playoffs to an arch nemesis, the Philadelphia Eagles at Veterans Stadium, bringing an end to the Dungy era. The front office felt new leadership was in order to get the Buccaneers over the hump, and in that off-season, Tampa Bay traded numerous picks to the Oakland Raiders for head coach, Jon Gruden.

Gruden was at the helm that following season when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced those same Oakland Raiders Gruden coached the previous season. Needless to say, the Buccaneers dismantled the Raiders 48-21 Super Bowl XXXVII. The remainder of Grudens seasons with the Bucs were less than memorable and a change was made after the 2008 season.

Coach Tony Dungy would go on to win a Super Bowl with quarterback Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in 2006, leaving a lasting legacy that will culminate with his induction into the Hall of fame in Canton. Thank you, Coach, for turning Tampa Bay from a laughing stock to a team we’re proud to call ours.

 

Edited by Harmeet Kapur

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