Having suffered a stroke on Friday, Lee Roy Selmon, ":Mr. Football" of Tampa Bay seemed to be recovering, but suddenly died today. Tampa Bay mourns. Although quarterback Doug Williams, fullback Mike Alstott, Linebacker Derrick Brooks and the slightly unsavory Warren Sapp are all big in Buccaneer history, no one quite captured the nature of Tampa Bay like their first ever draft pick, in 1976. He was an All American with his brothers at Oklahoma, and lived through the difficulty of the winless year that was the Buc's first... only to be elected as NFC Defensive player of 1979, when the Bucs went to the division championships. He retired after 9 years, with 6 Pro Bowls.... and got elected to the Hall of Fame in 1995.
Selmon was a pioneer in bringing Division I football to our local "suitcase" school, USF, as the athletic director. USF beat Notre Dame last night, and every player wore #63...Selomon's number with the Bucs. After his pro career, Lee Roy stayed in Tampa and raised his family... his son, Lee Roy Jr. went to high school with my daughter. Lee Roy was only a few months younger than I, and is commemorated in local landmarks; the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway here, and the restaurant chain he started: "Lee Roy Selmon's Barbeque".
A truly great and gracious man, he will be missed.