Lee Roy Selmon statue unveiled in Tampa

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The first man drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now has a statue in Tampa. It’s not located at the stadium where the team plays but in downtown Tampa.

Lee Roy Selmon, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who arrived from his native Oklahoma via the first round of the 1976 draft, has been immortalized in bronze for his contributions to the city, contributions that extend beyond his efforts on the football field.

Selmon, who as the USF athletic director helped build a solid football program, became a cornerstone of his adopted hometown. He’s depicted not in a football uniform, but the statue has Selmons wearing his retired No. 63 over a collared shirt.

“The one thing I didn’t want is I didn’t want [the statue] to be about football,” said Robert Frey, director of planning and innovation for the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, which funded the eight-foot tribute to Selmon, via the Tampa Tribune. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m as big a football fan as anybody, but what the gentleman represented and the things he did outside of football to help the community and help people, in my opinion, that far and away outvalued anything he did on the gridiron. . . . We wanted it to reflect what he really meant to the community and to developing young people to become better people.”

So could a similar honor happen for Selmon outside Raymond James Stadium, where the Bucs and Bulls play?

“We’ve talked about it,” Buccaneers COO Brian Ford said. “There could be some things in the works. We’re not there yet. But absolutely. He’s a part of our organization, and he’s the ultimate role model, not only in the locker room but how he got involved in the community when he was a player. . . . I talk about his legacy to rookies today. Everybody knows who Lee Roy Selmon is. When you become a Buccaneer, you hear the story about Lee Roy Selmon whether you plan it or not. There’s not many players like that. It’s ingrained from Day One.”

Selmon died in 2011 at the age of 56 after suffering a stroke. He spent his entire playing career with the Buccaneers, and he entered the Hall of Fame in 1995. The Buccaneers added him to the franchise’s Ring of Honor in 2009.

15 responses to “Lee Roy Selmon statue unveiled in Tampa

  1. tylawspick6 says:
    June 9, 2019 at 4:38 pm
    great player
    Great Human Being! The Tampa Bay area can’t do enough to recognize such
    a humble, honorable man. Especially in this day and age.

  2. I was going freshman in college in the area , his first year.

    Instant legend. The team and was a horror show but this guy never did anything but stay positive and kept his head high. We all idolized him and he was just a few years older than us.

    Since baseball took up much of our time, when we had the chance, we wouldn’t consider missing him play. I can’t imagine him on a good team.

    The definition of a HOF player: Is the game ‘less’ with him gone? He should have two busts in the HOF.

  3. Hmm, I just Googled the statue and am seeing it for the first time. It has Selmon doing the horns sign. I know that’s because of USF, however Selmon was an OU Sooner, and we know that everywhere outside the city of Tampa that’s the University of Texas Hook’em Horns sign. I’m a Longhorn and know the rivalry well. Not sure how well that will go down with OU folks, despite the fact it’s for the USF Bulls. I probably wouldn’t have done that with the statue.

  4. “I can’t imagine him on a good team.”

    He was on a team that hosted the NFC Championship game in 1980, which they lost despite the fact that the defense gave up only 9 points. Still, being only one game away from playing in the Superbowl in only their 4th season, I guess you’d have to say he played on a pretty good team during a stretch where they made the playoffs 3 out of 4 years.

  5. What a great ballplayer Lee Roy Selmon was.At 56 when he passed away,it seems too soon. RIP Lee Roy.

  6. Statue pose decisions are apparently yet another thing we are finding ways to be sensitive eh, baldbuc?
    Did you see the part where I said I’m a Longhorn? If it were any other Sooner I’d be making jokes about it. However, I was a huge fan of Selmon. I just can’t imagine that he would have been good with his stature giving the Hook’em Horns, despite the fact that USF use that too. It’s because most people outside of USF will think he’s doing the Hook’em thing. Look at the comments on Twitter, people are already confusing it, especially OU people.

  7. This guy was such a menace in college. The Selmon brothers story is one of the great ones in college football. All three brothers in the same team and all were good. Those mid 70s sooners defenses were so dominant.

  8. Not only should there be a statue of Lee roy, it should have already been at the stadium . No more waiting please. . Just do it. No red tape, No issues, no let’s think on it. Just make it happen, please Glazer family.

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