The Man Who Never Got Mad

November 3rd, 2009

To read Joey Johnston of the Tampa Tribune, former Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon was little more than a gentle giant.

That is, besides his massive football skills.

Johnston got a hold of a few of Selmon’s former teammates to talk about Selmon, the lone Bucs player to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the first to have his jersey retired. The teammates all talked about how they never saw Selmon get mad.

“He’d knock a guy down, then pick him right up,” said former Bucs linebacker David Lewis, now defensive coordinator at Tampa Catholic High School. “Me and (fellow linebacker) Cecil Johnson would look at him like he was crazy. ‘Lee Roy! Why are you picking him up? Leave him down there!’ He’d just smile.

“If we weren’t playing well defensively, he would just say, kind of softly, ‘Come on, guys.’ Cecil would roll his eyes and glare at him. ‘Lee Roy! Is that all you got to say!’ Lee Roy would scrunch up his face and say, ‘Oh, Cecil.’ We’d bust up laughing. We’d be laughing so hard, we couldn’t even remember what defense we were supposed to be in.”

Even when Selmon was rarely moved to anger, it was an unusual sight.

Once at Dallas, Selmon was grabbed by the legs and literally tackled by his blocker. The official did nothing.

Selmon popped up and vented his rage: “Heck! Heck! Dang! Dang!”

Maybe Aqib Talib could use a one-on-one session with Mr. Selmon?

And it’s more than fitting that a guy like Selmon will be the first memorialized in the Bucs’ new Ring of Honor.

2 Responses to “The Man Who Never Got Mad”

  1. Eric S Says:

    Great player. I always enjoyed watching him on Sundays. And to see him in the Pro Bowl was always awesome because he would totally dominate the AFC linemen. It is a shame that he couldn’t play longer because of his knees.

    You did forget about Steve Young in the Hall of Fame. He did play here a couple of years and won a team MVP before he got traded away.

  2. Justin Says:

    Love the retro feel of the photo–not only is he in the classic duds, he’s sacking an Oiler!!!

    Selmon has had a further impact on the community, a positive one. Look at what he has done with the USF athletic dept.