The Bucs still haven't ...
Last Sunday, the Bucs finally returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the first time in franchise history. It seemed like one of the last items to mark off the list of things never accomplished. After all, the Bucs have returned punts for touchdowns, returned blocked punts for touchdowns, returned blocked field goals for touchdowns, have had two 100-yard rushers in a game, have had a 200-yard rushing game, a 200-yard reception game and a 400-yard passing game.
Is there anything left to do?
You bet. Here's a list of things the Bucs still have never accomplished in their 32-year history.
Never have led the NFL in total offense
In fact, when it comes to total yardage, the Bucs have never even come close to leading the NFL in offense. Their best seasons were finishing 10th in 1984 and 2003. But they've finished 20th or worse 23 times. Even this season, the Bucs are 19th. Yeesh, instead of drawing up plays, maybe the Bucs would've been better off with one play: "Just everybody go out and get open.''
Never had a play from scrimmage go longer than 90 yards
The longest rushing play in Bucs history is a 78-yard TD run by Michael Pittman against Kansas City in 2004. The longest passing play in Bucs history is an 89-yard TD pass from Vinny Testaverde to Willie Drewrey in 1990. But 89 is not 90.
Never have played in Buffalo
In the regular season, that is. The Bucs did play one preseason game in Buffalo — a 17-6 loss way back in 1977. But the Bucs have never had the pleasure of going to upstate New York in the regular season. It's the only current NFL city the Bucs haven't visited in the regular season. What's weird is the Bills have come to Tampa Bay eight times.
Never have had a quarterback arrested and convicted on federal dogfighting charges
We once had high hopes for Steve Spurrier, but he went on not to abuse dogs, but to abuse Dawgs — the Georgia and Mississippi State variety. The Bucs scouting department simply needs to do a better job scouting. Isn't there another Vick out there somewhere?
Never had a 1,600-yard rusher
There are 16 games. That means the Bucs have never had a player average 100 yards rushing per game for the entire season. James Wilder came close. He rushed for 1,544 yards in 1984. It's not easy to do. Pittsburgh's Willie Parker leads the NFL in rushing this season with 1,317 yards, meaning he needs a hefty 283 yards in the final two games to be the only player to rush for 1,600 this season. San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson, who needs 289 yards, and Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, who needs 322 yards, also have an outside crack at 1,600. Earnest Graham needs 723 yards!
Never have stopped arguing whether Gruden or Dungy deserves credit for the Super Bowl
"Jon Gruden won the Super Bowl,'' says one side.
"Yeah,'' says the other, "but he did it with Tony Dungy's players.''
As old as the "Tastes great, less filling'' routine. Everyone is right. But now Tony is gone. Great coach. Even better human being. But gone. So let’s all move on, shall we?
Never had an NFL Offensive MVP
Lee Roy Selmon and Derrick Brooks have won various defensive MVP awards. Selmon, Brooks and Warren Sapp were all named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year. But no Bucs offensive player has been named MVP. And, really, it's not like a Bucs offensive player has been given a raw deal. No one really has even been a serious contender for the award.
Never landed the Big Tuna
How many times did the Bucs cast their line to catch the Big Tuna — Bill Parcells? Three? Four? They even hooked him once, but couldn't get him in the boat. Know what we mean, Atlanta?
Never have had a field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown
That's a good thing, one the Bucs hope never happens. Here's another positive one: they've never allowed an opposing receiver to have a 200-yard reception game in the regular season.
Never had an offensive tackle make the Pro Bowl
Paul Gruber is, without question, the finest offensive tackle the Bucs have ever had. And, truth be told, he probably should've made a few Pro Bowls and would have had it not played for some of the worst teams of his era.
Never have won in ...
There are few places the Bucs have never won. They are 0-5 in the city of Houston against the Texans and old Oilers. They are 0-2 in Jacksonville, 0-2 at Tennessee, 0-3 in Pittsburgh, 0-5 in Oakland. And, as we mentioned, they've never played at Buffalo. But New Jersey/New York has been almost a complete loss cause for the Bucs. They are 1-12 all-time on the road against the Giants and Jets. In the Meadowlands, they are 1-6 against the Giants (with the lone victory in 1997) and 0-4 against the Jets. To make matters worse, the Bucs have never beaten the Jets on the road. They were 0-2 at Shea Stadium before the Jets moved to the Meadowlands. Check out some of the losses to the Jets, too: 34-0, 62-28, 31-0. Fuhgetababoutit!
Never have returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game
They’ve also never returned a touchdown and a punt for a touchdown in the same game. And never have returned a kickoff for a touchdown in California when the temperature is below 40 degrees.
(Photos: Associated Press, Times files)