This day in sports: Tampa Bay granted an NFL franchise in 1974


New Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden, right, smiles as he stands with team owner Malcolm Glazer after giving his first news conference Wednesday afternoon ,Feb. 20, 2002 in Tampa, Fla. Gruden comes to Tampa Bay from the Oakland Raiders for a series of draft picks and cash considerations. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

This Day in Sports History: April 24, 1974

On April 24, 1974, the National Football League granted a franchise to Tampa Bay, later to be named the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The team was purchased by Hugh Culverhouse, an attorney from Jacksonville, for $16 million.

The Bucs, as they are called were named after the pirates that came to the area during the 1600s.

Tampa Bay played their inaugural season in 1976 and didn’t win a single game. That losing streak continued into the next season with the team going 0-26. It wasn’t until week 13 of the 1977 season, that the team picked up their first win with a 33-14 final over the New Orleans Saints.

Two years later, in 1979, the Bucs reached the post season for the first time and won their division by defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 24-17.

The franchise won its first and only Super Bowl in 2002 under head coach Jon Gruden against the Oakland Raiders – Gruden’s previous team in which the Bucs made a deal with – four draft picks and $8 million in exchange for Gruden.

Today, the team is worth $2.2 billion, according to Forbes, and it’s fan base has been brought to new life with the signing of the NFL’s most winning quarterback, Tom Brady, and his tight end counterpart, Rob Gronkowski.

References: Britannica, Sports Illustrated, Forbes

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