TAMPA — Bucs legend Lee Roy Selmon, the first inductee into the team's new Ring of Honor, made it through a short acceptance speech at midfield. But surrounded by family and former teammates, the Hall of Fame defensive end's emotions eventually got the best of him.
"I promised my family I wasn't going to cry today," a teary-eyed Selmon said after the halftime honor.
"It didn't last. I made it off the field. Seeing those players, hugging them … brings back so many fun memories, and I know that's what this Ring is all about. It's not about me. It's about us as a team."
Radio announcer Gene Deckerhoff introduced Selmon, who was the Bucs' first draft pick in 1976 and played through 1984. His No. 63, long since retired by the team, and his last name were unveiled on the facade of the west upper deck of Raymond James Stadium.
"I think about the goodness of Jesus, and my heart just cries out, 'Thank you,' " Selmon said. "This is more than I could ever imagine."
Dewey Selmon, one of 27 teammates from the 1979 playoff team in attendance, said his brother was a "no-brainer" to be the first player honored.
"You can have a good athlete," he said.
"But Lee Roy has all three of the qualities: body, spirit and mind. That's special."