This past Sunday the Tampa Bay Buccaneers saluted arguably their biggest fan favorite in FB Mike Alstott at halftime. Alstott‘s jersey wasn‘t retired at this event, but the Bucs did provide Mike with his original Bucs jersey (creamsicle) and his final Bucs jersey (red) framed (see below). Throughout the game video messages were played from celebrities and teammates honoring the A-Train. Here‘s Alstott on the recognition he received:
"To be able to come out here and thank the fans, it was a closure," Alstott said. "The fans have embraced me with such support and love and it's an unbelievable feeling to have 60,000-plus to go out there and do that," Alstott said. "I loved playing for them. It was an incredible feeling running out of that tunnel. It helped me to be a better player, and the reason I came to work every Sunday is to win in front of our fans because they deserved it." - Tampa Tribune
With Mike Alstott officially retired and given a well deserved tribute, it‘s time for the Bucs to finish the gesture by retiring Alstott‘s jersey and cementing his lore in the Bucs ‘Ring of Honor‘. All of which should take place next season. When, Where, and How can be figured out in the off-season, but at this point the gestures above should happen regardless…
As if his credentials bear repeating Alstott is Tampa‘s all-time touchdown leader and the franchise’s number two rushing leader (behind James Wilder). He finished his career with 7,372 all purpose yards accompanied by 71 touchdowns. He’s thirty-ninth All-Time for touchdowns in the NFL, he‘s also a six time Pro-Bowler and a three time All-Pro. Mike accomplished all of that while never being the feature back.
Aside from those statistical accolades Mike Alstott is synonymous for helping the Bucs become a winning franchise and helped them shed that losers mentality. He captivated audiences with his ’Never-Quit’ attitude and performances. ESPN’s Chris Berman coined the phrase ‘The Bucs were in good hands with Alstott’ and for good reason. During Alstott’s tenure with the Franchise his team went (93-83), sure no big deal, but consider the team’s previous ten years (54-121) that’s a bunch of losses. Alstott didn’t do it on his own, but he clearly put and left his stamp on this team. He cemented his legacy by paving the way to a 2002 Super Bowl Championship.
This isn’t a discussion about the NFL‘s Hall of Fame, this is strictly in regards to retiring Mike‘s (#40) jersey and enshrining him in the Bucs ‘Ring of Honor‘… So what have you? Vote in the poll below:
A side note about the picture above, you may have noticed that Alstott‘s creamsicle jersey has his name misspelled. That‘s no mistake. For the first two games of Mike‘s Rookie season in 1996 his last name was misspelled on his jersey ‘Alsott‘… unbelievable, huh?