Who will be next in the Ring of Honor?
For those of you who were lucky enough to be at Raymond James Stadium last November for the Throwback game (yep that includes yours truly), you were able to witness the return of the orange jerseys, the reunion of the 1979 NFC Championship team, and the induction of Lee Roy Selmon into the Ring of Honor.
There of course was only one person who could the inaugural member of this special selection of Buccaneer players. Lee Roy, the first draft pick, the first Hall of Famer, the first everything in franchise history. But who will be next?
Various players have been honoured over the years at Buccaneer home games including Doug Williams, Paul Gruber and Mike Alstott. But whilst each of this trio will at some point in the future become part of the hallowed few, the second selection will be someone different.
Williams will miss out simply because of his recent departure from the front office and the fact that he was part of the reception for the 1979 team last November. Gruber is not a big enough name for the next inductee and the A-Train was honoured in October 2008 as part of his retirement arrangements.
So we are down to three realistic defensive candidates, Hardy Nickerson, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks, all multiple Pro Bowlers and all ranking amongst the very best to ever sport the orange and the pewter over the years.
Hardy will also be part of the Ring of Honor in the future but is not quite in the league of the others. And Sapp is still seen as a wild-card in too many ways to make the obvious next selection his fellow 1995 draftee Derrick Brooks.
It really makes sense to be honest. Brooks can officially announce his retirement, the Bucs can retire his jersey and can pay tribute to his magnificent 14-year Buccaneer and NFL career at the same time.
The Bucs will still wear their throwbacks again in 2010 and I would imagine it will either be the Rams game on October 24, or the Panthers game on November 14. But Derrick wore the orange in 1995 and 1996 and still boasts former team-mates in the form of Ronde Barber and Dave Moore still connected with the franchise on game day.
You've been great - enjoy Modern Romance.
Paul Stewart, TBO.com, May 2010