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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Tight end Jimmie Giles to take his place in Bucs Ring of Honor Dec. 4 vs. Carolina



What Bucs tight end Jimmie Giles relished the most about his career was celebrating with teammates after they upset the Philadelphia Eagles to reach the NFC Championship game.

"One of the things that will never elude me is the elation that came over me when (linebacker) David Lewis and I were rolling in the mud after the 1979 game,'' Giles said. "Those memories reside in my mind today. That was the beginning of Tampa Bay being recognized by the National Football League.

"They hadn't seen us play until then. They saw Doug Williams, they saw Ricky Bell, they saw Richard Wood. Of course they saw Mr. Selmon, because he was all-everything. But it was so fascinating to be recognized because that's what we played  for.''

Giles will receive the ultimate recognition from the Bucs on Dec. 4 when he becomes only the third to be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium, joining Lee Roy Selmon and John McKay, the first coach in franchise history. The ceremony will be held at halftime in a throwback game against Carolina, the team announced Wednesday.

Bucs vice-chairman Bryan Glazer said Giles was an obvious choice because he played nine of his 13 NFL seasons in Tampa Bay and was named to four Pro Bowls, the team's first offensive player to receive that honor. At 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, Giles was a receiver in a tight end's body but also was a dominant run blocker. He caught 279 passes for 4,300 yards and a franchise record 34 touchdowns during his nine seasons in Tampa Bay and was a key member of the Bucs' playoff teams in '79, '81 and '82.

"I'm very thrilled beyond words,'' Giles said. "I do really appreciate it. It's a pleasure to be inducted into the Ring of Honor.''

Among the former teammates an coaches who attended Wednesday's announcement were Selmon, Kevin House, coach Wayne Fontes, Wood and Steve DeBerg.

While Giles selection to the Ring of Honor was inevitable, so is that of quarterback Doug Williams, who left the organization last year to return to coaching at Grambling State.

"There’s plenty of room up there,'' Glazer said. "Most people that people expect to be up there, they’re all going to get up there. Doug, to use doug as an example, Doug is a more popular name. He’s a name that everybody talks about. Jimmie led his life kind of quietly but made four Pro Bowls. There’s room for everybody.''

What prompted Wednesday's news conference, according to Glazer, is that season tickets are set to be distributed and Giles' image adorns the face of the ticket for the Dec. 4 game against Carolina.

Unfortunately, injuries to his knees and back have rendered Giles permanently disabled. Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Giles says he would not have played football had he known the sport would take such a physical toll on the quality of his life.  

"I wouldn't have (played). Not if I know what I know now,'' Giles said. "I still stand by that.

"I've had about 10 epidurals over the last four years and I had to have them. I've been diagnosed with early signs of something, I'll just put it like that. I don't want to say what it is, but it's documented. I do say I try to read and keep my mind sharp. They say that's what you have to know man, you've still got to live your life and it's difficult when it takes 30 or 40 minutes to get up in the morning.''



[Last modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 4:01pm]


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