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Friday, September 09, 2011

Talented Generation Salutes. . .

Lee Roy Selmon

To some, Lee Roy Selmon was a former Buccaneers football player who donned a number 63 jersey. He wasn't just any football player. After his senior season playing college football at Oklahoma, Selmon won the Lombardi Award and the Outland Trophy as the nation’s outstanding lineman. His college coach, Barry Switzer, called Selmon “the greatest player I ever had play,” and said he never had a bad game. He took his talents to Tampa Bay after they chose him as their first round pick and began his journey as a legendary pro football player.  

In his nine years in Tampa (1976-1984), Selmon was unofficially credited with 78.5 sacks in 121 games, 28.5 fumbles caused and 380 quarterback pressures. (The N.F.L. didn’t begin to keep sacks by defensive players as an official statistic until 1982, Selmon’s seventh season.) He recovered 10 fumbles, returning one 29 yards against the Lions in 1979 for the only touchdown of his career.
Selmon was named first team All-Pro in 1979 and played in six consecutive Pro Bowls, from 1979 to 1984. In 1995 he became the first Buccaneer to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Following his 1995 induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the City of Tampa renamed one of its major toll roads as the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway.  

It was his exceptional stats that led NFL Films to rank him #98 in the top 100 greatest players of all time.

Despite his accomplishments on the field, Mr. Selmon was humble and had a great spirit. He was a community legend known for giving back using not only his money but his time as well. He had a great desire to help others and to give back to the community, particularly by helping the youth.

After moving to Tampa a few years back, it became apparent to me that Mr. Selmon was a man to be admired. He is as much apart of Tampa's culture as Ybor City and sunshine. Selmon was a huge factor in the creation of the football program at University of South Florida, where he started as associate athletic director in 1993 and served as the AD from May 2001 until he stepped down in February 2004 because of health concerns.

In a perfect world, we would give people the respect and honor they deserve while they are alive but our world is perfectly imperfect. 

Lee Roy Selmon become much more than a great football player, he was a great man. My condolences to his family, friends and other affected by his passing on last Sunday. May he forever RIP.

Talented Generation Salutes Lee Roy Selmon! #Salute

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