Classic Bucs Draft Tale From The Dark Days

April 21st, 2010

The draft of former Bucs defensive end Booker Reese was a mistake in more ways than one.

As we all wait with baited breath for the start of the draft, Vacation Man, of the Stalinist, has a way cool story of how the Bucs fouled up and landed with offensive lineman Sean Farrell.

As Vacation Man points out, Farrell turned out to be a helluva player. But what happened after that pick seems to be standard fare for how the Bucs crumbled in the early 1980s.

In short, seemingly almost out of a Three Stooges episode, the Bucs representative in New York couldn’t quite make out who the Bucs wanted to draft in the first round and sent in the wrong name on the card to then-NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle.

That’s when the fun started.

His message was to select Reese. But, again, the line wasn’t functioning right and Marcuccillo never heard that part. He was getting a little nervous and he asked if he should turn in the card he had written out. In perhaps the only part of the conversation that wasn’t ruined by the phone line, Herock answered that question and Marcuccillo turned in the card — with Farrell’s name.

Back in Tampa , the Bucs’ brass freaked out. They so desperately wanted to correct their mistake that they quickly worked a trade with Chicago. The Bucs traded away their 1983 first-round pick to move up to the early second round where they selected Reese.

As it turned out, the Bucs should have just been happy to get Farrell. Reese spent two disastrous seasons with the Bucs before they traded him away for a 12th-round draft pick. Reese also earned infamy when he got his first check, a very big one. He took it to a Tampa auto dealer and selected a car. When it came time to pay for it, he handed the salesman the check. There was a big difference between the amount of the check and the price of the car (we’re talking thousands of dollars) and the salesman asked Reese how he wanted to complete the transaction. Reese reportedly said, “Just give me the change”, which would have added up to about five more cars. After that, the Bucs started paying a little more attention to Wonderlic test scores.

This move apparently was just gas on the fire as the Bucs freaked out and quickly made a trade for the infamous Booker Reese.

This is the first Joe heard of this story and Joe thanks Vacation Man for sharing. Joe always thought the Bucs (John McKay?) panicking by sending a first round pick to Cincinnati for the Throwin’ Samoan, Jack Thompson, was the beginning of the end.

6 Responses to “Classic Bucs Draft Tale From The Dark Days”

  1. Louie Says:

    This is a true sign of desperation. Kind of sounds like where we are now.

  2. d-money Says:

    The Bears used that ’83 1st round pick to get Willie Gault…also on the board at the time, Dan Marino and Darrell Green.

  3. Tom Says:

    Surprised you never heard that story, Joe.

    It’s one of the classics in Bucs drafting lore and gets recycled every once in a while.

  4. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    At least they had a faulty line as an excuse ….what’s Dumbinik’s and Radio’s excuse ??

  5. Buddy Says:

    My favorite BUCs draft story is passing on both Ken Easley and Ronnie Lott, either of whom they were going to pick if available, and instead, making a knee-jerk decision to select Hugh Green.

  6. drdneast Says:

    I remember that asd if it was yesterday. But it wasn’t McKay who freaked, it was Herock who insisted on giving up the No. 1 pick to the Bears. The next year, the Bears drafted either Dan Hampton or Steve McMichael with the pick. Favorite Booker Reese story was when someone told him he couldn’t go into the whirlpool unless there was a lifeguard on duty.