Derrick Brooks: The Heart of Tampa Bay Football

NFL NEWS: Derrick Brooks

New Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks, arguably the best Tampa Bay Buccaneer to have ever lived, has always risen to the occasion even in retirement.

“Now that I’m part of this team, it’s gonna be a better team,” Brooks said. “Because I’m gonna work my butt off to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame a better team.”

The first ballot inductee and Co-Owner/president of the AFL’s Tampa Bay Storm accepted a position with the NFL and players’ union as an appeals officer. Brooks will hear player appeals of on-field discipline replacing Matt Birk, who’s now the NFL’s director of football development.

Brooks joins fellow Bucs the late Lee Roy Selmon and his former teammate and first-balloter Warren Sapp. While Sapp exuded the mouth of the team and backed it up with dominant play, Brooks always let his play do all his talking for him. On Saturday, Brooks made sure he didn’t leave anyone out of his speech Saturday during his induction.

Two notable names were kicker Martin Gramatica, whom he credited with helping to deliver victory in plenty, lower-scoring games with his foot; and defensive Simeon Rice, whom he called “one of the best if not the best pass rushers of my generation.”

The 11-time Pro Bowler played 14 seasons in the NFL only for the Bucs garnering numerous honors including nine times as an All-Pro, Walter Payton Man of the Year (2000), AP NFL Defensive Player of the year (2002), Super Bowl winner (2002), and made NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. He also amassed 1,715 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 25 interceptions and seven touchdowns during his career.

Brooks was very involved on as well as off the football field contributing to the local Tampa Bay community charities.

How much of an impact did Brooks have on the Tampa Bay community? How many Bucs games have been televised locally since his departure of the team in 2008?

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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