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Yucks! : Two Years in Tampa With the Losingest Team in NFL History (Hardcover) (Jason Vuic)
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Friday Night Lights meets The Bad News Bears in this entertaining sports story chronicling the first two seasons with the worst team in NFL history: the hapless, hilarious, and hopelessly winless 1976–1977 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.During the 1976 and 1977 NFL seasons, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cemented their place in football history, not with a Super Bowl win, but with the longest losing streak in the history of the league. The Buccaneers—affectionately and mockingly called the “The Yucks” by fans—lost their first twenty-six games. No other team in any major professional league has ever come close to this streak. Their on-field failures were so hilarious thatTonight Show host Johnny Carson used to joke about them in his opening monologues. Still, the team was beloved, because even as losers they brought a sense of a collective identity to a group of Florida Gulf Coast communities now known as Tampa Bay. When they finally won their first game, 8,000 people attended a victory party at Tampa International Airport. When they won their second straight game, the final game of the 1977 season, the fans tore down the goalposts.Jason Vuic’s The Yucks is about more than just a team and its near-comedic inability to play football. It’s the tale of larger-than-life characters and the real human moments that make us love the game. There’s Hugh Culverhouse, the miserly owner, and John McKay, the notoriously quotable four-time national championship-winning coach who promised a playoff run in five years. There’s Steve Spurrier, the arrogant coaching icon and Heisman trophy winning Florida native who was quarterback for the Bucs. Lee Roy Selmon was the Bucs’ gentle giant and first-ever draft pick who became the best pass-rusher in the league. Then there’s Ricky Bell, the star running back who played just four years before dying tragically of a rare tissue disease, and Pat Toomay, the witty defensive end whose tell-all book on the Cowboys led to his banishment to Tampa Bay.A book about a team so outrageously bad it’s hilarious, The Yucks flips the long tradition of celebrating great teams to give a can’t-look-away account of the team that the entire nation loved to hate—the best worst team in NFL history.